Dez Bryant caught three touchdown passes and returned a punt 78 yards for a fourth touchdown to lead No. 21 Oklahoma State to a 56-28 Big 12 win over Texas A&M on Saturday night in Sillwater, Oklahoma. Five first half turnovers, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns, dug a hole the Aggies could not climb out of.
The Aggies were moving the ball on their opening possession when Jeff Fuller, fighting for extra yards after a catch, fumbled and Victor Johnson recovered for Oklahoma State and returned the fumble 35 yards to the Texas A&M 21-yard line.
Oklahoma State looked like they would score before the Aggie goal line defense came up big, stopping Cowboys 3rd and 4th down rushing attempts twice inside the 1-yard line, forcing a turnover on downs. Unfortunately for the Aggies, facing 3rd and 7 from their 4-yard line, Jerrod Johnson's pass attempt was intercepted by Cowboy Ugo Chinasa and returned 6 yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Dan Bailey game Oklahoma State a 7-0 lead with 8:26 left in the first quarter.
After forcing an Aggie punt, Oklahoma State dove 56 yards in 6 plays, with Cowboy receiver Dez Bryant catching a 29-yard touchdown pass from Zac Robinson. Bailey's extra point extended the Cowboy lead to 14-0 at the 3:48 mark in the first quarter.
After an Aggie 3-and-out, Junstin Brantley's 54-yard punt was returned 78 yards by Dez Bryant for a touchdown to give Oklahoma State a big 21-0 lead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Texas A&M finally got on the board when on their frist play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, Mike Goodson took a handoff and raced 80 yards for an Aggie touchdown. Richie Bean's extra point made it 21-7 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.
Oklahoma State and Texas A&M traded punts until late in the second quarter when a Jerrod Johnson pass attempt went though the hands of Bradley Stephens and was intercepted by Cowboy linebacker Patrick Lavine who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown to give Oklahoma State a 28-7 halftime lead.
Oklahoma State took the second half opening kickoff and drove 62 yards in 7 plays, with Zac Robinson throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant to give the Cowboys a commanding 35-7 lead with 11:30 left the the third quarter.
The Aggies responded by using 12 plays to drive 70 yards, Jerrod Johnson connected with Ryan Tannehill in the back of the endzone for a touchdown. Bean's extra point cut the Cowboy lead to 35-14 at the 6:24 mark in the thrid quarter.
It didn't take long for Oklahoma State to regain their 28-point lead when three plays after completing a 45-yard pass to Damian Davis, quarterback Zac Robinson scrambled 6 yards for a touchdown.
After forcing a Cowboy fumble, A&M scored early in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard Mike Goodson run to reduce the Cowboy lead to 42-21. After a 57-yard kickoff return by Cowboy Perrish Cox, Dez Bryant scored his 4th touchdown of the game on a 21-yard catch from Zac Robinson to move out to a 49-21 lead.
Texas A&M drove 79 yards in 12 plays, with Ryan Tannehill catching his 2nd touchdown pass of the game, this from 4 yards out, to make it a 49-28 game midway through the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma State used up most of the rmaining clock on a 12-play, 77-yard drive, and Zac Robinson scored on a 7-yard run. The Aggies drove to the Cowboy 17-yard line before a Jerrod Johnson pass intended for Jeff Fuller was broken up as time expired to make the final score Oklahoma State 56, Texas A&M 28.
Texas A&M actually had more total yards than Oklahoma State, 402, to 401, but the 5 costly turnovers proved to be the difference.
Jerrod Johnson completed 24-of-43 passes for 212 yards and 2 TDs with the two interceptions. Mike Goodson rushed for 112 yards and 2 TDs on 8 carries. Ryan Tannehill caught 7 passes for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jeff Fuller caught 5 passes for 67 yards.
Texas A&M (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) will look to rebound from this loss when they host Kansas State next Saturday afternoon.