<
>

Bryant bounces back, sparks late OSU rally

9/5/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

STILLWATER, Okla. -- After struggling offensively for most of the first half, Dez Bryant helped jumpstart Oklahoma State into a 10-7 halftime lead over Georgia.

Bryant's awakening came after the Cowboys' defense made some strong adjustments after allowing a touchdown on the first Bulldog possession.

The Cowboys scored all of their points in the last 2:24 of the half after sputtering offensively for most of the half.

The Cowboys went ahead on their final possession after the Oklahoma State defense provided the first turnover of the half when Lucien Antoine hammered redshirt freshman tailback Carlton Thomas, causing him to fumble at the Georgia 10.

But a fourth-quarter touchdown by Zac Robinson from the Georgia 1 was wiped out on a holding penalty on the ensuing possession. Dan Bailey then provided a 28-yard field goal that gave the Cowboys the lead.

After struggling on Georgia's first possession, Oklahoma State's retooled defense played up to the lofty expectations of new coordinator Bill Young. The Cowboys stoned the Bulldogs, limiting them to 57 yards on their next five possessions during the remainder of the half.

The Cowboys' defense got a lift from two unexpected sources. Antoine has been all over the field. And middle linebacker Donald Booker, in the lineup only because of Orie Lemon's knee injury, has given the Cowboys a physical presence that was missing last season.

Bryant's huge leaping catch over Georgia defender Bryan Evans jump-started a crowd that had been silent for most of the first half.

Bryant's first catch didn't come until about 3 minutes were left in the first half. And he trumped that two plays later on the leaping snag in the end zone.