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Final: Oklahoma State 30, Colorado 17

11/16/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The kid from the Denver suburbs made a triumphant return to his old stomping grounds Saturday night.

Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson rushed for one touchdown and passed for another score to key the Cowboys' 30-17 victory over Colorado.

Robinson, a junior from nearby Littleton, Colo., punctuated his rushing touchdown by throwing his hands high in the air to signal to friends and family members who attended the game.

The victory keeps the Cowboys' hopes alive for a New Year's Day bowl.

The Colorado-Oklahoma State game turned out to be the most competitive Big 12 game of the day, but it was that way only because of some good fortune for the Buffaloes.

Colorado got a gift touchdown in the third quarter on a fortunate fourth-down rebound of a Cody Hawkins' pass that glanced off Cody Crawford's hands into the waiting grab of Scotty McKnight for a 29-yard touchdown. If Colorado didn't get that play, the Cowboys likely would have cruised to an easy victory.

Colorado had persevered for fourth-quarter comeback victories over Oklahoma and West Virginia during the last two seasons. And the Buffaloes appeared to have seized that momentum after Demetrius Sumler's 3-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

But the Buffaloes never could climb back into the game as they struggled with poor field position and Hawkins' inability to make big plays when the Buffaloes needed them.

It means the 5-6 Colorado has to win at Nebraska on the day after Thanksgiving in order to qualify for a bowl game.

And considering the way that the Cornhuskers have been playing recently, that sounds like a huge test for the offensively-challenged Buffaloes.

Here are some other things I noticed while watching the game.

  • Injuries to Kendall Hunter (jammed left knee) and Brandon Pettigrew (apparent concussion) made Oklahoma State look pedestrian on offense at the end of the game. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has to hope both can heal up during their off week as they prepare for the Bedlam game with Oklahoma in two weeks.

  • One thing that struck me was how few tackles that the Colorado defensive line made throughout the game. George Hypolite's name was barely called.

  • I was surprised that we didn't see Colorado freshman quarterback Tyler Hansen play for the Buffaloes - particularly as Hawkins struggled in the second half. A change of pace provided by a running quarterback might have helped diversify the Buffaloes' offense.

  • Gundy needs to make sure that punter Matt Fodge gets a game ball for his performance in the fourth quarter. The biggest reason why Colorado's offense never got going late in the game was because they started drives at their own 7 and 10 when they still had a chance to climb back into the game.