Saturday, September 29, 2012
Oklahoma State edged by No. 12 Texas 41-36
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State hung a banner in its end zone Saturday night to commemorate its first Big 12 championship.
Then No. 12 Texas came to town and spoiled the party, as usual.
David Ash threw three touchdown passes to Jaxon Shipley and directed a game-winning drive capped by Joe Bergeron's 2-yard run with 29 seconds left as the Longhorns beat Oklahoma State 41-36 on Saturday night.
Ash led Texas (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) on a 75-yard march after the Cowboys (2-2, 0-1) had taken the lead on Quinn Sharp's 24-yard field goal with 2:34 to play.
Ash connected with tight end D.J. Grant for a 29-yard pick up on fourth-and-6 to keep the drive going, and then Mike Davis outleaped Justin Gilbert on a 32-yard deep ball to set up Bergeron's winning touchdown.
"Losing is never fun," said Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle, who ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns. "It's nothing to celebrate when you lose."
The Cowboys got the ball back after a touchback, and the game ended on a desperation play fourth-down play that featured Walsh throwing a lateral across the field to Charlie Moore, who eventually got bumped out of bounds after a long gain.
"It was one of those games where we just had the ball last," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "If they'd had it much longer, they would have probably scored because they did a great job throughout the night."
Oklahoma State outgained Texas 576-440, with a 275-136 edge on the ground but the Longhorns also got a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown from D.J. Monroe in the second quarter.
And Ash came through when it mattered the most.
"He will not be under any more pressure than this, and he couldn't have done this this time last year," said Brown, who moved to 7-0 in Stillwater. "He has really grown up. He is the leader of this football team."
The Longhorns had lost at home to OSU each of the past two seasons. Last season, Ash was making his first career start and threw for only 139 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns in a 38-26 loss.
"That game really haunted me because as a first start, it wasn't the first start that you wanted to have," said Ash, who finished with 304 yards passing and threw his first interception of the season.
"This game kind of means a lot."
J.W. Walsh made his first career start in place the injured Wes Lunt and threw for 307 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked on the final desperation drive in a fourth quarter that featured four lead changes.
It was the latest in a series of difficult losses for Oklahoma State to take in the series. Texas has rallied from 28-, 19- and 21-point deficits against OSU just since 2004.
"They made a play at the end and they happened to make a play when the clock ran out," Gundy said. "Give them credit."
Randle lunged in from 2 yards out to put Oklahoma State up 33-28 early in the fourth, only for Texas' potent running game to come alive next. Bergeron also capped that 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, as the Longhorns picked up 65 yards on seven carries while moving down the field.
After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, Oklahoma State needed just three plays to bolt to the Texas 13. But then that drive stalled, with three straight 2-yard runs -- two by third-stringer Desmond Roland and then one by Randle, who was pulled out for a breather -- and the Cowboys settled for Sharp's field goal.
"Coaches will have second thoughts about plays that were called. ... We have to be able to make those plays and get that stop," Gundy said.
Bergeron's scoring run was reviewed on instant replay after Oklahoma State safety Daytawion Lowe came out of the pile with the ball in the end zone, but officials upheld the call on the field.
Settling into his starter's role after splitting time with Case McCoy last season, Ash also threw scoring passes of 44 and 20 yards to Shipley in the first half before the pair hooked up for a 7-yard TD on a fade pass in the third quarter to make it 28-20.
"It's something we haven't been able to do in the last couple years, win a tough game like this on the road," Brown said.
The Longhorns had a losing record in Big 12 play each of the past two seasons after winning the conference championship in 2009.
"The only thing that was important for us tonight was to win," Brown said. "We needed to go on the road, we needed to win against a team that had beaten us twice in a row, we needed to win against a team that had won more games than anybody in the Big 12 the last two years and we needed to win at a place where they hadn't lost for the last two years."
Walsh threw a 20-yard TD pass to John Goodlett in the third quarter and a 44-yarder to former high-school teammate Josh Stewart in the first half.
"Normally when things don't go right, people start showing their true colors," Randle said. "Tonight, I felt like we showed as a team who we really are. Even when things went bad, nobody was out there throwing their helmets on the sidelines, ripping chin straps off. ... I'm just happy we have people on the team who have good character."