BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Sunday, September 30, 2012
9/30/12 at 9:21 PM
Read more stories on OSU's lost to Texas.
STILLWATER - Oklahoma State's defense held Texas in check for most of three quarters.
OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh played admirably in his first start, teaming with Joseph Randle (career-high 199 rushing yards) to twice lead the Cowboys to go-ahead scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
The only thing the defending Big 12 champs didn’t do in their Saturday night league opener at Boone Pickens Stadium was get a critical stop.
Texas sophomore quarterback David Ash -- who was money on move-the-chains downs throughout the game -- tossed a 29-yard pass to tight end David Grant on fourth down, extending a game-winning 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with Joe Bergeron scoring from the 2 with 29 seconds remaining. Final score: Texas 41, OSU 36.
“That was a tough one for us,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said, crediting Texas for making a play at the end.
OSU had taken a 36-34 lead on a Quinn Sharp 24-yard field goal with 2:34 remaining.
Texas took over at the 25 following a touchback. The Longhorns gained only four yards on their first three plays and, on a fourth-down play which originated from the UT 29, Ash saw Grant flashing across the middle of the field. Grant caught the ball (it was his only reception) and motored to the OSU 42.
Two plays later, Ash threw a 32-yard ball to Mike Davis, who outdueled Justin Gilbert for a first-and-goal reception.
Bergeron carried on back-to-back plays for the winning score and -- did he fumble? -- a video replay was reviewed and the touchdown was upheld.
“Somebody took a look at it and obviously didn’t think it was a fumble,” Gundy said.
What did the OSU coach think about it? “I only know what people told me,” he said. “I’m not commenting on officiating. Our guy said (Bergeron) fumbled and (OSU) got it. That’s why I was running down the sidelines. I didn’t see it because of the pile.”
Regardless, the failure to get one last stop was a heartbreaker for an OSU defense which, entering the fourth quarter, had permitted 274 total yards -- including 59 rushing yards on 28 attempts. Texas finished with 440 yards and 136 rushing yards.
The Cowboys lost despite generating 576 total yards and 275 rushing yards. One reason why is because UT’s D.J. Monroe returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Subbing for injured starter Wes Lunt, Walsh hit 18-of-27 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and an interception that led to a 23-yard Texas touchdown drive. The redshirt freshman also ran for 57 yards, including a 50-yard run to launch an 89-yard touchdown drive that gave the Cowboys a lead early in the fourth quarter.
Ash, who was 9-of-11 on third down throws and 2-of-2 on fourth-down passes, hit 30-of-37 for 304 yards and three touchdowns, all to Jaxon Shipley.
“Give David credit,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “He will not be under any more pressure than this. He couldn’t have done this at the same time last year. He has really grown up. He’s the leader of this football team. The throw to D.J. Grant was unbelievable.”
Ash committed three turnovers in a loss to the Cowboys in Austin last season. His only glaring error in this game came when he threw a third-quarter interception to Tyler Johnson.
Gone is OSU’s two-game winning streak against Texas. Also ended was the Cowboys’ eight-game home winning streak (second-longest in school history), a nine-game winning streak against Texas-based Big 12 schools and a five-game winning streak against opponents in the AP’s top 25. Texas entered with a No. 12 ranking.
UT improved to 4-0. OSU dropped to 2-2 overall and has two September losses for the first time since 2007.
Lunt did not participate in warm-ups before the game, tipping off observers that Walsh would get the start. Walsh became the first Texan to start at quarterback for OSU against Texas since Bobby Reid in 2006.
The Cowboys, who lead the nation in total offense and scoring offense, appeared to be doing business as usual minus Lunt when they needed only two plays to score a game-opening touchdown. Tackle Parker Graham opened a hole on the left side and Randle popped a career-long run (71 yards) for a score just 39 seconds into the game.
Texas answered immediately and Ash converted three consecutive third down throws to set up a 44-yard touchdown pass to Shipley. It was Ash’s sixth pass play covering 44 or more yards this season.
Walsh threw an interception on his next pass attempt when Kenny Vaccaro snared a ball intended for Blake Jackson. That led to a 23-yard touchdown drive, with Ash again connecting with Shipley for a score.
OSU drew even at 14 on a Randle 44-yard scoring run with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. But Monroe returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and put Texas back in front.
After a 35-point first quarter, scoring temporarily came to a halt.
The only points in the second quarter and the first 14 minutes of the third quarter came on Sharp field goals of 23 and 38 yards.
Then, back to Big 12 normalcy, the teams traded touchdowns in the last minute of the third quarter, with Texas needing a fourth-down conversion for another Ash-to-Shipley touchdown and OSU cashing a 36-yard Desmond Roland kickoff return into a two-play 43-yard drive that ended when Walsh’s 20-yard touchdown pass to John Goodlett was declared good following a video review. A two-point conversion pass failed and OSU trailed 28-26 entering a back-and-forth final quarter.
“It was a good win for the Texas Longhorns tonight,” Brown said.
“Winning on the road is something we haven’t been able to do the last couple of years. Give a lot of credit to Oklahoma State and this crowd. It’s the best crowd I’ve ever seen up here. They hung in there with their team and their team fought their guts out. J.W. Walsh played a great football game. It’s one of those games where we just had the ball last. If they would have had the ball much longer (than the final 29 seconds), they would have probably scored.”
OSU UP NEXT
TBA Oct. 13
Radio: KFAQ am1170
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389
Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh is tackled by Texas' Jackson Jeffcoat on Saturday night. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
OSU's J.W. Walsh fumbles the ball in the closing seconds of the Cowboys' loss to Texas. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
OSU’s Shaun Lewis tackles Texas quarterback David Ash. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World