OSU football notebook: Stewart returns
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
1/02/13 at 3:02 AM
After a regular season in which Josh Stewart didn't return a single punt, it was unexpected to see him to trot onto the field after Purdue's first drive stalled.
"We've been resting him," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said after the game, prompting laughter.
That's actually true. Coaches were concerned with Stewart getting worn out if he was used at returner and receiver, but Stewart recently asked to return punts in the bowl game.
"I just feel like I can make people miss in space," Stewart said. "Punt return, you have so much space."
Stewart was used at punt returner in the spring game but had several drops. He returned one punt last season, for minus-3 yards, and also had 13 kickoff returns.
"We felt like that Josh would be more explosive (than Charlie Moore)," Gundy said. "... He did a nice job in practice. We had Charlie there in case we needed him."
No announcement from Randle: A day after telling reporters to ask him after the bowl game whether he planned to turn pro, OSU running back Joseph Randle had no announcement in his postgame interview.
"I meant like later, later after the game," Randle said. "... I still have got a long process to go through and stuff like that."
Lighting up the scoreboard: With 58 points against Purdue, OSU has eclipsed the 50-point mark 23 times under Gundy.
The 44-point win is the second-largest margin of victory by a Big 12 team in a bowl game. Nebraska defeated Northwestern 66-17 in the 2000 Alamo Bowl.
The 58 points is OSU's most against a Big Ten opponent, besting the 49 the Cowboys had against Indiana in the 2007 Insight Bowl.
The point total also is the most by a team in a bowl game played at the Cotton Bowl.
The point total is the second-most by OSU in a bowl game, trailing only the 62 points against Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl.
Streaks continue: OSU finished the season 8-5, marking the fifth straight season the Cowboys have reached eight wins. That streak is the longest in program history.
Stat check: This year's OSU squad produced the most prolific offense in school history, averaging 547 yards per game.
With three field goals Tuesday, kicker Quinn Sharp concluded his OSU career ranked fourth on the Cowboys' all-time scoring list with 301 points.
Stewart had 56 receiving yards, moving him into the 10th spot on OSU's career list. He now has 1,501 yards in two seasons.
The five touchdown passes by OSU are the most by any team in a bowl game this season. The five passes went to different receivers.
Bowl attendance: The announced crowd was 48,313, the largest in the three-year history of the bowl (the previous two years were as the TicketCity Bowl). The figure pushed attendance at all bowl games this season over the 1 million mark (24 games).
Uniform watch: The Cowboys wore black helmets with the OSU logo, black jerseys and black pants, the same combination used for last year's Fiesta Bowl victory against Stanford.
Celeb sightings: Drew Brees, quarterback of the NFL's New Orleans Saints, was on the sideline for Purdue, his alma mater. Former OSU receiver Dez Bryant, who this week concluded his third season with the Dallas Cowboys, was on the Cowboys' sideline.