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Cowboys come back to harvest Nebraska victory

Oklahoma State overcame an early deficit to knock off No. 20 Nebraska at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday.

 

The Cowboys trailed by more than two touchdowns before rallying to win, 41-29.

 

Junior running back Dantrell Savage led the Cowboy rushing attack with 117 yards and two scores. Savage's second touchdown in the fourth quarter completed the comeback and put the Cowboys in the lead for good.

 

The win marks only the second time OSU has defeated Nebraska since 1961.

 

Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-2 Big 12) has now defeated Nebraska (6-3, 3-2) two consecutive times in Stillwater. The first came in 2002 and snapped a 24-game winless streak against the Huskers.

 

"I'm proud of them for coming from behind," Coach Mike Gundy said after the game. "It's a good day for Oklahoma State. As an alum and an ex-player here it makes me proud to stand up here today and say we got it done."

 

Nebraska jumped out to an early 16-0 lead thanks to two OSU turnovers and the play of running back Brandon Jackson.

 

Jackson rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, which silenced most of the orange-clad fans inside Boone Pickens Stadium.

 

Then Bobby Reid made a game-changing play.

 

On the ensuing drive, Reid dropped back to pass but couldn't find an open receiver and scrambled for 56 yards down the sideline to the NU 16-yard line.

 

On the next play Reid threw a touchdown pass to a wide-open Keith Toston.

 

"He changed the game when he kept the ball and went down the sideline and ran for 50 or 60 yards," Gundy said of Reid's scramble. "That changed the game for us at that particular time.

 

"That gave us an opportunity to say 'OK, now we can score, if we stop them we got a chance.'"

 

The defense did just that and after an NU punt, Toston ran three times for 32 yards. Savage finished the job with an 18-yard touchdown run. Ricks' ensuing extra point was successful and drew a loud roar from the orange-clad faithful after his first attempt was blocked.

 

Nebraska answered with a long 78-yard touchdown drive. Zac Taylor threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Purify to extend their lead to 23-13.

 

With just 56 seconds remaining in the first half, NU kicked off to Perrish Cox who made a long return to NU's 45-yard line. On the very next play Reid hit Adarius Bowman on a long pass and Bowman shrugged off two defenders for the touchdown making the score 23-20.

 

"I was in a rushed situation," said Reid who threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns. "I didn't have but like five or six seconds (on the play clock) and I snapped the ball like 'here goes nothing' and AD came open, the line blocked and we scored."

 

Despite such a high-scoring first half, both teams struggled to get anything going in the third quarter which ended scoreless.

 

OSU's offense wasted little time getting back on track. On the first play of the fourth quarter Reid connected with D'Juan Woods on a 55-yard pass and Savage took it the distance on the next play for a 20-yard touchdown run giving the Cowboys a 27-23 lead.

 

"I feel no matter what defense we face we can score on anybody," Woods said. "When everyone starts making plays at the same time it's a sight to see."

 

Julius Crosslin added another touchdown run to extend OSU's lead to 34-23 with 8:05 left in the game.

 

There would be no second half collapse by the Cowboy defense this time.

 

Instead of dropping off defenders into coverage, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford's defense constantly blitzed and attacked Taylor forcing NU to punt.

 

"I was particularly pleased with the way Coach Bedford handled the last six minutes by putting pressure on them," Gundy said. "We went after them and we played well enough in the secondary to do that."

 

On the Huskers next possession, OSU linebacker Patrick Lavine sacked Taylor which forced him to fumble the ball. The fumble bounced to defensive end Nathan Peterson who ran it in for the game-clinching touchdown.

 

"That's a D-lineman's dream," Peterson said of the touchdown. "I knew I should have laid on it probably but I saw the end zone right there you can't turn that down."

 

Nebraska scored a meaningless touchdown in the last 10 seconds to make the final score 41-29.

 

Offensive Coordinator Larry Fedora said the victory did more than just improve their record.

 

"I think this gives the entire Cowboy Nation hope and momentum and some excitement," Fedora said.

 

The Cowboys will look to maintain that momentum in their next game against the Texas Longhorns this weekend.