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Braving blows: OSU defense shuts down Longhorns in fourth quarter

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Kolby Harvell-Peel tackle

Safety Kolby-Harvell Peel tackles Texas running back Bijan Robinson. 

AUSTIN, Tx- The linemen for Texas are bigger than the ones for Oklahoma State, they usually are.

OSU coach Mike Gundy said as much in his postgame press conference following his teams 32-24-win Saturday afternoon against the Longhorns.

But Gundy also said there was a way the Cowboys could win the battle in the trenches.

“We felt like if we could withstand the blows through the latter part of the third and fourth quarter that we could…start to even some of that out,” Gundy said.

In the fourth quarter, the entire Cowboy defense displayed a chin made of steel and swung some haymakers of its own. The Cowboys defense allowed only one total yard of offense in the final quarter.

The unit grew stronger as the game went on, withstanding the early blows from Texas sophomore running back Bijan Robinson, who rushed for 124 yards in the first three quarters. The Longhorns scored 10 points in the first, 7 the next two quarters and got shut out in the fourth.

The position group responsible for stopping the Longhorns at the point of attack, the defensive line, looked slightly different for the Cowboys. Senior Brock Martin, who dislocated his elbow three weeks ago against Kansas State, made his return to the field.

“(Martin’s) arm is back to normal, but it’s still sore,” Gundy said. “It’s really painful, and he’s one of those guys who loves to play.”

Martin added juice to the line and was on the field for the biggest defensive series of the game.

OSU took its first lead of the day on a 29-yard field goal from Tanner Brown with 4:37 left in the game. After a 9-yard run from Robinson on first down, the Cowboys forced an incomplete pass and runs of negative two and zero yards.

“(Defensive coordinator Jim) Knowles made an excellent call,” OSU senior linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez said of the sequence “(We) lined up and ran through it and did our job.”

OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders iced the game with a 10-yard TD run the ensuing series. It capped off a dominant fourth quarter where the Cowboys outscored the Longhorns 16-0. It was the largest point difference the Cowboys have put up in a quarter this season.

“It's a credit to (strength coach) Rob Glass, credit to our conditioning and credit to our players and their willingness to play right up until the end of the game,” Gundy said.