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By Glen Miller
DALLAS – While many of the Oklahoma State University players have been on bigger stages for the postseason, it was obvious from the opening snap there would be no letdown due to the size and the stature of the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Oklahoma State scored on 10 of its 14 possessions en route to a 58-14 New Year’s Day romp over Purdue in the famed Cotton Bowl. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for OSU as the Cowboys ended the 2012 campaign with an 8-5 record, a fifth straight season with eight or more victories.
The Cowboys set several other records along the way, including the most first-half points (28) scored in the fledgling bowl, which was created to bring a postseason game back to Fair Park after the Cotton Bowl Association moved its prestigious game to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Oklahoma State’s 44-point win moved the Cowboys to 15-8 in bowl games and 5-2 under head coach Mike Gundy. The winning margin is the second largest by a Big 12 Conference school, second only to the 49 in Nebraska’s 66-17 thumping of Northwestern in the 2000 Alamo Bowl.
The 58-point offensive effort lifted OSU over the 50-point scoring barrier for the 23rd time under Gundy’s tenure.
The 58 points was also the most scored by a team in any bowl game at Cotton Bowl Stadium, eclipsing the 55-point effort by USC against Texas Tech in 1995.
OSU’s scoring total is the second highest by an OSU team in a bowl game, trailing the 62 scored by the Cowboys against Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl – with Gundy at quarterback.
Ironically, Gundy helped call offensive plays from the sidelines as OSU racked up 524 yards of total offense. It’s the eighth time this season for OSU to gain over 500 yards in a single game.
That effort lifted OSU’s season average to 547 yards per contest, which set a school record.
After forcing a punt on Purdue’s opening possession, Oklahoma State got a 64-yard return by Josh Stewart down to the Boilermakers 19-yard line. It was the longest such return since Josh Cooper’s 66-yard effort against Troy in 2010. It took OSU four plays to score, with quarterback Clint Chelf hitting Charlie Moore for a 4-yard TD reception.
Chelf added a 7-yard touchdown pass to Blake Jackson with 6:43 left in the first period. Oklahoma State went up 21-0 in the second period as J.W. Walsh rolled out on a fourth-and-one play from the Purdue 16 and passed to Jeremy Seaton in the end zone for the score.
Oklahoma State capped a 14-point second period with a 5-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Smith, which was set up by a 31-yard pass from Chelf to Stewart.
Leading 28-0 to open the third period, OSU needed 51 seconds to score. Purdue’s Robert Marve completed a 1-yard pass to O.J. Ross, who was stripped of the ball by Justin Gilbert. Daytawion Lowe recovered the ball and returned it 37 yards for the touchdown.
Lowe’s touchdown opened up a 17-point third-period effort by the Cowboys. Quinn Sharp kicked a 20-yard field goal (7:15), followed by a 37-yard pass from Chelf to Isaiah Anderson, who made a leaping grab over two defenders in the end zone.
Oklahoma State added 13 more points in the fourth period as Sharp hit from 21 and 42 yards. Walsh added a 37-yard scoring strike to Blake Webb.
Chelf, the game’s Most Valuable Player, completed 17-of-22 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. OSU played all three of its quarterbacks as Walsh was 5-of-7 passing for 86 yards. Wes Lunt completed 1-of-3 attempts for 12 yards.
Oklahoma State threw for 311 yards as Stewart and Joseph Randle both completed passes for a combined 16 yards.
The Cowboys running game added 213 yards led by Randle’s 66 yards off 17 carries. Desmond Roland had nine carries for 51 yards, followed by Smith’s 40 yards on six carries.
Chelf added 14 yards rushing and Walsh 13, while Stewart gained 14 yards on a reverse.
Anderson led all OSU receivers with five grabs for 78 yards. Stewart added 56 yards on five catches and Moore had four snags for 42 yards. Nine players caught passes, including Chelf on a toss back from Randle.
Oklahoma State’s defense held Purdue to 367 total yards and forced five turnovers – three of those fumbles were returned 48 yards. Shamiel Gary and Andrae May picked off passes.
Gary and Lowe led the Cowboys in tackles with seven each, followed by Tyler Johnson, Gilbert and Ryan Robinson with six each. Twenty-four players logged at least one tackle, with Johnson logging two sacks and Caleb Lavey with one.