Dec. 21, 2012
Purdue vs. Oklahoma State
Jan. 1, 2013 :: 11 a.m. :: Heart of Dallas Bowl :: Cotton Bowl Stadium (92,100 capacity)
TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick and Matt Stinchcomb and Kaylee Hartung)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
National Radio: TBD
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. TBD, XM Ch. TBD
The Final Game
The Oklahoma State Cowboys will conclude the 2012 football season on New Year's Day when they face the Purdue Boilermakers of the Big Ten Conference in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, to be played in the Cotton Bowl. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with ESPNU on hand to televise.
ESPNU will be on hand to televise the game. Oklahoma State will be appearing on ESPNU for just the second time and for the first time since a 2006 game against Arkansas State in Little Rock.
It's very brief. In the only previous meeting between the schools, Purdue was a 33-20 winner over Oklahoma State on Dec. 30, 1997, in the Alamo Bowl. The Boilermakers held a 10-6 halftime lead, but broke open a tight game with a 20-point third quarter. The Cowboys suffered four turnovers in what was their first bowl appearance since 1988.
Oklahoma State is playing a Big Ten bowl opponent for just the fourth time overall and for the first time since 2007. The Cowboys are 1-2 against the league in bowl games with losses to Purdue in the 1997 Alamo Bowl, Ohio State in the 2004 Alamo Bowl and a win over Indiana in the 2007 Insight Bowl.
Purdue At A Glance
Strangers From The Midwest
Purdue enters the Heart of Dallas Bowl with a 6-6 record. The Boilermakers, however, have won three in a row after dropping five straight. Included in their six losses is a 20-17 setback at No. 1 Notre Dame and a 29-22 overtime loss at No. 3 Ohio State. Purdue finished 3-5 and fourth in the Leaders Division - just one game behind eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin. Purdue's current three-game winning streak is the second longest in the Big Ten.
Oklahoma State is just 3-8-1 all-time against the "traditional" Big Ten. That total does not include OSU's history with long-time conference rival and now Big Ten member Nebraska. Despite its relatively close proximity, the Cowboys rarely knock heads with Big Ten opponents.
OSU has only faced six members of the Big Ten and none of them have been lately.
OSU's win over Indiana in the 2007 Insight Bowl was only the second meeting between the schools and the first since a tie in 1930.
OSU is 2-1 against Iowa with all three meetings taking place before 1931.
OSU is 0-2 vs. Michigan with the games taking place in 1926 and 1992.
The Cowboys are 0-2 vs. Minnesota and it's another series that hasn't been renewed since 1931.
Oklahoma State is 0-2 vs. Ohio State with games played in Columbus in 1989 and in the 2004 Alamo Bowl.
OSU has never faced Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State or Northwestern.
Cotton Bowl Memories
Oklahoma State's history with the Cotton Bowl goes back to World War II.
Oklahoma State first played in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1944, in the Cotton Bowl game against TCU. It was a 34-0 win for the Cowboys (known as Aggies at the time) in their first ever bowl appearance.
In 1981, OSU was a 9-0 winner over North Texas in a regular season game played in the Cotton Bowl.
OSU played in the Cotton Bowl Classic again in 2004 (at the conclusion of the 2003 season). In that meeting, OSU came up short against Eli Manning and the Ole Miss Rebels, 31-28.
Regarding other trips to the Metroplex, the Cowboys last played a regular-season game in Dallas in 2004. It was a 59-7 Cowboy win over SMU.
Texans Go Home
Oklahoma State's roster features 66 players from the state of Texas, including 27 players from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex or north Texas. Among those locals are:
Defensive back Yves Batoba is from Keller High School.
Freshman receiver Torrance Carr is from nearby Richardson High School.
Offensive lineman Travis Cross is a product of Plano West High School.
Denton Guyer High School produced defensive end Jimmy Bean, quarterback J.W. Walsh, running back Dominic Ramacher and receiver Josh Stewart.
Receiver Isaiah Anderson is a north Texas product from Wichita Falls High School.
Quarterback Daxx Garman is from Southlake Carroll High School.
Three-time All-America punter/kicker Quinn Sharp is from Mansfield Summit High School.
Rowlett High School produced safety Deion Imade.
Running back Desmond Roland attended Lake Highlands High School in Dallas.
Freshman lineman Michael Wilson is from Aledo High School in the Fort Worth area.
Three-year starter Lane Taylor is from Arlington Martin High School.
Linebacker Lyndell Johnson hails from Plano East High School.
Linebacker Teddy Johnson is from Coppell High School.
Freshman corner Ashton Lampkin and junior receiver Nick Rockwell are from Fort Worth Dunbar High School.
Linebackers Nico Ornelas and Jeremiah Tshimanga are from Richland High School.
Receiver Christian Schroeder is from Grapevine High School.
Defensive end Taylor May attended Plano High School.
Defensive lineman Jarid King is from Plano West High School.
Starting center Evan Epstein is from Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas.
Defensive tackle Daniel Cooley is from Lake Dallas High School.
Punter Michael Reichenstein is from Dallas Jesuit High School.
Fullback Derek Branson is from McKinney Boyd High School.
Starting linebacker Caleb Lavey is from Celina High School.
Receiver Brendan Fagan is from Flower Mound Marcus High School.
Kicker Cody Phillips is from Allen High School.
Oklahoma State will enter the bowl game looking to snap a losing streak. OSU has lost consecutive games for the first time since 2009 when it dropped its regular-season finale and its bowl game. The Cowboys haven't dropped three in a row since 2005.
Oh So Close
Oklahoma State entered the 2012 season in defense of its Big 12 title on the heels of a 12-1 season that culminated with a win over No. 4 Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. The 2012 team battled injuries at an almost unprecedented pace at quarterback and fought through growing pains throughout the roster for a third-place finish in the Big 12 race. And as challenging and rewarding as 2012 was, it was so close to being even better.
The Cowboys dropped a 41-36 nail biter to No. 12 Texas when the Longhorns scored the game-winning points with 29 seconds remaining. On their final drive, Texas converted a fourth-and-seven when a Cowboy stop would have clinched the victory.
At Oklahoma, the Cowboys never trailed and Oklahoma never got even until the Sooners scored a touchdown with four seconds remaining in regulation to push the game into overtime. Oklahoma's points that pushed the game into overtime and an eventual OU win came on a fourth-and-goal.
Oklahoma State's five conference wins were by an average of 21.6 points and its four conference losses were by an average of 7.3 points, including an overtime loss.
The Program Gauge
Oklahoma State's football program has never been healthier.
In 2012, the school set yet another record for season ticket sales, with a final total of 48,876.
Oklahoma State is appearing in a school-record seventh straight bowl game.
OSU has won at least seven games in a season for a school-record seven straight seasons.
The Cowboys have a .500 or better conference record for a school-record fifth straight season.
OSU has not finished below third in the Big 12 race since 2008 and only once since 2007.
The Bowl Streak
Oklahoma State will be making a school-record seventh straight bowl appearance and is in the postseason for the 10th time in 11 seasons. The only hiccup during the current bowl run was in 2005. The Cowboys are 4-2 in bowl games under Mike Gundy. Gundy is the only coach in Oklahoma State history with four bowl wins to his credit.
Oklahoma State is 14-8 all-time in bowl games. That winning percentage is tied for second best in the country among schools with at least 20 bowl appearances, and it is tops among Big 12 schools.
Nation's Top Bowl Teams
Team -- Win Pct.
1. Southern California -- .660
2. Oklahoma State -- .636
2. Ole Miss -- .636
4. Auburn -- .621
5. Florida State -- .615
Oklahoma State began the 2012 season looking to replace a pair of first-round draft picks at the skill positions and several other hardened and experienced veterans from its championship team. When adding the injuries that hit the roster, Oklahoma State quickly became one of the most inexperienced teams in the country.
Twenty Cowboys made their first career start in 2012. Only five schools in the country had more first-time starters than OSU.
Only eight Cowboys who started the Fiesta Bowl game in January are scheduled to start the Heart of Dallas Bowl in January of 2013.
At this writing, Oklahoma State would return 19 starters next season - not including any specialists.
In 2013, the only multi-year starters not returning for the Cowboys will be cornerback Brodrick Brown, linebacker Alex Elkins and offensive lineman Lane Taylor.
Making History At Quarterback
Due to several injuries, Oklahoma State started (successfully) three different players at quarterback. And as a result, the 2012 OSU squad is the first team in Big 12 history and the first in the NCAA since 1996 with three 1,000-yard passers in a season.
Entering the bowl game, J.W. Walsh has thrown for 1,478 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Clint Chelf has thrown for 1,391 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Wes Lunt has passed for 1,096 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Bottom Line
Clint Chelf got 2012 starts against West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor. Wes Lunt started the Savannah State, Arizona, Louisiana, TCU and Kansas State games, while J.W. Walsh started games against Texas, Kansas and Iowa State. In each instance, the starting streak was interrupted by injury. Despite the changing signal callers, OSU's bottom line on offense remains as strong as ever.
OSU's 4,001 passing yards in 2012 represent the second best total in school history, trailing only the 5,034 yards of a year ago.
OSU, as a team, is completing 62.3 percent of its passes.
The Cowboys have 29 touchdown passes in 2012. Brandon Weeden had 37 last season.
OSU is No. 24 nationally in team passing efficiency (149.02).
Each of the Cowboy quarterbacks has won a conference game. Chelf beat West Virginia and Texas Tech. Lunt beat TCU, and Walsh beat Kansas and Iowa State.
Door Number Three
Clint Chelf continues to be a Cinderella story. He began the season third on the OSU depth chart and did not see action in a pressure situation until the trip to Kansas State, which was the eighth game of the season for the Cowboys. His play in Manhattan led to starts against West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Since taking over for an injured Wes Lunt in the Kansas State game, Chelf is 98-of-167 (58.9 percent) with 11 touchdowns, four interceptions and 1,340 yards.
Chelf also rushed for 40 yards against Texas Tech and 63 against Oklahoma.
For the season, Chelf has rushed for 154 yards, including a 38-yard scamper against Oklahoma to set up the Cowboys' first score.
Against the Sooners, Chelf led OSU in passing, was second in rushing (63 yards) and second in receiving with 36-yard catch of a Joseph Randle pass.
Did You Know?
With a bowl game remaining, Oklahoma State's current offense could finish as the most productive (yardage wise) in school history. The current Cowboys average 548.9 yards of offense per game. The school record for total offense per game was set last year with 545.8 yards per game.
The New Trend
Oklahoma State is trying to finish a third straight season with a total offense average in excess of more than 500 yards per game. Prior to 2010, that feat had only been accomplished once in school history. In 1988, with Mike Gundy at quarterback and Barry Sanders on his way to the Heisman, OSU averaged 515.2 yards of offense per game.
Top OSU Offenses
Season - YPG
1. 2012 -- 548.9
2. 2011 -- 545.8
3. 1988 -- 515.2
The Stewart File
In a conference loaded with receivers, Oklahoma State sophomore Josh Stewart became an unlikely candidate for postseason honors. However, his play on the field has made him one of the Big 12 Conference's top performers in 2012.
He is coming off another standout game with 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown at Baylor.
In the loss at Oklahoma, he finished the day with 11 catches covering 150 yards. That total featured a 75-yard TD reception for OSU's longest pass play of the season and a highlight reel, one-handed snag of a Clint Chelf pass that converted a third-and-long into a first down.
He has five 100-yard receiving games this season, including four in his last six games.
Against West Virginia he had his second 13-catch day of the season and his receptions covered a career-high 172 yards. That yardage total was the 21st best in OSU history. He also had a 46-yard TD rush against the Mountaineers.
Stewart already has the fourth best single-season receptions total in school history with 96 and ranks seventh nationally in catches per game (8.0).
Over the last six games, he has 67 catches covering 700 yards with four touchdowns.
He leads OSU in catches (96), receiving yards (1,154) and TD catches (seven).
His season numbers could be much higher. In the season-opening 84-0 win over Savannah State, Stewart had just one catch covering six yards.
Stewart has a reception of at least 25 yards in eight games.
His 1,154 receiving yards rank him eighth on OSU's single-season list and is No. 17 nationally in 2012.
Sophomore Slump Buster
Josh Stewart's 1,154 receiving yards rank third all-time among OSU's sophomore pass catchers. He trails only Justin Blackmon's school and NCAA record of 1,782 yards in 2010, and Dez Bryant's 1,480 yards in 2008.
Oklahoma State entered the season with some experienced receivers who have suffered injuries and some inexperienced receivers who have had some big games. As a result the "stars of the game" have been varied.
Isaiah Anderson became the third OSU receiver this season to score at least three touchdowns in a game with his effort against Texas Tech. Tracy Moore had four TD grabs at Arizona and Josh Stewart had two receiving TDs and a rushing touchdown against West Virginia.
Charlie Moore had a receiving touchdown in five straight games. That streak was snapped against Texas Tech.
Oklahoma State has had a 100-yard receiver in seven straight games.
Century Mark Times Five
For the first time in school history, OSU has had five different players record 100-yard receiving games in the same season with Charlie Moore, Josh Stewart, Blake Jackson, Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson all accomplishing the feat. In fact, Jackson and Charlie Moore have reached the 100-yard mark twice in 2012, while Stewart has done it five times.
The 2012 home season is now in the books, and OSU is 12-1 at Boone Pickens Stadium since the beginning of the 2011 season. That record is the best over two years for OSU since the 1931 and 1932 teams went 11-0-1 at home.
Big 12 Roll
Oklahoma state has been one of the Big 12 Conference's best teams since 2008.
OSU has won 16 of its last 23 Big 12 games, 19 of its last 26, 22 of its last 30 and 24 of its last 34.
OSU head coach Mike Gundy began his career with a 4-12 record vs. the Big 12. Since that time he and the Cowboys have gone 34-16 against the league, raising Gundy's overall Big 12 mark to 38-28.
Big 12 Numbers
Over the last two seasons, as Oklahoma State has gone 13-5 against the Big 12, the Cowboys have been a tough out in Big 12 play. OSU's conference wins have been by an average of 24.6 points and the losses have been by an average of 7.2 points. Two of OSU's conference losses this season have been by a combined eight points. Two of OSU's last five league losses have come in overtime.
Seniors With Class
Regardless of what the bowl game has in store for the current Cowboys, the 2012 senior class will go down as one of the most successful in school history. Entering the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the seniors have a cumulative record of 39-12. That win total is the second best mark ever at OSU, behind only last year's group, which won 41 games.
Seniors Again Next Year
A pair of Cowboys who will not be departing the program as seniors are receiver Tracy Moore and running back Kye Staley. Both of those student-athletes are planning to return next year. Moore suffered an injury at Kansas and qualifies for a redshirt season. Staley has been awarded a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after losing two seasons to injury early in his career.
By the Numbers
If Kye Staley and Tracy Moore return to Oklahoma State next season, it would mean that the three touchdowns scored by Isaiah Anderson against Texas Tech are the only three 2012 touchdowns that won't return for the 2013 season.
Another Win Would...
Another victory in 2012 would...
Give Oklahoma State eight wins in five straight seasons for the first time ever.
Give Oklahoma State 49 wins over the last five seasons, 40 wins over the last four seasons and 31 wins over the last three seasons.
Nifty at 50
Oklahoma State enters the bowl game fourth nationally in scoring with 44.67 points per game after totaling 196 points against its last four conference opponents. The new surge in points comes on the heels of five straight games below 40 points for the Cowboys. In 101 games under Mike Gundy, OSU has...
Scored at least 30 points in 72 games
Scored at least 40 points in 41 games
Scored at least 50 points in 22 games
Scored at least 60 points in eight games
Scored at least 70 points twice
Scored at least 80 points once
Oklahoma State is No. 23 nationally, converting 47.1 percent of its third downs into first downs.
OSU is No. 11 nationally with 26.5 first downs per game.
OSU is No. 5 nationally in red zone offense with 61 scores on 66 trips.
The OSU kickoff return unit is No. 13 nationally, averaging 25.3 yards per return.
Walsh is Back
Oklahoma State redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh returned against Texas Tech in special situations. He rushed six times for three yards (including a sack) with a two-yard touchdown run. He also tossed a two-yard TD pass to Kye Staley to start the Cowboy scoring. He added a two-yard TD run against OU to up his season total to five rushing touchdowns. Against Baylor, Walsh ran for two scores and completed his only pass of the game.
Starting With Starts
Against Baylor, OSU freshman corner Kevin Peterson got his first career start. He became the 20th Cowboy to do so this season.
OSU has started eight different offensive linemen, nine different receivers and three different quarterbacks. On the other side of the ledger...
OSU's defense has eight players who have started every game.
Offensive lineman Lane Taylor leads OSU in total starts with 48.
Four true freshmen have started games this season: quarterback Wes Lunt, receivers Blake Webb and Austin Hays and Peterson at cornerback.
The last time the Cowboys fought the revolving door at quarterback was back in 2005, during Mike Gundy's first year as the OSU head coach. During that season, Donovan Woods started two games at quarterback before being moved to defense, where he became a multi-year starter. Bobby Reid started five games and Al Peña started four games in `05. Peña and Reid both saw action in seven games during the season.
Hays Making Plays
In February, one of the last high school seniors added to the Cowboy recruiting class was Austin Hays. The freshman from San Antonio Reagan High School didn't grab the headlines, but he has become one of the most productive freshmen in the Cowboy class.
In his college debut, Hays had eight receptions for 77 yards with a touchdown against Savannah State, but injury and illness forced him to miss the next three games.
He returned to catch one pass for nine yards in the rain at Kansas and one for nine yards at home against Iowa State.
His lone reception against TCU went for 41 yards and set up a score.
His best game to date has been at Kansas State. He caught a 54-yard TD pass from Wes Lunt in a true-freshman-to-true-freshman connection, and he ended the day with four catches for 81 yards.
He caught three passes for 49 yards against West Virginia, but his 36-yard grab in the fourth quarter helped key a scoring drive that gave OSU a two-touchdown lead.
At Oklahoma, Hays made a 27-yard reception
At Baylor, Hays had five catches for 59 yards.
He leads the Cowboy freshmen with 25 catches covering 365 yards (14.8 yards per catch) and the two scores, despite playing in just nine games.
Hays has now started six straight games.
The Big 12's Best Running Back
As the Cowboys' 2012 season enters its final game, junior running back Joseph Randle has shown for the second straight year why is considered as the Big 12's best running back. A look:
He is the Big 12's leading rusher and No. 17 in the country, averaging 112.6 yards per game.
He is averaging 5.3 yards per carry in 2012 and has reached the 100-yard rushing mark in eight of the season's 12 games. His eight 100-yard rushing games lead the Big 12.
He is seventh among all active players with 40 career rushing touchdowns.
Randle has 40 career rushing touchdowns in 38 college games. The numbers are more impressive when considering he began his career as a backup to All-American Kendall Hunter.
Over the last two seasons Randle has 38 rushing touchdowns in 25 games.
Against TCU, Randle carried the ball 32 times. It was the first time a Cowboy back had 30 rushes in a game since Keith Toston against Colorado in 2009.
Joseph Randle has reached rare Cowboy air. His 2012 rushing total of 1,212 yards means he is just the sixth Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in more than one season. Randle ran for 1,668 yards as a sophomore.
Two-time All-American and 1977 Heisman Trophy runner-up Terry Miller leads all Cowboys with three 1,000-yard seasons.
The Cowboys with two 1,000-yard seasons include Thurman Thomas, David Thompson, Tatum Bell, Kendall Hunter and now Randle.
OSU has now had a 1,000-yard rusher for a sixth straight season and nine in the last 11 seasons.
In his last two games against Oklahoma, Joseph Randle rushed for 113 yards (2012) and 151 yards (2011). He is the first Cowboy to register consecutive 100-yard games against OU since Tatum Bell in 2002 and 2003.
Randle on the Board
Joseph Randle heads to Dallas No. 10 all-time at OSU with 258 career points. He is fourth all-time among OSU's running backs in scoring. He trails only Barry Sanders (second with 330 points), Terry Miller (sixth with 270 points) and Thurman Thomas (seventh with 266 points).
A Look Around
Oklahoma State has reached the 600-yard mark four times in 12 games, despite playing (and starting) three quarterbacks, including two freshmen.
OSU set a school record with 742 yards of total offense vs. Louisiana.
OSU opened the season with three straight games of more than 600 yards of offense for the first time in school history.
Seconding the Motion
Oklahoma State's defense continues to be strong down the stretch of games. OSU has outscored its last seven opponents after halftime, 143-74.
The Fourth Quarter
Over the last seven games, OSU has allowed a total of 38 points in the fourth quarter and has outscored the opposition during that time, 72-35.
The OSU defense has yielded only three fourth-quarter touchdowns since Oct. 13.
Oklahoma State is No. 25 nationally in tackles for loss with 6.83 per game. That total is second in the Big 12 behind Texas (7.13).
Since the beginning of the 2007 season, the Oklahoma State offensive line has been among the best in the country at protecting the quarterback.
Fewest Sacks Allowed (2007-2012)
1. Air Force - 49
2. Boise State - 58
3. Oklahoma State - 68
Two Minute Warnings
Oklahoma State has had a scoring drive of less than two minutes in 39 straight games. In fact, OSU has 43 scoring drives of less than two minutes through 12 games of 2012. The Cowboys also have 29 scoring drives of five plays or less.
Over the last four seasons, Oklahoma State has had a Ray Guy Award winner (Matt Fodge in 2008) and a Lou Groza Award winner (Dan Bailey in 2010). Current Cowboy punter/kicker/kickoff specialist Quinn Sharp is worthy of mention with those Cowboys.
He is the two-time reigning Big 12 special teams player of the year.
He is Oklahoma State's first-ever three-time All-American.
As of print time, Sharp earned 2012 All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association and the Walter Camp Foundation.
Hard to Find
Quinn Sharp is averaging 45.8 yards per punt. That number would rank No. 7 in the country if he had enough punts to appear in the NCAA statistics.
The Net is the Thing
Punting averages are great, but net punting is the bottom line in football. OSU enters the Purdue game No. 13 in the country in that category with an average net of 40.02 yards.
The NCAA's Best
For his career, Quinn Sharp averages 45.8 yards per punt. That number tops all active NCAA players.
Sharp at a Glance
He is a touchback machine on kickoffs. He has 71 this season to lead the country after leading the nation in that category each of the last three years.
Sharp is No. 2 nationally in scoring with 11.67 points per game.
Sharp's career field-goal percentage of 83.93 is second in the country.
Sharp is No. 5 all-time at OSU with 285 career points.
Sharp has 89 career punts in excess of 50 yards, 17 that traveled 60 yards or further and four longer than 70 yards, including a 74-yarder vs. West Virginia.
Sharp leads the country with 2.08 made field-goals per game in 2012.
He has converted all 25 of his career field-goal attempts inside 30 yards.
Sharp has made 25 field goals this season. He had 22 in 13 games in 2011.
He had a string of 15 straight converted field goals snapped against Texas Tech. He did, however, tie a career long with a 51-yarder against the Red Raiders and enters the bowl game having hit 16 of his last 17 field-goal attempts.
The Other Side of Special Teams
Oklahoma State has a great special teams tradition with a long history of standout punters, placekickers and return men. Justin Gilbert's name is firmly implanted as part of that tradition. His 96-yard kick return for a touchdown against West Virginia was the fifth of his career. It's a new school record (breaking the old mark of Perrish Cox) and is tied for the most ever by a Big 12 return man with Brandon Banks of Kansas State.
Gilbert's five career kickoff returns for scores rank second among active players.
For his career he is averaging 26.74 yards per return for 13th among all active players with at least 15 games played.
He has 2,193 career return yards to rank second only to Cox, who had 2,804. Gilbert's career total is the fourth best in Big 12 history.
Gilbert and His Friend
Justin Gilbert's 96-yard TD return against West Virginia came on the heels of Desmond Roland's 80-yard kickoff return for a score at Kansas State. It marked the first time in history that OSU returned a kickoff for a touchdown in consecutive games.
The Zack Attack
OSU junior safety Zack Craig blocked two punts against Texas Tech. It was the first time OSU had blocked two punts in the same game since the 2010 trip to Kansas. Craig picked up the second block and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. It was the first blocked punt returned for a score since Michael Harrison turned the trick in that same Kansas game of 2010.
Zack Craig's touchdown against Texas Tech was OSU's 17th non-offensive score since the beginning of the 2010 season (thanks to OSU radio voice Dave Hunziker, who first started tracking this statistic).
During that span, the Cowboys have four interception returns for scores (including two by linebacker Shaun Lewis).
OSU has six kickoff returns for scores during that time frame (five by Justin Gilbert and one by Desmond Roland).
Zack Craig, Justin Blackmon and Michael Harrison have each scored off blocked punts during the stretch.
Josh Cooper had a punt return for a touchdown.
Richetti Jones, Josh Stewart and James Thomas all scored on fumble returns.
The Young Influence
Oklahoma State has been one of the best teams in the country at forcing turnovers since the arrival of Bill Young as defensive coordinator in 2009. OSU's turnover production has dipped in 2012, but the Cowboys are second in the country in forced turnovers since 2009.
Turnovers Forced (2009-Present)
1. Oregon - 129
2. Oklahoma State - 125
3. Kent State - 122
4. Boise State-121
5. Rutgers - 119
Oklahoma State has been one of America's most successful college football programs since the beginning of the 2008 season.
Since 2008, OSU has 48 wins, tied for ninth in the country.
Since 2009, OSU is 11th with a record of 39-12.
Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Cowboys are ninth with a record of 30-8.
Since the start of 2011, OSU is 19-6 for the 14th best record in the country.
Gundy in Perspective
Head coach Mike Gundy is in his eighth season as head coach at his alma mater. He is 66-35 and was the 2011 national coach of the year (Paul "Bear" Bryant and Eddie Robinson awards). He was named as the 2010 Big 12 coach of the year.
OSU was 12-15 under Gundy after 27 games, but has gone 54-20 since then, including a 39-12 record since 2009 and 30-8 since the opening of 2010.
Gundy is now the winningest coach in school history with 66 wins.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Gundy's tenure at OSU is that he has built the program with three different offensive coordinators and three different defensive coordinators. Three of his former assistants have left Oklahoma State to become head coaches (Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, Larry Fedora at Southern Miss and now North Carolina and Tim Beckman at Toledo and now Illinois).
Under Gundy, OSU has gone to seven straight bowl games (an OSU first) and won at least seven games in seven straight seasons (another school first) and at least nine games in four straight seasons (yet another first).
The 23 wins during 2010 and 2011 are most ever by OSU in a two-year stretch.
Under Gundy from 2008-11, OSU reached the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for a school-best four straight seasons.
Last season, OSU reached its highest ranking ever when it checked in at No. 2 in both major polls. The Cowboys eventually finished third in the final AP poll, USA Today poll and in the final BCS standings.
The Throne Room
The 2012 season marked the first time since 1977 that Oklahoma State defended a conference title. The Cowboys claimed the Big 12 championship last year with an 8-1 conference record. The 12-1 season included a Fiesta Bowl victory over No. 4 Stanford. OSU concluded the year with its highest finish ever in the Associated Press, coaches' poll and BCS Standings (third in all three). Oklahoma State just missed an appearance in the national championship game as Alabama edged out the Cowboys for the second spot in BCS national championship game by the closest margin (between second and third) in the history of the process.
Seniors Among Seniors
Four members of the OSU roster are playing with a college degree in hand. Center Evan Epstein has a degree in business management. Receiver Isaiah Anderson has earned his degree in education, defensive lineman Cooper Bassett has a degree in health promotion and holder Wes Harlan has a degree in business marketing.
A Second Ever
Oklahoma State had some historical numbers at Arizona. The game was the just the second in school history in which the Cowboys had a 400-yard passer (Lunt passed for 436 yards), a 100-yard rusher (Joseph Randle rushed for 123 yards) and two 100-yard receivers (106 for Tracy Moore and 105 for Blake Jackson). The only other time that OSU had four players reach triple digits in those categories was in last season's 66-6 win at Texas Tech. In that contest, Brandon Weeden passed for 423 yards, Herschel Sims rushed for 109 yards, Justin Blackmon had 103 receiving yards and Josh Cooper had 106 receiving yards.