|Coach Mike Gundy led the Cowboys to a 58-14 victory over Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. (US Presswire)|
The Oklahoma State Cowboys scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions and it didn't get any better for Purdue. Oklahoma State forced five turnovers, won the battle on special teams and racked up 524 yards as it routed Purdue 58-14 in Tuesday's Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Junior QB Clint Chelf had excellent protection and picked apart the Boilermakers' soft secondary for 197 yards on 17-of-22 passing and three touchdowns. Chelf isn't typically known for his touch, but he showed superior precision on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Moore for the Cowboys' first touchdown and again on a 37-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Anderson late in the third quarter.
Purdue won its final three games just to become bowl eligible, but it wasn't able to find any rhythm through the air to keep pace with Oklahoma State's sixth-ranked passing attack. Quarterback Robert Marve threw two interceptions and the Boilermakers had three fumbles, as the Cowboys scored 24 points off turnovers.
The most costly turnover came on the opening series of the third quarter when Marve converted a third-and-1 pass to O.J. Ross, but Cowboys CB Justin Gilbert jarred the ball loose and S Daytawion Lowe returned it 37 yards to give the Cowboys a 35-0 lead.
Purdue's only effective weapon was RB Akeem Shavers, who finished with 93 rushing yards and four receptions for 54 yards, but once Oklahoma State built its lead, Purdue interim coach Patrick Higgins couldn't rely on the ground game any longer.
When the game turned: Down 14-0, the game was getting out of hand, but the Cowboys subbed in freshman QB J.W. Walsh on a fourth-and-1 from the Purdue 16-yard line and Walsh found TE Jeremy Seaton wide open for the score. Seaton leaked out off of a play-action and Walsh hit him despite throwing off his back foot. The score gave Oklahoma State a commanding 21-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter.
Highlight moments: Oklahoma State punt returner Josh Stewart spun away from four tackles and returned the Boilermakers' first punt 64 yards to set up the Cowboys' first touchdown with just more than eight minutes left in the first quarter. …With the Boilermakers trailing 28-0, Marve converted a third-and-one pass early in the third quarter to Ross, who had the ball stripped by Gilbert. Daytawion Lowe recovered the loose ball on Purdue's 37-yard line and returned it, untouched, for the defensive touchdown. …Chelf hit WR Isaiah Anderson for a leaping 37-yard touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter to give the Cowboys a 45-0 lead. Anderson caught the pass in between two Boilermakers defenders. …The Boilermakers avoided the shutout when Marve connected with TE Brandon Cottom for a 32-yard score just before the end of the third quarter.
Significance of Oklahoma State's victory: The Cowboys lost their final two games heading into the Heart of Dallas Bowl and gave up more than 600 yards in each of them. On Tuesday, the Cowboys let up just 367 total yards, and largely shut down a potentially potent Boilermaker offense. Oklahoma State has a ton of offensive playmakers returning for next season and could be a contender in the Big 12 in 2013 after winning the league last season.
Significance of Purdue's loss: The Boilermakers looked unprepared for Oklahoma State's potent offense and that's largely because they didn't have a head coach. Purdue fired Danny Hope following the season and WRs coach Patrick Higgins was the interim coach for Tuesday's game. Former Kent State coach Darrell Hazell will assume fulltime responsibilities at Purdue after he coaches the Golden Flashes in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6. Speaking to ESPN, Hazell said that he was monitoring the Purdue players' efforts as the game got out of hand.
- OSU QB Chelf: 17 for 22, 197 yards, 3 TDs, no INTs
- OSU QB Walsh: 5 for 7, 86 yards, 2 TDs
- OSU WR Stewart: 5 receptions for 56 yards, 2 punt returns for 73 yards
- Purdue RB Shavers: 14 carries for 93 yards, 4 catches for 54 yards
What they said about the blowout:
- Purdue DB Ricardo Allen to the Journal and Courier: "We embarrassed Purdue and we embarrassed our community. My offseason starts tomorrow."
- Cowboys coach Gundy to ESPN: "I do want to congratulate Purdue. Tough situation they're in without having a head coach. They handled themselves with class all week."
- Gundy: "I'm really happy for our seniors. We had some disappointing games this season and we ended up in a bowl game that some people thought we shouldn't have been in. But our team didn't approach it that way."
What they said about the future:
- Gundy: "We have a large group of young players that are coming back and it could be our best group overall that we've had in a number of years. Maybe not that great marquee guy, we got a couple running backs who are mature, but for the most part, the group is really going to be good."
- New Purdue coach Hazell on ESPN: "You want to see how guys play through adversity and all the little things it takes to win."