Lamar routed by No. 12 Oklahoma St 59-3
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP)
There was a key moment, early on, where Lamar coach Ray Woodward figures things could have gone his team's way at No. 12 Oklahoma State, at least for a while.
Instead, the momentum went the other way and he Cardinals ended up getting run over by the Cowboys. The final was 59-3 as the Cowboys used Jeremy Smith's three rushing touchdowns to get things rolling.
The first important play came during opening possession. Lamar moved the ball effectively, gaining 32 total yards to the Cowboys' 43-yard line, but when they went for it on fourth-and-3, Caleb Berry's pass attempt to Reggi Begelton fell incomplete.
''If we could have gotten it, things could have been different,'' Woodward said. ''I don't think you can say that we would have won the football game with one extra first down. It would have been nice to come out and score early, though. I thought that was one of our keys to the game, if we could go down and move the ball early.''
Despite all that, Lamar (1-2) still did fairly well, especially considering that it was Oklahoma State's home opener, which brought in an OSU-record 59,061 fans.
''It was a great experience overall,'' said Berry, who threw for 114 yards on 18 of 38 passing. ''We might not have executed like we wanted to on offense, but our guys played hard and with heart and I'm proud of them.''
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy wasn't exactly thrilled with the performance.
''I thought our guys played OK,'' Gundy said. ''We were a little sluggish and maybe even sloppy at times. Offensively, we were pretty average. It was tough for our players, getting them motivated after halftime. They did OK.''
Oklahoma State has now scored a total of 115 points in its last two games as it heads into a bye week that precedes their Big 12 Conference opener Sept. 28 at West Virginia.
One week after a near-perfect performance in which he completed 24 of 27 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns, J.W. Walsh looked considerably more human. With 17 of 30 passing, for 181 yards and one touchdown, Walsh left the game midway through the third quarter.
''A little disappointed,'' Walsh said. ''There were a lot of times where there were open guys and I just missed them. There were a lot of throws where I'd like to have back. But any time you get a 59-3 win, you can't be too disappointed.''
Oklahoma State enjoyed an outstanding day on special teams, as Josh Stewart totaled 114 yards on three punt returns, including a 67-yarder for a TD early in the third quarter that gave the Cowboys a 38-3 lead.
''We worked all week hard on that punt return and it just worked out just as we practiced it,'' said Stewart, who also gained a team-high 49 yards on three receptions. ''Knowing you have blockers that are going to block for you, it makes it easier on me.''
Oklahoma State took a 21-0 lead before the end of the opening quarter.
The Cowboys needed to punt just once and held a 31-0 lead when Lamar forced Oklahoma State's first turnover of the season late in the second quarter. Branden Thomas picked off Walsh's deep throw and returned it 25 yards to the OSU 30-yard-line. That led to Lamar's first points of the game, a Justin Stout 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
''This is not just a Big 12 team, it's a very good Big 12 team,'' Woodward said. ''It's as good of an offense as I've seen in the country this year.''
Lamar's best chance for a touchdown came early in the fourth quarter when they pushed all the way to the OSU 6-yard line. On a fourth-and-three, the Cardinals opted to go for it, but Berry's pass sailed over Kevin Johnson's head in the end zone.
''We got some exposure for our program,'' Woodward said. ''We got to come up here and see what it's like to play in front of a crowd like this. There are a lot of positives from tonight, but the scoreboard wasn't one of them.''