The Cowboys shake off a disappointing Big 12 finish with a rout of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
By ANTHONY ANDRO FS Southwest
DALLAS — Seventeen yards.
That was all that separated Oklahoma State from
Purdue in total offense a minute into the third quarter Tuesday in the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
There was a lot more than that separating the teams on the scoreboard, as Oklahoma State was enjoying a 35-0 lead on its way to a 58-14 rout of the Boilermakers.
Oklahoma State (8-5) came into the game two-touchdown favorites and used its up-tempo pace to overpower a Purdue team that rarely plays against a team with as much offensive weapons as OSU.
"The overall speed of our football team was considerably different," said Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. "That's what made the difference in the football game. We were able to make some big plays, force some turnovers and take advantage of them."
That became clear early as Oklahoma State jumped out a 14-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game on a pair of scoring drives that totaled only 46 yards. A 64-yard punt return from Josh Stewart led to a short field and the first touchdown for Oklahoma State.
Shamiel Gary's interception of a Robert Marve pass on the next Purdue possession put Oklahoma State at the Purdue 26-yard line. Three plays later, Clint Chelf had his second touchdown pass of the game, with Blake Jackson reeling in the 7-yard score.
That was a sign of things of come as the
Cowboys continued the onslaught, leading 28-0 at halftime and 45-7 after three quarters.
The Cowboys took any drama out of the game early, but at least they kept things interesting by varying things up.
Want a touchdown pass from backup quarterback
J.W. Walsh? That came on a fourth-down play early in the second quarter with Walsh hitting a wide-open
Jeremy Seaton from 16 yards out.
Need to see the long bomb? The Cowboys obliged with a couple of those, with Chelf throwing his third and final touchdown of the game on a perfect pass to Isaiah Anderson for a 37-yard strike in the third quarter. Walsh also added a 37-yard pass to
Oklahoma State fans who were disappointed not to see a defensive score by the Cowboys this year were also rewarded. Daytawion Lowe scooped up a fumble early in the fourth quarter and returned it 37 yards for a score that put the Cowboys up 35-0.
About the only thing missing for the Cowboys was a gadget-play score, and it wasn't for lack of effort. Leading 45-7, the Cowboys missed out on a touchdown on a halfback pass to Anderson when he was brought down at the Purdue 5-yard line. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal on that drive.
Chelf, who started the season as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, capped his junior season by being named the game's most valuable player. He completed 17 of 22 passes for 197 yards and didn't throw an interception.
Gundy said that Chelf would start spring football as the No. 1 quarterback over Walsh and Wes Lunt, who also played Tuesday. Chelf will have a hard time topping Tuesday's performance the next time he takes the field.
"It's extremely surreal," Chelf said of his season-long rise. "That's just a symbol of the guys around me. The offensive line played well today. The receivers chipped in. We had a good punt return. The defense gave us a short field. We just tried to go out and capitalize on that."
While the Cowboys were trying to vary things up, Purdue (6-7) was consistently bad on a 42-degree day in Dallas. The Boilermakers fumbled six times and lost three of them. Marve had two passes intercepted and also got sacked three times.
It certainly wasn't the kind of performance the Big Ten wanted in a matchup against one of the nation's elite conferences, the Big 12. Purdue interim head coach Patrick Higgins knew his team was in trouble early.
"Any time you put an offense like Oklahoma State in that position, they score quickly, that's hard," said Higgins, who will be replaced by new Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. "We needed to keep the field long today. A lot of the conversation's we've had were that we can't turn the ball over. Five turnovers, and that's a lot to overcome."