By Jason Elmquist
The Norman Transcript
AUSTIN, Texas — With Oklahoma State needing to win out in order to win its second Big 12 Conference championship in three years, the Cowboys took care of business in their final road game of the season with a 38-13 manhandling of Texas.
Oklahoma State delivered Texas its first conference loss of the season and won for the third straight time in Austin.
“They have some of the best athletes in the country, so to be able to come in here, against a hostile environment, and come out with a win is huge,” OSU linebacker Caleb Lavey said.
Momentum shifted — drastically — in just a matter of minutes right before halftime to propel the Pokes throughout the remainder of the game.
With Texas cutting Oklahoma State’s lead to four with less than four minutes left in the first half, the Cowboys jumped on the Longhorns for two more scores — with some help from the defense.
The Cowboys surgically moved the ball down the field 67 yards on six plays and ate up two minutes of clock before Clint Chelf connected with Tracy Moore from 12 yards out — on a pass that was tipped by the defender guarding Moore, but he still managed to snag it before going out of bounds.
“It wasn’t a difficult catch at all, he slowed the ball down for me,” Moore joked. “He made it easy. It would have been tough if I would have just tried to catch it or tried to knock it down like I should have done.”
With the Longhorns facing some pressure with the OSU touchdown, Texas attempted to put together a quick scoring drive before the break. Instead, the Cowboys scored again.
Justin Gilbert returned his fifth interception of the season 42 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. Gilbert hauled in his sixth interception late in the third.
“Gilbert’s interception was huge. It just turned the tide so fast,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “Our players have been opportunistic. I think it’s because of their tighter coverage and we’re more athletic on defense than we’ve ever been and we’re deeper than we ever have been, so we can keep our guys fresh and let them run to the ball more.”
The Cowboys had gotten out to an early 14-3 lead on the legs of Chelf, who finished with a game-high 95 yards rushing. Utilizing the draw in the opening drives of the game, the senior from Enid scored on runs of 18 and 4 yards to give OSU the advantage.
Texas came out in the second half with a game plan to slow Oklahoma State’s running attack, which forced the Cowboys to return to the air. So Chelf kept pace by completing 16 of 22 for 197 yards — and hooked up with Charlie Moore late in the third quarter for the game’s final score.
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