7:00 PM ET, September 6, 2003
Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Last week, Les Miles was so upset at Tatum Bell that he couldn't even mention his name without wincing.
Saturday night, Miles was all smiles talking about his star tailback.
Bell ran for a career-high 215 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries and fullback Shawn Willis added two more scores, leading Oklahoma State to a 48-24 win over Wyoming.
"Tatum Bell had a big day," Miles said. "I think the offensive line deserves a lot of the credit for some of those yards. They provided some big, gaping holes, but there was some good, hard running as well."
Bell was especially eager to play this week, hoping to make amends for his game-turning fumble in Oklahoma State's 17-7 loss at Nebraska last week. He lost a fumble in the third quarter that was scooped up by Nebraska linebacker Barrett Rudd and returned 15 yards for a touchdown, giving the Cornhuskers a 10-7 lead.
The play upset Miles so much that he was still seething a few days after the game. Bell said he tried to not let that affect him.
"I just played calm and let the game come to me," Bell said. "We tried to establish the run throughout the game, which we really couldn't do last week."
Still, Oklahoma State came out flat in this game, not surprising after dropping out of last week's AP Top 25 and falling behind a game in the race for the Big 12 title.
But Oklahoma State's offense came alive following Gabe Lindsay's highlight reel-worthy 55-yard punt return for a touchdown near the end of the first quarter.
Lindsay fielded the ball at his 45-yard line, took off down the right sideline and cut back all the way across the field to avoid a cluster of defenders. He shook loose Wyoming punter Luke Donovan with one last cut at the 6-yard line before stumbling into the end zone.
It was Oklahoma State's first punt return for a touchdown since 2000, when Lindsay did it against Texas A&M.
"Last game we didn't really do too well on the punt return side," Lindsay said. "We wanted to come out and win the special teams battle and that's what we did."
From there, Oklahoma State put together consecutive scoring drives of 92, 98, 48, 86 and 76 yards, making the score 41-7 late in the third. The scoring only stopped when the Cowboys sat down Bell, quarterback Josh Fields and receiver Rashaun Woods.
"They all did what they were supposed to do," first-year Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said, "and they were a little bit too much for us to be honest with you."
Oklahoma State's 594 yards of offense was the most since the Cowboys had 605 in a win over Southwestern Louisiana in 1998.
Woods finished with eight receptions for 152 yards. On his fourth catch of the game, Woods moved past Hart Lee Dykes to become Oklahoma State's all-time leader in receiving yardage.
The orange-clad crowd of 44,158 stood up and cheered loudly when it was announced that Woods broke the mark.
Meanwhile, Wyoming (1-1) couldn't get much of anything going on offense when the game was still competitive.
Casey Bramlet, who threw for nearly 3,330 yards last season, misfired on his first six pass attempts and 12 of his first 14. He was sacked five times -- three were by Oklahoma State defensive end Greg Richmond -- which is actually down from six the week before against I-AA Montana State.
He finished 17-of-38 for 306 yards and three touchdowns, two to Malcolm Floyd.
"They brought it, they brought everything," Bramlet said. "We didn't pick the blitz up and we got out of sync in the first half. They brought the blitz and we didn't handle it well."
Floyd caught six passes for 116 yards and Jovon Bouknight had five receptions for 115 yards and the other score.
The game was the season opener at newly renamed Boone Pickens Stadium, which underwent a name change to honor the Texas oil tycoon's $70 million pledge to his alma mater. At halftime, hundreds of balloons were released and a few fireworks were set off to celebrate the occasion. Pickens watched on from midfield with his wife and several school officials.
Oklahoma State's stadium had been called Lewis Field since 1914 after the school's former dean of veterinary medicine and of science and literature.
The Cowboys, the ones from Stillwater, have now won nine straight home openers and 29 of the past 35.