WACO, Texas (AP) -- Oklahoma State will soon have to bid farewell
to the best receiver in school history. But the Cowboys may have
found their next great tailback.
Vernand Morency ran for 227 yards on 32 carries, his second
straight 200-yard yard game filling in for injured Big 12 rushing
leader Tatum Bell, to lead the No. 24 Cowboys to a 38-21 win
Saturday at Baylor.
The sophomore had a 35-yard touchdown and set up another score
with a 72-yard run.
"We're fortunate to have depth at tailback," Cowboys coach Les
With Bell and Seymore Shaw both injured, Morency also ran for
269 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas a week ago. David
Thompson in 1996 was the last runner with consecutive 200-yard
games for Oklahoma State, which has produced NFL greats such as
Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas.
Rashaun Woods, an All-American receiver, had six catches for 125
yards and a touchdown in his final regular season game for the
Cowboys. Shawn Willis had a pair of 2-yard TD runs.
Oklahoma State matched a school record with its ninth win in the
regular season. The Cowboys have done that four other times, the
last in 1988.
"We can't wait for a bowl game," Morency said. "We got our
nine wins, we did our job."
If No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 7 Texas both get into the Bowl
Championship Series, Oklahoma State is a top contender to play in
its second Cotton Bowl (the other was in 1944).
"It was a real challenge in less than ideal conditions," Miles
said. "The players stepped up. It was an important win. We look
forward to our bowl game, and we'd like to stay in Texas."
Baylor (3-9, 1-7) ended its first season under coach Guy Morriss
with its seventh straight loss.
"They are still learning. This is all part of the learning
process," Morriss said.
The game was tied at 7-all until Josh Fields threw touchdown
passes on consecutive drives in the second quarter. The second was
a timing pass to Woods for a 16-yard TD to cap a 92-yard drive with
1:48 left in the half.
On a day when the wind was steady at 25 mph with higher gusts,
Fields was just 11 of 22 for 180 yards. But both of his TD passes
were into the wind. Woods had at least two catches for the 43rd
"It was the craziest wind I've ever played in," Fields said.
"We still passed when we wanted to and ran when we wanted to. The
only thing we couldn't do was the fade because the ball would hang
Morency set up Fields' first TD with his 72-yard run, breaking a
tackle at the line and eluding defenders with nifty moves before
being run out of bounds at the 11. After Fields tried twice to
throw to Woods, he found Billy Bajema for the go-ahead touchdown.
The Cowboys got the ball back after Daniel Sepulveda's
wind-aided 62-yard punt, which landed out of bounds at the 8. Four
plays later, Woods made an incredible one-handed catch near
midfield, turning around and grabbing the ball with his
outstretched right hand along the sideline.
"I just reacted and went for it, and got it," said Woods, who
finished the regular season with 66 catches for 1,144 yards and 14
Morency's 35-yard TD run in the fourth quarter capped the
Oklahoma State had a quick 7-0 lead, having to go just 24 yards
on its first drive after Gabe Lindsay's 45-yard punt return. After
Morency slipped for a loss on his first carry, Woods had a 23-yard
catch to set up Willis' 2-yard TD.
Willis' second TD, early in the fourth quarter after Woods'
30-yard catch, gave the Cowboys a 31-21 lead.
Baylor tied the game at 7-all in the first quarter after John
Garrett sacked Fields and forced a fumble. The ball rolled 10 yards
downfield to Willie Andrews, who scooped it up and ran 30 yards for
After Woods' TD, the Bears did manage to score before halftime.
Freshman Shawn Bell threw a 12-yard TD to Robert Quiroga, who also
had catches of 10 and 14 yards on the drive.
Bell, in his second game replacing junior Aaron Karas as
Baylor's starter, completed 21 of 33 passes for 219 yards.
"He played like he did last week, with a lot of confidence,"
Morriss said. "The starting job is his to lose in the spring."
Luke Phillips' 26-yard field goal to cap the opening second-half
drive for Oklahoma State, which has beaten Baylor eight straight