STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- With its quick-strike offense, Oklahoma
State wasn't a bit intimidated by a 16-point deficit.
Dantrell Savage ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and Nathan
Peterson returned a fumble for another score to lead Oklahoma State
to a 41-29 upset of No. 20 Nebraska on Saturday.
"We knew we were capable of winning that game," Oklahoma State
receiver D'Juan Woods said. "We didn't have any doubts."
Savage scored his second touchdown on a 20-yard run on the
second play of the fourth quarter, capping the Cowboys' comeback
from an early 16-0 deficit. It's just the fourth win for Oklahoma
State in 41 games against Nebraska but the second straight for the
Cowboys in Stillwater.
"It's a good day for Oklahoma State," coach Mike Gundy said.
"I'm proud to wear orange."
Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-2 Big 12) also beat the Cornhuskers 24-21
in 2002, snapping a 24-game losing streak in the series. The loss
keeps Nebraska (6-3, 3-2) in a tie for the Big 12 North lead with
Missouri, which lost earlier in the day to Oklahoma. Nebraska hosts
Missouri next week, with the division title likely on the line.
"I am not pleased with our efforts today," Nebraska coach Bill
Callahan said. "We can play better, we can coach better and that
was pretty evident today."
Nebraska, boasting the nation's seventh-ranked scoring offense,
showed no hangover from a last-minute loss to Texas last week and
built an early 16-0 lead on the strength of the best half of
Brandon Jackson's career.
Jackson ran for 66 yards on six carries to set up Jordan
Congdon's 26-yard field goal on Nebraska's opening possession, then
was able to finish off each of the Huskers' next two drives with
scores from 2 and 24 yards. He had 124 yards by halftime,
surpassing his career-high, and finished with 182 yards on 21
But the Cowboys, with the nation's No. 11 offense, weren't
shaken. They turned the game into a shootout with three plays of 45
yards or longer, and eight of 15 yards or more.
"I don't ever feel like I'm out of the ballgame until the other
team's ahead and there's zeros on the clock," quarterback Bobby
Reid said. "Until then, we're just going to keep on playing our
Gundy said he didn't think the Cowboys would have been able to
outscore Nebraska by just lining up and pounding it at the
Cornhuskers. The key was breaking big plays, and offensive
coordinator Larry Fedora got them from all over.
"Coach Fedora I guess pulls a name out of a hat and goes with
it," Woods said. "When you get all of us making plays at one
time, it's a sight to see."
Reid scrambled for 56 yards and then beat Nebraska's blitz with
an 18-yard lob to Keith Toston for a touchdown. Savage added an
18-yard TD to make it 16-13.
Nebraska answered with Zac Taylor's 22-yard pass to Maurice
Purify with 56 seconds left before halftime. That was enough time
for Oklahoma State to get a 39-yard kickoff return from Perrish Cox
to set up a 45-yard score from Reid to Adarius Bowman, the nation's
No. 2 receiver.
After an uneventful third quarter, Reid threw a 55-yard strike
to D'Juan Woods on a double move down the left sideline to start
the fourth quarter, and Savage ran in from 20 yards on the next
play to give the Cowboys a 27-23 lead.
The Cowboys then harassed Taylor, who verbally committed to the
Cowboys out of high school, sacking him before consecutive
incompletions forced a punt. Oklahoma State responded with a
nine-play, 77-yard drive capped by Julius Crosslin's 1-yard dive.
Nebraska had no answer. After missing a field goal on their
first drive after halftime, the Cornhuskers' next drives ended with
four punts and then Taylor's fumble, which Peterson ran back 19
yards to seal the game with 3:16 left.
That ensured Oklahoma State wouldn't give up another
fourth-quarter lead, as it had in both of its Big 12 losses.
"We could have responded much better. There were flashes of
good plays, but other plays where we dropped balls, missed reads
and missed tackles and coverages so we gave up big plays,"
Callahan said. "I was not satisfied at all with what we did in the
second half. It was pretty graphic."
Taylor, who had 241 yards and two touchdowns on 21-for-39
passing, moved ahead of Jerry Tagge and 2001 Heisman winner Eric
Crouch into second place on Nebraska's all-time passing list with
4,718 career passing yards. His second scoring pass was a 5-yarder
to Purify with 7 seconds left.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... OSU's Dantrell Savage scored his second TD of the game early in the fourth quarter, giving the Cowboys its first lead of the game.
Gameball goes to... Savage. The Oklahoma State running back rushed for 122 yards and two scores on 16 carries.
Stat of the game... 4. Oklahoma State's victory Saturday was just its fourth in 41 games vs. Nebraska.