STILLWATER, Okla. (ESPN.com news services) -- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy made headlines during the week for his media tirade.
But it was Rhett Bomar's one-time return to the Big 12 that highlighted what turned out to be a quiet night.
Zac Robinson threw for 279 yards and two scores, and Oklahoma
State's defense held Bomar without a touchdown pass for the first
time in eight games during a 39-3 victory against Sam Houston State
on Saturday night.
Adarius Bowman caught eight passes for 141 yards and a score,
and Perrish Cox returned a punt for a touchdown as the Cowboys
(3-2) pulled away in the second half to make Bomar's appearance
little more than an afterthought.
Bomar was playing in the state for the first time since he was
kicked off Oklahoma's team prior to last season for violating NCAA
"He does a nice job of throwing the ball on time and he has a
big-time arm, and he's tough and he runs the ball effectively, so I
was concerned about that," Gundy said. "But I thought we handled him well."
The win ended a long week for Gundy, which began following the Cowboys' win over Texas Tech last Saturday.
The public address announcer introduced Gundy as "America's
head coach," and some fans wore orange T-shirts with the message
"I'm a man. I'm 40. Go Pokes." -- a play on one of Gundy's most
With his son seated in a chair next to him, Gundy was calm and
collected in the postgame this time.
Following last week's game, Gundy was often screaming during a 3½-minute postgame rant that pre-empted any comments about the Cowboys' win over the Red Raiders. He was mostly expressing his disgust over a column written by The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson.
Her column suggested that quarterback Bobby Reid was demoted more because of his attitude than because new starter Robinson was more talented.
Gundy granted an interview with Oklahoma City radio station WWLS and took the unusual step of granting an interview the day before a game to clear the air about his outburst. In the interview, Gundy said he didn't intend to raise his voice and wanted to explain his reason for reacting to Carlson's column.
"It didn't have anything to do with football," Gundy told the radio station. "The majority of it -- people talk about the facts of it -- the facts were it had discussions about the coaches. I know that some of those didn't take place because I'm one of the coaches. And it set me off because it was a personal attack on good kid. That's all there is to it. That's all it was."
Bomar, who threw three touchdown passes and led Oklahoma to a
42-14 win in his only prior game against Oklahoma State, completed
22-of-40 passes for 270 yards before getting replaced on the first
series of the fourth quarter. He had 119 yards passing on a pair of
third-quarter drives that stalled deep in Oklahoma State territory
after the Bearkats (2-2) were already down by 29 points.
"That's the frustrating part," Bomar said. "We knew we'd be
able to move the ball. I have enough confidence in our offense in
that. And we did. A couple plays here and there slowed us down, but
that was the frustrating thing. We just couldn't get in the end
Bomar was sacked twice -- the same amount he'd been sacked in the
Bearkats' first three games -- and came out of the game for one play
after getting his "breath knocked out a little bit" following his
first pass of the second half.
"I didn't look at it any different. Everybody wants to make a
big deal about me coming back to Oklahoma, but it's not like I'm
from here," Bomar said. "So it's just a one-time thing."
Bomar said it was "ironic" that Sam Houston State's schedule
included a game against his former team's primary rival.
"I think they're a solid team," Bomar said. "I have a lot of
respect for those guys. They said some nice things to me after the
game, and I wish them a lot of luck the rest of the year,
especially against that other school here."
Bomar had seemed like even more of a threat considering that
Oklahoma State gave up a school record 718 yards -- including 646
through the air -- in a 49-45 win against Texas Tech last week.
Bomar came in ranked third among Football Championship Subdivision
(formerly I-AA) players with an average of 322.7 yards of total
"He makes his team better, and that's what the great ones do,
in my opinion," Cowboys defensive coordinator Tim Beckman said.
"He gives you a chance, which he did really. In the first half,
they were with us and moved the football on us."
Oklahoma State started to distance itself when Cox fielded a
punt on one bounce, split through a line of blockers and swerved to
the right around punter Michael Capparelli on his way to a 49-yard
score that pushed the Cowboys' lead to 25-3 early in the third
Bowman, who hadn't caught a scoring pass in back-to-back games
for only the second time since he transferred to Oklahoma State,
got behind the Bearkats' defense to catch a 29-yard TD pass from
Robinson for the Cowboys' first score.
After Taylor Wilkins' 29-yard field goal put Sam Houston State
on the board, Robinson hit Dantrell Savage with a screen pass and
Savage followed a pair of blockers into the end zone for an 18-yard
Savage finished with 115 yards rushing on 15 carries. Robinson
was 19-for-28 in his third career start and overcame two
Sam Houston State lost its ninth straight game against Football
Bowl Subdivision teams and fell to 2-21 all-time. And now, the
Bearkats -- and Bomar -- can return to normalcy.
"It's been fun just to be playing football again. I went
through all that crap last year," Bomar said. "We should have
been 3-0 coming into this game. We had a tough loss two weeks ago,
a last-second loss.
"We start conference play next week, so I'm just looking
forward to that."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.