7:05 PM ET, September 29, 2007
Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
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 rules.
"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 replayed remarks.
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 zone."
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 offense.
"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 quarter.
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 score.
Savage finished with 115 yards rushing on 15 carries. Robinson was 19-for-28 in his third career start and overcame two interceptions.
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.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-18||7-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||0-0|
|TD||10:10||Adarius Bowman 29 Yd Pass From Zac Robinson (Jason Ricks Kick)||0||7|
|FG||06:13||Taylor Wilkins 29 Yd||3||7|
|TD||05:10||Dantrell Savage 18 Yd Pass From Zac Robinson (Jason Ricks Kick)||3||14|
|FG||00:37||Jason Ricks 22 Yd||3||17|
|TD||12:12||Perrish Cox 49 Yd Punt Return (Julius Crosslin Run For Two-Point Conversion)||3||25|
|TD||09:45||Julius Crosslin 2 Yd Run (Jason Ricks Kick)||3||32|
|TD||03:46||Kendall Hunter 9 Yd Run (Jason Ricks Kick)||3||39|