(Tuesday, December 30th)
Final Score: (15) Oregon 42, (13) Oklahoma State 31
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - MVP Jeremiah Masoli ran for three touchdowns and threw for another score, as the 15th-ranked Oregon Ducks overcame an 10- point halftime deficit to defeat the 13th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys, 42-31, in the Holiday Bowl.
Masoli completed 18-of-32 passes for 258 yards with an interception and amassed 106 yards on the ground for the Ducks (10-3), who were making their fourth consecutive post-season appearance and 12th bowl trip in 14 years under head coach Mike Bellotti.
Jeremiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount each ran for a touchdown, while Terence Scott had 125 yards on eight receptions in the win.
Zac Robinson connected on 27-of-50 throws for 329 yards with one TD and two picks for the Cowboys (9-4), who made their sixth bowl appearance in the last seven years.
Kendall Hunter ran for a pair of scores and Dez Bryant led all receivers with 167 yards and a score on 13 grabs, but was hobbled by a left knee injury throughout the second quarter and the entire second half.
Walter Thurmond took the opening kickoff of the third quarter 91 yards to the Oklahoma State three-yard line and Masoli burrowed his way into the end zone two plays later, cutting the deficit to 17-14.
After the teams traded turnovers and punts, Masoli gave Oregon the lead with a 41-yard TD run, then Oklahoma State countered on Hunter's four-yard score with 5:08 to play in the third quarter.
The see-saw battle continued as a 17-yard scamper by Masoli put the Ducks up 28-24 in the waning moments of the frame. Oklahoma regained the lead early in fourth quarter on a one-yard scoring plunge by Robinson, but, like in a heavyweight boxing match, Masoli counter-punched for Oregon, throwing a 20- yard strike to Jaison Williams with 10:26 to play in regulation.
Oklahoma State made a huge goal line stand with just under 5 1/2 minutes left on the clock, but Oregon's defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing series and Blount sealed the victory, hurdling a Cowboys defender and muscling his way to the end zone for a 29-yard TD with 3:01 remaining.
The Cowboys got off to a quick start, registering points on their first three possessions. After Dan Bailey booted a 45-yard field goal, Oklahoma State began its second series in the shadow of its own end zone. However, Robinson found Bryant for a 33-yard touchdown, capping the epic 12-play, 99-yard drive with 4:09 remaining in the first quarter.
Oregon, though, immediately answered, as Johnson followed a convoy of blocks and rumbled down the left sideline for a 76-yard score on the first play of the ensuing series.
The Cowboys then needed to travel only 48 yards following a Perrish Cox 43- yard kick return, and Hunter eventually pounded it in from three yards out to restore a 10-point lead for Oklahoma State with 1:03 left in the opening frame.
It was a tale of missed opportunities in the second quarter. Bailey's 43-yard bid didn't connect, while Oregon's Morgan Flint had a field goal of 38 yards blocked and missed a 46-yarder in the dying seconds.
The Cowboys are 12-7 all-time in bowl games...Oklahoma State appeared in the 1988 Holiday Bowl and current Cowboys' head coach Mike Gundy was the school's signal-caller. Gundy became the first person to ever participate in the Holiday Bowl as both a player and a coach...Robinson had 54 yards rushing...Johnson gained 119 yards on 12 carries and Blount ran for 74 yards...Hunter was limited to just 37 yards on 13 carries...OSU held a large discrepancy in time of possession, 36:26-23:34.
12/31 03:57:15 ET