(Thursday, November 19th)
Final Score: (12) Oklahoma State 31, Colorado 28
Stillwater, OK (Sports Network) - Keith Toston ran for 172 yards and a touchdown and added a receiving score, and the 12th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys -- playing without starting quarterback Zac Robinson -- narrowly avoided an upset with a 31-28 win over Colorado.
Robinson sat after taking a vicious hit at the end of last week's win over Texas Tech, and Brandon Weeden threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 10- of-15 passing for Oklahoma State (9-2, 6-1 Big 12), which kept its slim hopes for a BCS berth alive with its third straight win.
Weeden played only the second half after starter Alex Cate went 0-for-9 passing with an interception in the first half. Perrish Cox added a punt return for a touchdown in the victory.
"At halftime, we felt like we needed a spark, so we made the change and put Brandon in," said OSU head coach Mike Gundy. "Brandon made some nice plays for us. He put us in position and gave us a chance to win the game, which we did."
Tyler Hansen completed 23-of-37 passes for 169 yards and two scores for Colorado (3-8, 2-5), which has lost four of five. Hansen exited for a brief period of time with a thumb injury before returning, and Cody Hawkins threw for 69 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-11 passing in defeat.
"It's real frustrating," Hansen said. "We were so confident in the first half and third quarter, we played real well tonight. It's real disappointing we were that close."
Markques Simas, Scotty McKnight and Riar Geer had a touchdown reception apiece for the Buffaloes. Colorado had just 13 rushing yards in the game.
Colorado, which held the Cowboys to zero passing yards in the first half and led, 14-10, increased its advantage early in the third quarter.
The Buffaloes punted from their own 45 but got the ball back at the OSU 28 after a Cox fumble. Following an incompletion, Hansen lofted a perfect pass over Simas' shoulder for a 28-yard touchdown and a 21-10 lead a little over five minutes into the third quarter.
"Perrish Cox had the big return to start the game; from that point on, not only in special teams, but in all three phases, we were pretty flat for about two quarters," Gundy said. "I was a little concerned about that. Throughout the season in college football, it's difficult to get these guys to play at a high level so many weeks in a row. That's our job as coaches. We have to do a better job of getting them ready to play."
Oklahoma State responded soon after on Toston's 45-yard touchdown run up the middle with four minutes left in the third to make it a four-point game again heading to the fourth.
Colorado couldn't take advantage of two opportunities early in the final quarter, as Aric Goodman missed a 49-yard field goal and a Hansen pass was incomplete on 4th-and-2 from the OSU 28.
After the latter of those two plays, the Cowboys scored the go-ahead touchdown. A personal foul by the Buffaloes helped set up OSU at the opposing 44, and two plays later Weeden lofted a short pass over the middle to Toston, who raced nearly untouched into the end zone for a 24-21 lead with 11:24 to play.
"(Weeden) did play well. Surprised may be the right word," Gundy said. "He's shown signs of that, but he just hasn't been out there enough...He ran around and made a couple plays when protection broke down. Obviously, he gave us a chance to win the game."
The edge was short-lived, as Brian Lockridge sprinted down the right sideline, juked one defender and went 98 yards to the end zone on the ensuing kickoff for a 28-24 Colorado advantage.
OSU answered again with a seven-play, 73-yard drive that was finished when Weeden found a wide open Justin Blackmon in the end zone from 28 yards away to tilt the contest in favor of the hosts once more, 31-28.
Then, Colorado's first turnover came at the worst time, as Oklahoma State's Patrick Lavine ripped the ball from Demetrius Sumler's arms at midfield, giving the ball back to the Cowboys with five minutes left.
The Buffaloes came up with a stop on 4th-and-1 on the ensuing possession, but they couldn't do anything with the ball, either, and punted away with 2:45 left. OSU was able to use Toston to run out the remainder of the clock and seal the win.
The Cowboys' defense made a stop to start the game, and Cox put Oklahoma State on the board without ever letting the offense touch the ball, weaving through defenders for a 67-yard punt return touchdown 2 1/2 minutes into the contest.
Colorado responded by going three-and-out, but it got the ball back at the Cowboys' 47 after Toston fumbled on his first carry. On 4th-and-2 from the 39, Hansen completed a pass to Jake Behrens for eight yards to keep the drive alive, and a 26-yard completion to Simas brought the ball to the five.
Three plays later, Hansen found McKnight in the back of the end zone from five yards away for a score and a 7-7 game midway through the first.
Oklahoma State's offense struggled without Robinson but managed to take the lead on a 30-yard field goal from Dan Bailey with 5:40 left in the opening half. The Cowboys converted a short field, having started from the Colorado 41.
The Buffaloes, though, took the lead before halftime after blocking a 53-yard field goal attempt. Hawkins drove the team 64 yards in 44 seconds, using seven plays, and hit Geer for a five-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining for a 14-10 halftime lead.
Colorado lost its 11th straight true road game and is 2-19 in road games under head coach Dan Hawkins...OSU went 0-for-3 on fourth downs, while Colorado went 1-for-2...Rodney Stewart led the Buffs in rushing with 21 yards on eight carries...Toston had 30 carries...Simas had 11 catches for 90 yards, and McKnight caught seven passes for 71 yards...Toston led OSU in receiving with 45 yards on two catches.
11/20 01:12:27 ET