(Saturday, September 12th)
Final Score: Houston 45, (5) Oklahoma State 35
Stillwater, OK (Sports Network) - Case Keenum threw for three touchdowns and connected with Bryce Beall on a six-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter, as Houston upset fifth-ranked Oklahoma State, 45-35, at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Keenum connected on 32-of-46 passes for 366 yards and an interception for the Cougars (2-0), who blew out Northwestern State in the season-opener, 55-7. Beall also rushed for 78 yards and a score on 18 carries. Tyron Carrier caught seven passes for 111 yards and a TD.
"It was big, we don't look at the numbers next to the players, we just look at the team and wanted to come here and get a victory. We knew coming in here, having to play the No. 5 team it was going be hard, coach told us that. We just respected our opponent and played hard," Beall said.
Zac Robinson went 18-of-31 for 240 yards, a touchdown, and an interception for the Cowboys (1-1), who won 24-10 over then 13th-ranked Georgia last week. Dez Bryant led the receiving corps with 85 yards on five catches and returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. Beau Johnson rushed for 82 yards on nine carries with a touchdown.
"Ultimately, what it came down to was turnovers. It was the opposite last week. We had the turnovers and they didn't. We had too many offsides and an illegal formation on the punt team. Those are the things we have to correct. We've got to do a better job of that as coaches. We've got to be more disciplined as players and we've got to take care of the football," said Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.
After OSU went ahead 35-31 with 11:22 remaining in the contest, the Cougars put together an impressive drive to take back the lead.
Keenum got the drive started with a beautiful 30-yard pass to Carrier and a 15-yard run by A.J. Dugat later in the drive set up the Cougars at the Oklahoma State seven. On 4th-and-goal, Keenum scrambled around before throwing a pass into the end zone that hit off an OSU defender before landing in the hands of Beall as Houston went up 38-35 with just under seven minutes to play.
"Case told me to stay in, then I saw him scramble and I just ran up the field and saw him scrambling to the right, so I scrambled to the right and saw the ball get tipped up in the air and my eyes opened up wide and all I wanted to do was go up and grab it and I was going to take the hit. All I wanted to do was just grab it and take it down," said Beall of his touchdown catch.
A 26-yard interception return for a TD by Jamal Robinson with just over three minutes to play essentially sealed the victory for the Cougars.
The Cowboys, who trailed by 17 points after 30 minutes of play, came out a much different team in the second half. On its first possession, Keith Toston topped off a nine-play, 62-yard drive with a nine-yard TD run to cut the deficit to 24-14. After stopping Houston's offense, Bryant returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown, cutting the gap to three.
Johnson's 37-yard TD run gave the Cowboys a 28-24 lead with less than four minutes left in the third. The Cougars then put together a drive, which had them set up at the OSU one-yard-line when the period came to an end.
After two straight unsuccessful quarterback sneaks, Beall pushed his way into the end zone on fourth down to give the Cougars a 31-28 edge with 13:40 remaining in the game.
On the ensuing OSU possession, Robinson connected with Josh Cooper on a 22- yard TD pass to put the hosts ahead 35-31.
Houston capitalized on an early turnover to score the game's first points. David Hunter recovered a fumble at Oklahoma State 16 and Keenum scampered into the end zone on the Cougars' first play for the 7-0 lead.
The Cowboys marched down the field on its next turn, but Dan Bailey missed a 37-yard field goal wide left. Houston took over and put together a 13-play, 66-yard drive that ended in a 31-yard field from Jordan Mannisto and the 10-0 score held up for the rest of the period.
Kendall Hunter finished off a nine-play, 63-yard drive with a nine-yard TD run in the early stages of the second stanza to pull Oklahoma State within three. However, the remainder of the half belonged to a determined Cougars squad.
With close to 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the half, Keenum hit Patrick Edwards with a 17-yard TD pass to cap off an impressive nine-play, 96-yard romp to put Houston ahead 17-7.
The Cougars then recovered an onsides kick, and Keenum connected with Carrier on a 32-yard touchdown pass to end a six-play, 62-yard drive and carry a 24-7 lead heading into the locker room.
Houston leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 10-9-1...Last season, the Cowboys won a high-scoring affair, 55-37...The Cougars outgained the Cowboys 512-434...Saturday's win was the Cougars' first against a top-5 team since a 29-15 win at No. 4 Texas on November 10, 1984.
09/12 20:41:26 ET