Stillwater News Press

Sports

October 19, 2013

Stewart gives boost in return game, on offense

STILLWATER, Okla. —

When Josh Stewart first set foot on the Oklahoma State campus, he wanted one thing — just to see the field.

He would do anything — volunteer for special teams, spend extra hours watching film or stay up all night studying Oklahoma State’s playbook — in hopes someone would take notice.

“My first goal was to actually play,” Stewart said. “I got that opportunity. Now it’s just performing, doing well for my team and playing the best and hardest I can for my team, and it turns out good sometimes.”

These days it’s hard not to notice the junior from Denton, Texas.

From his school record 95-yard punt return in the first quarter to a interception-saving grab over the top of a TCU defender, Stewart was the lone bright spot in an otherwise stagnant offensive performance for Oklahoma State during Saturday’s 24-10 victory over  TCU.

“Guys that are really good players and experienced, need to make big plays in games to win when you get into conference play,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “Whether it’s (Justin) Gilbert or (Caleb) Lavey or Josh, most of the time history will tell you that they have to make big plays in order to win games when the score is close. When he made that catch it was 17-10 and we needed a big play. We needed somebody to change the game and that’s what he did.”

Stewart never imagined he could be a game changer.

 Even making the catch on an ill-advised throw by Charlie Moore on a reverse, Stewart didn’t realize how big it was.

“I went to the sideline and J.W. (Walsh) said, ‘I don’t think you understand how good of a catch that was,’” Stewart said. “Honestly, when he said it like that, I didn’t realize what I did because I didn’t get to watch the replay. When you just try to make plays for your team stuff like that happens.”

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