By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
After a whirlwind week surrounding the Oklahoma State football program, the No. 12-ranked Cowboys took care of business against lowly Lamar Saturday in front of a record crowd of 59,061.
“I think (the fans) have a lot of pride and I think they’ve been waiting for a home game for a long time,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said.
While OSU utilized either the pass game or the run game in the first two weeks of the season, the Cowboys finally got a balanced attack on offense against the Cardinals in a 59-3 blowout victory.
The Cowboys (3-0) ran the ball two more times than they passed, with the running game getting 38 looks for 155 yards — an average of 4.1 per carry — while the air attack garnered 271 yards.
With past struggles inside the red zone, the Cowboys utilized the run game on their first two drives against Lamar.
Junior Desmond Roland punched in a 2-yard run for OSU's first score of the game at the 9:09 mark, while senior Jeremy Smith scored from four yards out less than three minutes later. Smith also punched in Oklahoma State’s third touchdown in the opening quarter with a 1-yard touchdown just before the end of the first.
Oklahoma State would return to the ground game right before halftime to make it 31-0 at the break.
After a 41-yard punt return by Josh Stewart put the Pokes at the Lamar 16-yard line, Smith was handed the ball three times — scoring on the final run from 1-yard.
The Cowboys finally got a non-running touchdown early in the third quarter — but it wasn’t from the pass attack.
The ever-explosive Josh Stewart returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown three minutes into the second half, splitting the punt coverage then beating a trio of Lamar players to the end zone. It was the first true punt return for a touchdown since the 2010 season — Zack Craig had a blocked punt returned for a touchdown last year against Texas Tech.
“It just worked out the way we planned it to,” Stewart said. “... I look for a hole and hit it and sometimes it turns into something big and tonight it did.”
The ground and pound wasn’t as effective midway through the third. Lamar’s defense stonewalled the Cowboys run game inside the 10, but with Gundy electing to go for it on fourth-and-goal from 2 yards out, Blake Jackson hauled in a one-handed grab from Walsh for a touchdown.
It would be Walsh’s only touchdown pass — finishing 17 of 30 for 181 yards passing and interception to go with 45 yards rushing — before backup quarterback Clint Chelf replaced him with 7:19 left in the third and the Cowboys leading 45-3.
Chelf, an Enid native, got plenty of work to close out the contest for the Cowboys. The former starter went 6 for 6 for 90 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing the ball three times for 23 yards and a touchdown.
Oklahoma State will have its first of three bye weeks coming up, with the Cowboys next contest being a road trip to West Virginia on Sept. 28.