Gerald Goodridge, News9.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Cowboys were a heavy favorite heading into Austin, but had to hold off a third quarter push for the Longhorns to come away with a 38-26 win over the Longhorns Saturday. The win marks not only the first time OSU has won back-to-back in Austin, but the first back-to-back 6-0 starts for the Cowboys, while Texas falls to 4-2 on the season.
After a three-and-out on their first drive, the Cowboys forced their first turnover of the game as Caleb Lavey intercepted David Ash and returned it for the Texas 22-yard line. OSU went to the ground game on the ensuing drive, with Joseph Randle rushing four times for 27 yards – capped off by a one-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.
Oklahoma State forced back-to-back punts from Texas, but the second punt took an odd bounce and touched and Andrae May, which Texas recovered at the Cowboys' 15-yard line. On the next play, Malcolm Brown took a handoff and went untouched 15 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Two drives later, Texas had a shot and two interceptions but both landed out of bounds. Weeden recovered from the two miscues and connected with Justin Blackmon on a slant for a 15-yard touchdown to take a 14-7 lead.
Texas came away with a field goal on its next drive, but Oklahoma State was able to string together yet another long drive. On a 4th and 1, Jeremy Smith found a big gap in the Texas defense and went 30 yards untouched for a touchdown to take a 21-10 advantage with 30 seconds left in the half.
That marked the 10th consecutive game for Smith with a rushing touchdown.
The fireworks started early in the second half, as Justin Gilbert returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to take a 28-10 lead, tying Perrish Cox for the school record for most kick return touchdowns. Not to be out-done, Fozzy Whittaker returned the ensuing kick 100 yards for a kick as well to bring it back to 11 points.
Those marked the first back-to-back kick returns for touchdowns in FBS since 2005 when Ohio State and Ball State traded return touchdowns.
The Longhorns forced a three-and-out on the Cowboys' next drive and created good field position thanks to a pass interference call for a first down at the Cowboys' 15-yard line. Texas dialed up the statue of liberty play and Brown took the handoff 24 yards for a score to pull the Longhorns within four points.
Oklahoma State managed a field goal on the next drive and Texas appeared to be taking momentum, but after a Texas punt Smith broke off yet another big run on the Longhorns' defense, this time a 74-yard touchdown to put the Cowboys in front 38-24.
Texas strung together a long drive, but was forced to go for it on fourth down. David Ash completed a pass to Whittaker, but he was stopped on the one-yard line for a turnover on downs. On the Cowboys' third down, Weeden threw an interception to Blake Gideon, which was returned for a touchdown, but Weeden stepped out of the back of the end zone before the pass was thrown, resulting in a safety.
The two teams traded three-and-outs, giving Texas the ball on its 17-yard line and the Longhorns moved the ball. However, Daytawion Lowe sacked Ash in OSU territory and forced a fumble, which Cooper Bassett recovered to end the Texas threat.
Jeremy Smith was the star of the day for the Cowboys, racking up 140 yards on seven carries and two scores, an average of 20 yards per carry. It was a comparatively off day for Weeden, completing 22 of his 41 pass attempts for 218 yards and a touchdown, while Blackmon came away with 74 yards and a score on seven receptions. Despite the down day for Weeden, the win moves his road record to 8-0, including back-to-back wins in Austin.
For Texas, Brown carried the team, finishing the day with a career-high 135 yards and two scores on 19 carries, while Ash struggled, coming away with just 139 yards and two interceptions on the day.
The Cowboys will now have to play their second consecutive road game, an 11 a.m. kickoff against the Missouri Tigers in Columbia.