Cowboys Defeat Hoosiers in Insight Bowl
Dec. 31, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Cowboys' Zac Robinson threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, leading Oklahoma State to a 49-33 Insight Bowl victory over Indiana on Monday night. A sophomore making his 11th college start, Robinson piloted a near-flawless attack in the first half as the Cowboys scored touchdowns on their first five possession.
"In our preparation, we knew what they were going to line up in pretty much every time," Robinson said. "It was just executing and not turning the ball over."
Robinson completed 24 of 34 passes for 302 yards, and threw an interception. Robinson also ran for 70 yards.
Dantrell Savage ran for 100 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (7-6, 4-4 Big 12), who matched their season-high point total. Dez Bryant caught nine passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
The loss capped an emotional year for the Hoosiers (7-6, 3-5 Big Ten), whose coach, Terry Hoeppner, died of complications of a brain tumor in June. Kellen Lewis passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 83 yards and another touchdown for the Hoosiers in their first postseason appearance since 1993.
"We came here to win and play it to the end, and so we did," Indiana coach Bill Lynch said. "I was proud of our kids about that."
In last year's Insight Bowl, Texas Tech staged the biggest bowl comeback in major-college history on the same field, rallying from a 38-7 third-quarter deficit to stun Minnesota 44-41 in overtime.
"Oklahoma State took it to us in the first half," Lynch said.
The Cowboys spotted Indiana an early field goal, then scored touchdowns on their first five possessions.
"We talked about jumping on them early and getting off to a quick start," Robinson said. "We knew they would be hungry and fired up to play."
Oklahoma State's attack didn't miss a beat without offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, who left for Southern Mississippi after the regular season. Gundy, their former offensive coordinator, took over the play-calling.
"It was a lot of fun being involved with the offense the last three weeks, but you have to give credit to the players," Gundy said. "They made plays."
Most of the plays involved Robinson, a quick-footed product of Littleton, Colo. He gained yards with his arm and his legs.
In the first half, Robinson completed 15 of 20 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns and led Oklahoma State with 64 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
The Cowboys won their second straight bowl and improved to 2-0 in bowls in Sun Devil Stadium, having beaten Brigham Young in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl.
Indiana got off to a good start, taking the opening kickoff and driving 52 yards to set up Austin Starr's 43-yard field goal.
That's when the Cowboys took over.
On their first five possessions, they drove 67, 53, 54, 57 and 63 yards, scoring touchdowns every time. The longest drive lasted 3:07.
The Hoosiers' offense was limited to Lewis, who accounted for all but 10 of their 196 first-half yards.
Lewis also scored on a 1-yard run on Indiana's opening possession of the second half. The touchdown came after the Hoosiers faked a field goal on fourth-and-7 and Lewis hit Starr, who bulled for 9 yards to the 1.
"I have a new appreciation for running backs," said Starr, who hit his 20th and 21st field goals, extending his single-season school record.
Oklahoma State answered with an 80-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to Dez Bryant to push its lead to 42-17.
The Hoosiers made it 42-24 on a 5-yard run by Josiah Sears midway through the fourth quarter.
Lewis connected with James Bailey for a 30-yard touchdown strike with a second to go to cap the scoring. It was Lewis' 42nd career touchdown pass, tying former Hoosiers star Antwaan Randle El for the most in school history.
"We dug ourselves a big hole but we played much better in the second half," Lynch said. "I was really proud of our guys the way they came back in the second half and kept battling."
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