Oregon Surges Past Oklahoma State
by Mike Mitchell
December 30, 2008
Oregon pulled away from Oklahoma State late in the game to win the Holiday Bowl 42-31.
The Cowboys built a 17-7 lead in the first half, but the second half turned into a see-saw battle with five lead changes until the Ducks scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter.
Jeremiah Masoli, a JUCO transfer QB, ran for 106 yards and 3 TD's and passed for 258 yards and another touchdown. But it was LeGarrette Blount's determined 29-yard touchdown run that put the game away with 3:01 to play. Blunt leaped one diving defender and plowed through several others on his way to the end zone.
The two teams combined for 1,034 yards as the Ducks outgained the Cowboys 565-469. Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson threw for 329 and a score, and ran for 54 yards and a TD. COwboy WR Dez Bryant had 13 catches for 167 yards, including a 33-yard TD reception.
The Cowboys missed on two chances to add to their 17-7 lead in the second quarter. One drive ended on a missed 43-yard field goal, and the next ended on downs after reaching the Ducks' 25 and OSU opted not to attempt a 42-yard field goal on 4th-and-2.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy became the first person to make separate trips to the Holiday Bowl as a player and then a head coach. Gundy was the quarterback, and Barry Sanders was the star running back, in the Cowboys' 62-14 romp over Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. SAnders ran for 222 yards and 5 touchdowns in that contest.
Jeremiah Johnson's 76-yard touchdown run for Oregon broke Sanders' Holiday Bowl record of a 67-yard touchdown as the longest run from scrimmage.
It was Oregon's second consecutive bowl win after losing the previous four. The Ducks' bowl record improved to 9-13 while the Cowboys dropped to 12-7.