STILLWATER — Midway through the fourth quarter of Oklahoma State’s 36-31 win over Texas A&M on Saturday, Cowboys receiver Hubert Anyiam looked around, and upon seeing no Dez Bryant or Kendall Hunter, he realized he had an opportunity. It was third-and-9 with the football at the Texas A&M 48-yard line, and OSU, holding a slim 29-25 lead, was in the midst of moving the ball down the field. That’s normally the situation where Bryant, the Pokes’ All-American receiver who has been ruled ineligible, is the target for quarterback Zac Robinson. But on this occasion, it was Anyiam. "I knew someone had to make a play,” said Anyiam, who started in place of Bryant against the Aggies. "It was third down, and we needed to (continue to) move the ball.” Seeing Anyiam one-on-one against a defender, Robinson checked to a play to get Bryant’s replacement the ball. The duo connected on an 18-yard pass, and OSU finished the drive with a 1-yard Beau Johnson touchdown. That gave Oklahoma State a 36-31 lead, which would hold up the Cowboys’ Big 12 opener. "We talked about it when the (Dez) situation arose,” OSU co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer said of Anyiam contributing. "This was his time to shine and (either) do it or not do it. And he proved he is capable of doing it. He came up big, with that catch he made.” When Bryant was ruled ineligible last Wednesday for violating an NCAA rule, Anyiam understood a lot of eyes would be on him and the rest of the OSU receiving corps. "The whole time my mindset was to step up,” Anyiam said. "To make the big play and help the team out any way I can, and not (affect the team) negatively with penalties and stuff like that.” As Bryant’s backup, Anyiam saw limited action before Saturday. But Anyiam proved he can hold his own. The Garland, Texas, native was among OSU’s leading receivers with three catches for 58 yards and one touchdown. Clearly, the coaches view Anyiam as a dangerous threat with the ball in his hands. He also had a 13-yard run on an end-around against the Aggies. Robinson looked to get him involved throughout the game. Teammates and coaches have lauded Anyiam’s ability since the preseason, but he hadn’t had the opportunity with Bryant getting the majority of snaps. At 6-foot-1, 200-pounds and with excellent speed, Anyiam is a player OSU will be counting on, not only for the remainder of this season — if Bryant remains ineligible — but in the future. He has the potential to develop into a No. 1 receiver during his final two years in Stillwater. "He’s got speed, size and talent,” Brewer said. "He looked like a guy who could make a play, he just hadn’t had the opportunity to make a play.” If Anyiam (pronounced An-Yum) continues to play like he did last Saturday, he will no longer have to explain how to say his name. As the replacement for Dez Bryant, all eyes were on him, and he stepped up with his best game of his career. "He’s a kid that will rise to the challenge,” Brewer said. "He had the opportunity, and he said, ‘I’m not going to let it slip by.’” Text "COWBOY” to 65360 for your chance to win an official OSU t-shirt and hat. OSU news text updates from NewsOK sponsored by Bone and Joint Hospital.
Missouri at OSU→When: 8:15 p.m. Saturday →Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater →TV: ESPN2 (Cox 28) →Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1