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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys' Justin Gilbert continues superb senior season with 2 INTs vs. Texas

BY CARTER STRICKLAND, For The Oklahoman Published: November 16, 2013


photo - Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert (4) returns an interception for a touchdown in front of UT's Mason Walters (72) and Kennedy Estelle (77) in the second quarter during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert (4) returns an interception for a touchdown in front of UT's Mason Walters (72) and Kennedy Estelle (77) in the second quarter during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas quarterback Case McCoy took the bait.

And Justin Gilbert took the ball the other way.

“My Deion Sanders move,” the Oklahoma State cornerback called it.

A gamebreaker is what most others might call it. With 30 seconds remaining in the second quarter and faced with a third down, Justin Gilbert picked off a pass from McCoy and broke free for a 43-yard touchdown.

“It turned the tide so fast,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said.

Nearly as fast as Gilbert has turned his fortunes. Less than a year ago Gilbert was a head-scratching case. Speed. Hands. Instincts. An NFL talent. Only he never really showed it.

“Last year I was on him,” Gundy said. “(Defensive corners coach Van Malone) was on him. The media was on him. Everybody was on him for not playing well.”

Maybe it was because Gilbert didn't play so well his junior season – zero interceptions despite quite a few chances – that he didn't try and jump to the next level. (Although, now, some months after his decision to stay was made, Gilbert said in the back of his mind he always felt like he would stay at Oklahoma State.)

Staying has proven to be the correct decision. Gilbert, who added another interception in the third quarter, now has six on the season and is in the top three of NCAA stats in that category. He has also proven to be on of the top kickoff return specialists in the college game.

“What a great example of a young man not listening to outside sources and just worrying about what really matters,” Gundy said. “He has come back and he has played terrific this year. He has played the way he should.”

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