The longest touchdown pass ever thrown by an Oklahoma State quarterback in Stillwater came in 2008: Zac Robinson to Jeremy Broadway for 95 yards against Iowa State.
But that’s not the longest pass-and-score in stadium history. Just ask Missouri State coach Terry Allen. He knows.
And here’s why: In 1990, Allen was the head coach at Northern Iowa, a team that traveled to Lewis Field to play the Cowboys in an early season nonconference matchup. Down 7-0 in the first quarter, UNI’s offense was pinned at its own 1-yard line.
So Allen figured his offense might as well air it out. And boy, did it work.
UNI quarterback Jay Johnson narrowly avoided stepping out the back of the end zone and threw a 99-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Kenney Shed — who would go on to play eight years in the NFL.
Allen’s team lost that game 33-23, but the memory of that impossibly long touchdown play sticks with him even today.
“This was one of my first years as a head coach,” Allen said. “I was 31 years old. To have a guy throw a 99-yard touchdown pass at Oklahoma State was pretty cool.”
Allen’s history with OSU doesn’t stop there. He was the head coach at Kansas from 1997 to 2001. And from 2002 to 2005, he was an assistant at Iowa State.
So as the Cowboys prepare for their home opener against Allen and the Bears on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium, Allen took some time to reflect on the Big 12 and preview his team’s daunting task of taking on the Cowboys.
Q: What is your scouting report on Oklahoma State?
A: “Obviously, they played very well against the number-one team in the country with the Heisman Trophy winner. In my opinion, they looked faster than Florida State. That in a nutshell scares you to death.”
How do you assess OSU’s rise to prominence since you coached against the Cowboys?
“It’s probably the storybook tale. I had the opportunity to coach against them in 1990 with Northern Iowa and throughout the years, and they’ve gone from being a struggling team to being one of the marquee teams in the league. It’s reflected in the caliber of players they have on the field and the caliber of facility they all play in.
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OSU & KU during the Terry Allen era
OSU: 8-4, (5-3 Big 12) / KU: 5-6, (3-5 Big 12)
OSU: 5-6, (3-5) / KU: 4-7, (1-7)
OSU: 5-6, (3-5) / KU: 5-7, (3-5)
OSU: 3-8, (1-7) / KU: 4-7, (2-6)
OSU: 4-7, (2-6) / KU: 3-8, (1-7)
The Cowboy defense dominated in this one, forcing four Jayhawk turnovers and allowing just 49 rushing yards. Three OSU players — running back Nathan Simmons, quarterback Tony and running back Jamaal Fobbs — each tallied at least 50 yards.
The stat sheet contradicted the final score in this one. KU outgained the Cowboys in terms of total yardage, 307 to 27. OSU got out front early by blocking a Jayhawk punt and running it 17 yards for a touchdown. The Cowboys also recovered a fumble in the end zone.