BOULDER, Colo. — Oklahoma State scored three touchdowns Saturday night in the Rockies. All three came via elite athletic talent. A 29-yard circus-catch-and-run by Dez Bryant. A 43-yard run by lightning bug tailback Kendall Hunter. A 12-yard scamper by inspired quarterback Zac Robinson. Since Colorado never received the memo that Big 12 football has gone offense-crazy, three touchdowns were enough. OSU, otherwise workmanlike if not lethargic, bested the Buffs 30-17 for the simplest of reasons. Better ballplayers. Time was, the Cowboys had to come to Folsom Field and other perilous venues and try to wangle a victory. Not now. “We've got some skill guys that can make some plays with the ball,” State coach Mike Gundy said. “It does make a difference. Coaching can only go so far. You've got to have some guys that can make plays.” As head coach, Gundy lost his first three games against the Big 12 North. Since then, he's 7-2 against the North, and the Cowboys have eclipsed all but Missouri in talent. And that one's close. Heck, watching the Notre Dame-Navy game earlier Saturday, you realized how much the college football globe has turned. Not only does Oklahoma State have better ballplayers than Notre Dame, it has way better talent. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew, a secondary that can run and break on the ball. Plus the touchdown-makers. Hunter might make all-American. Bryant is all-world. Robinson might be only all-Colorado, but returning to his home state, he played salty, if not always superb. Biggest play of the game: Colorado had cut the lead to 27-17 in the fourth quarter, and OSU faced third-and-9 from its 40. Robinson rolled out, CU cornerback Gardner McKay was in position to make the play and Robinson found a higher gear, bursting to a 10-yard gain that prolonged the drive and burned up a good chunk of clock. Three months ago, this game looked like a tossup. But this week, it looked like a blowout. Colorado was 4-1 at home this year, but other than an overtime win over West Virginia, the Buffs' victories were not impressive. Last-minute nail-biters against Eastern Washington, Kansas State and Iowa State, weak teams all. With a pristine effort, this one would have been a blowout. But the Buffs had much to play for: a bowl berth (they are one victory shy of qualifying), plus it was senior night. And night games at altitude can be scary for a foe. “We wanted to approach it businesslike,” said OSU assistant Doug Meacham, “not look ahead. Just focus on the task at hand.” Meacham was a little emotional after the game. He's an OSU grad and knows how big a turnaround it is to reach nine wins. No Cowboy team has won more in a regular season. “Just a proud moment for me, having a chance to reach 10,” Meacham said, referring to the Nov. 29 Bedlam showdown. With playmakers like this, 10 is quite possible. Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080. Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.