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OSU's young receivers falter on big stage in Dez Bryant's absence

BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, Modified: November 1, 2009 at 7:19 am •  Published: November 1, 2009

Through four consecutive weeks, Oklahoma State's young receivers rose up in Dez Bryant's absence.

Racked up receptions and touchdowns, ripping through and over Grambling State, Texas A&M, Missouri and Baylor.

Teams that won't remind anyone of Texas.

And on the grand stage Saturday night, a final proving ground for the receivers, no one in orange reminded anyone of Bryant.

In the early going, OSU's wideouts appeared uneasy in the brighter spotlight.

"I'd like to think not, but maybe a little bit," said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. "Their reactions on the sideline was good; their faces were OK.

"But if so, you hope they got that out of their system."

In the first quarter alone, Hubert Anyiam dropped a touchdown pass, Dameron Fooks dropped a third-down conversion pass and Fooks and tight end Justin Horton seemed to trip each other up crossing on a route near the Texas goal line.

With the Cowboys down 10-0, yet driving in UT territory, Zac Robinson fired a throw for Fooks, who let Longhorns defensive back Curtis Brown out-muscle him for position, pick off the pass and race 78 yards for a touchdown.

Anyiam also lost a fumble, putting a bad ending on one catch.

"We've got to be able to make the plays when we get an opportunity to make those plays, explosive plays," said Cowboys co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer. "We didn't come up with those.

"We've got to do a better job in the receiving corps. We knew those guys were going to play us tight, play us press coverage."

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