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Smaller Pokes are smacked around by big ol' Sooners

By John Rohde Modified: November 25, 2007 at 2:13 pm •  Published: November 25, 2007
NORMAN — Oklahoma State's regular season ended like it began.

The Cowboys got mashed up front by a much more physical opponent.

The 2007 campaign commenced with a 35-14 loss at No. 13 Georgia, and continued Saturday afternoon with a 49-17 loss at No. 10 Oklahoma.

Things seemed fine in the beginning of both games for OSU, but quickly unraveled after some old-fashioned, smash-mouth football played by the other guys.

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy feared the worst up front this season, and those fears soon became a nightmare.

"This one's pretty easy to explain," Gundy said after being disposed by the Sooners. "We're not physical enough up front ... They lined up and ran the ball right down our throat (for 307 yards). We weren't physical enough nor tough enough up front to slow them down." Never was the front-line mismatch more evident than on OSU's third possession.

Trailing 21-7, the Cowboys had a first-and-goal at the OU 1-yard line.

Two straight handoffs to 230-pound fullback Julius Crosslin in the "Jumbo" package resulted in no yardage. A third-down keeper by quarterback Zac Robinson did the same.

On fourth-and-goal at the 1, Robinson faked an inside handoff and was all by his lonesome as he rolled to his right. Robinson fought for yardage and held the ball out front as if he were trying to fingertip roll a basketball over the rim.

He lost control of the ball just as it was about to cross the goal line. OU strong safety D.J. Wolfe picked up the ball and returned it to the 13.

"I called it the first time, the second time, the third call and the fourth call," OSU offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said of his play selection. "I thought every one of them would get in."

Had Robinson scored, the Cowboys would have pulled to within 21-14 with 6:25 left in the second quarter. Instead, there wound up being a 14-point swing as the Sooners methodically marched 87 yards in 11 plays to make the score 28-7.

"It was huge," OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said of his team's goal-line stand. "What a lot of fun that was. That's what you stand for as a defense, in philosophy and toughness as a football team. You want all your players to rise up when your back's against the wall.

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