Heart of Dallas Bowl: Oklahoma State trounces overmatched Purdue

DALLAS -- Concerns about Oklahoma State playing with a lingering hangover from a perceived bowl snub were put away as quickly as a famished Old West cowboy devoured frijoles on a chuck wagon.

In other words, not long.

The Cowboys started the New Year more than hungry enough, ending their season by proving their Heart of Dallas Bowl matchup with Big 10 Purdue was indeed the mismatch oddsmakers forecast in a 58-14 victory Tuesday at the Cotton Bowl.

Quarterback Clint Chelf had three touchdown passes, including throws of 4 and 7 yards, during a 28-point, first-half scoring deluge that left no doubt about the Cowboys' frame of mind in a third consecutive bowl victory and fifth in seven straight bowl seasons.

Chelf, who started the season as his team's third-stringer, was the game's MVP with 197 yards on 17-of-22 passing.

Oklahoma State converted four of five turnovers into 24 points. Purdue fumbled six times and lost three, including one returned 37 yards for a touchdown by Cowboys safety Daytawion Lowe.

"Some of the seniors would like to have been in a better bowl," said Chelf, a junior whose team lost its last two regular-season games to fall out of contention for the Big 12 title and then slip down the conference bowl pecking order despite finishing tied for third in the conference. "At the end of the day, you have to win more games to do that."

Coach Mike Gundy admitted in the weeks leading up to the game that his team suffered an emotional letdown.

"It could have been a motivation for some, but we're a highly motivated group," Chelf said. "I think everybody wanted to go out there and prove people wrong, show them that we could win a game like this."

The victory was the Cowboys' biggest in a bowl game since a 62-14 triumph against Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, in which Barry Sanders had 227 yards and five touchdowns.

Oklahoma State churned out a balanced 524 total yards, including 311 passing. In addition to Chelf, J.W. Walsh passed for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

Walsh's 16-yard scoring strike to Jeremy Seaton to start the second quarter put the Cowboys up 21-0. Walsh also had a 37-yard touchdown pass to Blake Webb in the fourth quarter.

Defensive backs Gary Shamiel and Andrae May accounted for the Cowboys' two interceptions, with Shamiel's coming in the first quarter that led to an Oklahoma State touchdown.

"Our defense was really good," Gundy said. "I thought our defense was really opportunistic."

Short fields created by the defense and special teams keyed the Cowboys' onslaught.

Josh Stewart's 64-yard punt return set up the Cowboys' first scoring drive, which lasted four plays and covered only 19 yards, capped by a Charlie Moore touchdown catch.

Shamiel's interception and 8-yard return of Robert Marve's pass led to a 7-yard hookup between Chelf and Blake Jackson to put the Cowboys up 14-0.

The Boilermakers, losers of five consecutive games midway through the season, won their last three games to qualify for a bowl game.

Akeem Shavers, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury, had 93 yards rushing and 54 receiving for Purdue.

Marve had touchdown passes of 32 and 16 yards to Brandon Cottom and Tommie Thomas, respectively.

"We needed to keep the field long," said Purdue interim coach Patrick Higgins, who will step aside as former Kent State coach Darrell Hazel takes over full-time. "Five turnovers. That's a lot to overcome."