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October 4, 2008
A&M falls in Stillwater to Oklahoma State, 56-28
STILLWATER, Okla.(AP) Dez Bryant caught three passes for touchdowns and scored another on a punt return, and No. 21 Oklahoma State took advantage of five first-half turnovers in rolling over Texas A&M 56-28 Saturday night.
The Cowboys set a school record by surpassing 50 points for the fourth straight game, with some big help from their defense and special teams. Ugo Chinasa and Patrick Lavine each scored on interception returns as Oklahoma State (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Aggies.
Both of the interceptions thrown by A&M's Jerrod Johnson tipped off receivers' hands. Chinasa was there to catch the deflection for a 6-yard return in the first quarter, and Lavine brought back another carom for a 27-yard score to make it 28-7 just before halftime.
Zac Robinson added a 23-yard touchdown pass to Bryant and a 6-yard TD run in the third quarter for the Cowboys. Robinson finished 13-of-18 for 186 yards with the three passing TDs to Bryant and two rushing touchdowns.
Mike Goodson, who committed to Oklahoma State before choosing Texas A&M instead, scored on runs of 80 yards in the first quarter and 11 yards in the fourth quarter, but missed a stretch of three series late in the first half when the Aggies (2-3, 0-1) still had a chance.
He had his left elbow taped and practiced taking handoffs and keeping the ball secure on the sidelines before returning for A&M's final drive of the first half - after Lavine's score put them in a 28-7 hole.
Bryant then capped Oklahoma State's opening drive of the second half by catching Robinson's 23-yard pass as he fell out of the end zone to add to the cushion.
He added a 19-yard touchdown catch with 12:24 to play to stunt a brief A&M rally and push the lead to 49-21. He earlier had a 29-yard TD catch and scored on a 78-yard punt return, running through an arm tackle and then speeding down the right sideline for the score.
Johnson, making his second straight start in place of injured Stephen McGee, finished with 238 yards on 24-of-43 passing. McGee was in uniform on the sideline, wearing a ballcap.
Oklahoma State came in with the nation's top rushing offense, averaging 340 yards, and figured to have a decided edge against the fifth-worst run defense in the nation. But while the Aggies' defense held Kendall Hunter in check, keeping the nation's third-leading rusher to less than 100 yards for the first time this season, Bryant and the Cowboys' defense picked up the slack.
Hunter ran 21 times for 90 yards, but picked up much of that total as the Cowboys ran out the clock in the final five minutes. That snapped a streak of 15 straight games in which Oklahoma State had a 100-yard rusher.
It didn't matter, though.
The Cowboys returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game for the first time since Darrent Williams pulled it off by himself against Baylor in 2001. Oklahoma State didn't have records showing whether the team had ever scored three non-offensive touchdowns in a game.