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Ole Miss Runs by Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl

Dexter McCluster Runs by Oklahoma State Defenders in the Cotton Bowl (AP Photo) Dexter McCluster Runs by Oklahoma State Defenders in the Cotton Bowl (AP Photo)

Originally Published: Jan 2, 2010 4:53 PM CDT

Vitals | Recap | Box Score | Breakdown

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Turnovers by both teams proved to be the difference, and late turnovers doomed the Cowboys, who fell to Ole Miss, 21-7.

The debate before the game was which high-powered offense would be able to out-duel the other.

The Rebels got on the board first, with an 86-yard Dexter McCluster touchdown four minutes into the second quarter, the only score of the first half, on his way to an offensive most valuable player performance.

Andre Sexton, the defensive MVP of the game, grabbed his second interception of the game in the third quarter, the fourth turnover for Ole Miss. Four plays later Keith Toston completed a jump-pass to Wilson Youman for Oklahoma State’s first score of the game.

“That’s how we’ve been playing all year long. Stopping the run, stopping the pass and mashing people in the mouth on defense,” said cornerback Brodrick Brown. “If someone struggles, the other side of the ball picks them up and tries to change the momentum of the game.”

Robinson threw interceptions on two consecutive drives and mishandled a snap for his third-straight turnover in the fourth quarter.

Ole Miss capitalized on the turnover, and McCluster scored his second touchdown of the game out of the “Wild-Rebel” formation to put the Rebels on top.

“Unforced errors, if you use a term from another sport,” said head coach Mike Gundy. “Hate to give a football game away, but I just felt like we just gave that game away.”

On the ensuing drive, Zac Robinson fired a long pass to Hubert Anyiam, but the sophomore wide receiver fumbled the ball and the Rebels’ Patrick Trahan returned it for a touchdown, putting the final nail in the Cowboys’ coffin.

“When we get it executed like that, try to catch a cheap one it’s frustrating,” said Robinson. “We didn’t quit by any means, but it kind of took something out of us.”

Despite the loss, the Cowboy defense played solid throughout the game, swarming to the ball carrier and hawking passes and forcing five turnovers in the game. The Cowboys defense kept them in the game, but the OSU offense couldn’t match their intensity.

“We try to put ourselves in a chance to win on defense,” said Sexton. “You know it was a great effort by everyone on defense.”

Robinson closed out his senior season in a less-than desirable fashion, going 13-31 for 118 yards, four interceptions and two fumbles, providing a microcosm for the Cowboys’ day in at the Cotton Bowl.

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