Oklahoma St. 24, Northwestern St. 0
Sunday, September 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State's defense continued to play well, and this time the offense did its part, too.
Aso Pogi, a bit shaky at quarterback in the first three games, threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score Saturday night as the Cowboys beat Northwestern State of Louisiana, 24-0.
The defense, solid in each game, turned in its best performance. Northwestern State was held to 185 yards, about 215 below its average. Quarterback Craig Nall was just 10 of 25 for 67 yards with an interception _ he came in averaging 243 yards per game.
``It was something that had to happen for this football team to progress and get ready for the Big 12 Conference,'' coach Les Miles said.
``The defense played another fine football game, special teams helped a ton and the offense finally came and contributed. We're on track from that vantage point.''
Pogi completed 18-of-23 passes for 195 yards. His favorite target was Rashaun Woods, who had 10 catches for 144 yards.
Pogi had 11-yard touchdown tosses to Woods and Mark Milosevich and scored on a 1-yard sneak. The game was played as a replacement for the Cowboys' Sept. 15 game with Northern Arizona, which was canceled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Oklahoma State (2-2) outgained the Demons 328-185. Northwestern State (3-1) was coming off a 27-24 upset of Texas Christian, but had little luck sustaining drives this time _ the Demons snapped the ball just twice in OSU territory, and one of those was to punt.
``We never made Craig feel comfortable in the pocket,'' Demons coach Steve Roberts said. ``I think if we could have made him feel comfortable that we could have made some big plays like we did last week.''
Nall said Oklahoma State's defensive line overpowered the Demons.
``We knew it was going to be a tough test coming into this, but I don't think we prepared ourselves for this kind of fight,'' he said.
Oklahoma State started its first scoring drive in the second quarter with a 24-yard completion from Pogi to John Lewis, then did the rest on the ground. Eight running plays, six of them by Bell, moved the Cowboys to the 1-yard line where Pogi pushed across for a 7-0 lead.
Northwestern State had to punt on its next drive, and T.D. Bryant returned it 53 yards to the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Pogi hit Woods on an 11-yard scoring pass.
The Cowboys scored on their first drive of the second half, moving 60 yards in just five plays. Pogi and Woods started things with a 37-yard completion to the 23-yard line. Four plays later, Pogi hit the tight end Milosevich for a 21-0 lead.
The only other scoring came on a 20-yard field goal by Luke Phillips late in the third quarter.
The shutout was Oklahoma State's first since beating Southwest Texas State 23-0 in the second game of last season. Northwestern State has been shut out only twice in the past 83 games, most recently in 1999.