No. 25 Oklahoma St 42, Baylor 21

Saturday, November 13th 2004, 8:56 pm
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State always seems to have another great running back on the sidelines just waiting for a chance.

Vernand Morency had huge games filling in for Tatum Bell last season, and Barry Sanders excelled in 1988, one year after Thurman Thomas graduated.

Seymore Shaw was a solid replacement for the injured Morency on Saturday, rushing for a career-best 172 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries to lead No. 25 Oklahoma State to a 49-21 victory over Baylor.

``They say you have to practice hard because you never know when your opportunity is going to come,'' Shaw said. ``My opportunity came and I took advantage of it.''

Donovan Woods threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another as the Cowboys (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) beat the Bears for the ninth straight time.

The Cowboys, already bowl eligible for the third straight season, won handily in rebounding from a disappointing 56-35 loss to No. 6 Texas last week.

Morency, the nation's sixth leading rusher, did not play after having fluid drained from a bothersome knee. He was available, but the Cowboys didn't need him with Shaw's rushing.

``I think it's just the opportunity to rest him,'' Oklahoma State Coach Les Miles said of Morency. ``I don't think there's anything very, very serious. I think you can expect him to play at Texas Tech.''

Freshman Terrance Parks, replacing starting quarterback Shawn Bell, led Baylor (3-7, 1-6) with 18-of-34 passing for 261 yards and touchdowns of 55 and 39 yards. Bell broke his left, non-throwing hand in the first quarter.

Shaw spearheaded a Cowboys' rushing attack that produced 305 yards on 54 carries without its best back against the Big 12's worst rushing defense. Donovan Woods added 70 yards, and fullback Shawn Willis scored two touchdowns.

``They have good backs,'' Baylor coach Guy Morriss said. ``Their fullback is something else, and he was pounding us pretty hard. They just mashed us up front. That's all there is to it.''

Baylor trailed 28-14 and was threatening until Parks' pass to Dominique Zeigler on fourth-and-10 from the Cowboys' 45 fell incomplete with 7:50 remaining.

Willis scored his second touchdown, from 5 yards, on the ensuing drive to put the game out of reach, 35-14, with 4:31 remaining.

With the game in hand, Prentiss Elliott returned a punt 74 yards for a score and caught a 39-yard TD pass for the Cowboys. Parks also found Trent Shelton with a 55-yard touchdown pass.

The Cowboys took a 21-0 lead in the third quarter on Willis' first score, a 2-yard dive over the pile. That followed Woods' 53-yard pass to brother D'Juan on Oklahoma State's fourth play of the game and Shaw's 15-yard run in the second quarter.

Shaw, a senior, had rushed for 195 yards and a touchdown on 45 carries playing behind Morency. His previous best was 107 yards against Southern Methodist last year. Morency was averaging 149.6 rushing yards.

``Seymore has been hanging in there looking to rush the football,'' Miles said. ``When we turn to him, he's always been ready for us. He is a very good player.''

Oklahoma State had lost three of its last four games, to No. 22 Texas A&M, Texas and No. 2 Oklahoma to fall out of the Big 12 North race. The Cowboys squandered a 35-7 lead in the loss to the Longhorns.

Oklahoma State's moved into a tie for fourth place in the division with Texas Tech, which lost in overtime 32-25 to No. 22 Texas A&M. The Cowboys and Red Raiders play Nov. 27.