Smith keys No. 13 Cowboys win over Miss St
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Jeremy Smith had two second-half touchdown runs to back the stifling efforts of the Oklahoma State defense, as the 13th-ranked Cowboys posted a 21-3 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the 2013 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff at Reliant Stadium.
Smith finished with 102 yards on 15 carries for the Cowboys (1-0), while J.W. Walsh completed 18-of-27 passes for 135 yards and added a touchdown on a quarterback keeper. Walsh totaled 125 yards on the ground.
Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell threw for 133 yards before departing late in the third quarter after absorbing a blow to the head.
"I think Tyler overall is going to be okay," said Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullens. "He was responsive. Obviously, anytime you have that type of head/neck issues, you're going to be very, very cautious."
The Bulldogs (0-1) opened the game by marching inside the Oklahoma State 20, but the Cowboys defense made the red zone stop and forced Mississippi State to settle for a 40-yard Devon Bell field goal.
Four consecutive runs by LaDarius Perkins to begin the Bulldogs' second drive advanced the ball to the Oklahoma 37-yard line. Russell dropped back to throw on the next play and had a tipped pass picked off by Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert.
The Cowboys failed to capitalize on the turnover. In fact, each of their first five possessions resulted in a punt before Walsh ignited a scoring drive with his legs.
Facing a 3rd-and-1 from his own 40, Walsh, who took over running the offense after signal-caller Clint Chelf was on the field for the team's first two drives, got a key block on the edge to spring him for a 46-yard dash down the left sideline. Later, Walsh faked a handoff and carried the ball into the end zone from three yards out with 2:16 remaining in the second quarter.
"Yes, he will be our starter in the next game," Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said about Walsh. "We had plans to play him in the third series. We weren't very good in the first two obviously and then when J.W. came in he kind of gave us a spark and we certainly could make an adjustment at that time so we just continued to move forward from that point."
Jameon Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards for Mississippi State, but the drive ended with Russell being sacked on fourth down at the OSU 44.
The Cowboys, following a 21-yard reception by Josh Stewart on third down, had enough time remaining to attempt a 49-yard Ben Grogan field goal that was blocked and nearly returned for a touchdown on the final play of the first half.
Oklahoma State put together a touchdown drive to begin the third quarter, with Smith's 1-yard score capping the 11-play sequence.
The Cowboys' third second-half possession bled into the fourth quarter, and Smith made his way to the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown.
Oklahoma State improved to 9-1 in its last 10 games against current members of the SEC ... The Bulldogs have dropped six straight to ranked teams in season openers ... The Cowboys were the highest-ranked team from the Big 12 in the AP preseason poll ... Oklahoma State played its first game at Reliant Stadium since the 2002 Houston Bowl ... Both schools posted 8-5 records last season ... This marked the fifth meeting between the schools. Oklahoma State and Mississippi State split the previous four.
08/31 21:07:53 ET