Bryant, Hunter shine as Oklahoma St. beats Houston

STILLWATER, Okla. —Dez Bryant had 236 yards receiving and scored four touchdowns and Kendall Hunter rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns as Oklahoma State held off Houston 56-37 on Saturday night.

Oklahoma State (2-0) never before had a 200-yard rusher and receiver in the same game, not even in the four seasons in the 1980s that star wideout Hart Lee Dykes played with running backs Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders.

Bryant and Hunter helped the Cowboys finish with 699 yards of total offense, the second-best total in school history. The school record of 717 was set against Kansas in 1988.

Oklahoma State trailed 16-14 at halftime, but the Cowboys scored on their first five second-half possessions to break open the game against Houston (1-1), which was seeking its first win over a Bowl Championship Series-conference opponent since beating the Cowboys two years ago.

Houston’s Case Keenum completed 35 of 62 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns as the Cougars kept things interesting most of the way but couldn’t overcome Oklahoma State’s initial second-half burst.

Oklahoma State, playing its first game at Boone Pickens Stadium since the addition of a west-end seating bowl, won its 13th straight home opener, the longest streak in school history.

Hunter, a sophomore who carried 22 times, finished with the highest single-game rushing total by an Oklahoma State player since Dantrell Savage had 212 yards last season against Nebraska.

Bryant, also a sophomore, had nine catches and the best receiving game by a Cowboy since Adarius Bowman had 300 yards receiving against Kansas in 2006. He capped his night with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Besides Bryant, only two other Oklahoma State players caught a pass. Zac Robinson finished 14 of 21 passing for 320 yards and three touchdowns.

Keith Toston gave Oklahoma State the lead for good at 21-16 on a 5-yard touchdown run 95 seconds into the second half. After a Houston fumble, Robinson hit Bryant on a 29-yard touchdown pass, and the two connected again on a 74-yard scoring pass, making it 35-16 with 8:47 left in the third quarter.

Houston came no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

The Cougars’ 16 first-half points all came after Oklahoma State turnovers.

Oklahoma State took a 7-0 lead on its third offensive play, with Hunter scoring untouched on a career-long 58-yard run. Then, with the Cowboys poised to take a two-touchdown lead, Robinson then threw his first interception—to Houston’s Brandon Brinkley—into the end zone.

Houston then went 80 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 2-yard scoring run by Bryce Beall.

Another Oklahoma State turnover—a fumble on an exchange between Robinson and Hunter near midfield—led to a 27-yard field goal by Houston’s Ben Bell.

Houston’s Ernest Miller returned an interception 71 yards to the Oklahoma State 5, and two plays later, Keenum hit tight end Mark Hafner on a 6-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point snap went awry, leaving the score 16-7.

Robinson answered with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Bryant 1:23 before halftime. On Houston’s next offensive play, Tyron Carrier took a short pass from Keenum and went 77 yards for an apparent score, but an illegal procedure penalty wiped it out.