STILLWATER, Okla. -- Brandon Pettigrew had run more than 50 yards toward the winning score in a wild shootout for the ages. Without knowing who might be tracking him down from behind, the Oklahoma State tight end wasn't about to take any chances.
He dove for the pylon, and the result was the decisive touchdown in a 49-45 win against Texas Tech on Saturday.
"That was my Superman," Pettigrew said.
It took that kind of effort to beat Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, who had the fourth-best passing game in major college football history with 646 yards.
Pettigrew caught a short pass from Zac Robinson and rumbled down the right sideline for the score with 1:37 remaining.
"That was a pretty incredible play for a tight end," offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said. "It was pretty unbelievable for a guy that's 6-6, 260 (pounds) to do what he did with the ball after the catch. He made some people miss and then he took it to the house."
The Cowboys (2-2, 1-0 Big 12) bounced back from a loss at Troy to win their Big 12 opener for only the second time in the past nine years.
Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) had a final chance to win but Michael Crabtree, the nation's leader in receptions and touchdown catches, let a 15-yard pass from Harrell bounce off his hands in the end zone after Oklahoma State cornerback Ricky Price flashed in front of the receiver with 11 seconds remaining.
"I thought we scored, I thought it was a touchdown," Harrell said. "He made a good play. If he hadn't, we win the game."
Price said he "barely got enough on it just to make a difference."
"For him to drop that, I was ecstatic," said Price.
While Texas Tech went to the air with the nation's second-ranked passing offense, Oklahoma State did much of its damage on the ground with three rushers surpassing 100 yards for the first time in school history.
Robinson ran for two scores and threw for another, while Dantrell Savage and Kendall Hunter each added touchdown runs.
Harrell completed 46 of 67 passes with five touchdowns, and he also guided Tech into position for Alex Trlica's 20-yard field goal that gave the Red Raiders a 45-42 edge with 4:49 to play. But after Tech stopped the Cowboys once, the Red Raiders couldn't run the final 2:44 off the clock -- throwing incompletions out of their spread set -- and Oklahoma State scored on its first play from scrimmage after getting the ball back with 1:49 remaining.
"It was pitiful, it was pitiful. It was flat-out pitiful. We're some vaunted offense so we're going to sit here with our arms folded. Oh well, we'll have three lackadaisical plays and then we'll punt and we'll make it the defense's problem," Tech coach Mike Leach said.
"Well, that's incredibly soft and incredibly front-runnerish. There ain't nothing tough about that."
Tech's Danny Amendola caught 13 passes for a career-high 192 yards and a score, and Crabtree caught three touchdown passes, but even Tech's 718 yards of total offense -- the most ever allowed by the Cowboys -- weren't enough to secure the win.
"Unbelievable," Robinson said. "Going from the highest high to the lowest low back to the highest high. It was a lot of ups and downs, but we just kept playing and kept fighting."
Savage ran for 130 yards on 25 carries, Robinson picked up 116 on 13 rushes and Hunter ran 14 times for 113 yards. The Cowboys ended up with 366 yards on the ground.
Savage's score came on a pinballing 4-yard run, Hunter raced through a convoy of blockers for a 46-yard score and Robinson got into the action with a 48-yard dash on a scramble.
Crabtree caught three short touchdown passes from Harrell in the first half and also had a 75-yard grab down the right sideline to set up Shannon Woods' 6-yard scoring run.
But the two couldn't hook up on the one throw when it really mattered.
"If I put it on the other shoulder, he's going to catch that easily and win. ... If I put it a foot on the other side of him, we catch the ball and win," Harrell said. "It's probably my fault. He played a heck of a game."