DALLAS — The Oklahoma State football team closed its 2012 season the same way it opened it — in blowout fashion.
The Cowboys throttled Big 10 opponent Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium to cap an up-and-down season on a high note.
“I think the overall speed of our football team was considerably different, and that’s what made the difference in the football game,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “We were able to make some good plays, force some turnovers and take advantage of them.
The Oklahoma State defense manhandled the Boilermakers, shutting out Purdue for nearly three quarters — at which point OSU was already up by 45 just before the fourth quarter.
The Cowboy defense, which was averaging just one takeaway per game during the regular season, came up with five force turnovers — including one returned for a touchdown.
“Our defense was really good. I thought our defense played very opportunistic, meaning there were some times where our players made plays at key points in the game, and we were able to force those turnovers and get off the field,” Gundy said. “I was really happy with those guys.”
OSU’s defense got its first defensive touchdown of the season when Justin Gilbert stripped O.J. Ross and the ball bounced into the arms of Daytawion Lowe, who ran it 37 yards into the end zone. It was the first fumble for a touchdown in the three-year history of the bowl and just the third fumble for a touchdown in 76 games held at the Cotton Bowl.
“I was running over there to try to help (Gilbert) before he got the first down. He made a good play, stripped it down and popped it right into my hands,” Lowe said. “It really was a credit to Justin on that. I just ran it in.”