Oklahoma State Football: 5 Greatest Games in OSU History

Bradlee RossCorrespondent IIMay 28, 2012

Oklahoma State Football: 5 Greatest Games in OSU History

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    The Oklahoma State Cowboys have played in some great football games in their history, and picking a top 5 is anything but easy.

    I guess someone has to do it.

    Most of the games are recent ones, especially since the Cowboys have really come into college football's focus over the last decade. However, there will be at least one that is from back in the day. Many will also be bowl games.

    Here are the top five games in Oklahoma State football history.

1987 Sun Bowl

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    The Sun Bowl in 1987 was one that few Cowboy fans will ever forget.

    A snowy and cold Christmas Day game, the Cowboys and their opponents, the West Virginia Moutaineers, put up gaudy offensive numbers in spite of the weather.

    With West Virginia up at the half, Oklahoma State rode their future Hall of Famer, tailback Thurman Thomas, to the end zone to make the score 24-21.

    The Mountaineers extended their lead to three with a field goal, but then Mike Gundy put the Pokes ahead with a touchdown pass.

    Thomas then scored again, putting the Cowboys up 35-27. With just 1:13 left in the game, West Virginia’s Craig Taylor scored on a six-yard run to pull within two.

    Mountaineer quarterback Major Harris completed a pass for the two-point conversion, but his receiver was tackled shy of the goal line to end the game.

2001 Bedlam Game

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    The 2001 Bedlam game was a big game for a couple of reasons.

    First, it was a close competitive rivalry game, something we all love in sports.

    Second, it was probably the turning point in OSU football that set the tone for the decade to follow.

    At 3-7, the Cowboys didn’t appear to have much to play for. They were heading to Norman for their final regular season game.

    The Sooners had a potential national championship berth on the line.

    Cowboy coach Les Miles rallied his troops and inspired them to gut it out against a very good Oklahoma team. The game culminated in true freshman quarterback Josh Fields hitting Rashaun Woods in the left corner of the end zone for the winning touchdown.

    The win gave the OSU program new hope. It kept OU out of the national championship and the Big 12 championship as well.

2004 Cotton Bowl

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    This bowl game was probably the culmination of the Les Miles era in Stillwater. Facing off against an Eli Manning-led Ole Miss squad, the Cowboys narrowly lost 31-28.

    Though the Rebels were unable to stop Rashaun Woods, it wasn’t enough to deliver a victory.

    Woods pulled the Cowboys to within three with 4:38 left, but Ole Miss was able to keep the ball away and run out the clock.

    It was a loss, but it proved that Oklahoma State could compete on a national level.

2011 Bedlam Game

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    This particular game was a blowout, but it was more about its statement that made it one of the best. This game showed that the Cowboys were worthy of consideration among the nation’s best.

    The Cowboys had not beaten the Sooners for nearly a decade going into last season’s Bedlam game. Their 44-10 domination in that game showed that they had had enough of being bullied by the Sooners.

    In that game, the Cowboy defense held OU to just three points through the first three quarters and accumulated 278 rushing yards.

2012 Fiesta Bowl

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    Appearing in their first BCS bowl game ever, the Cowboys looked overmatched at times against the Stanford Cardinals. After falling behind 14-0, the Cowboys fought back to tie the game at 21 at the half.

    After falling down again 28-21, the Cowboys again fought back to tie it up—once at 31 and again at 38. All-American Justin Blackmon cemented his place in Oklahoma State lore, catching eight passes for 186 yards and three scores.

    Thanks in large part to Blackmon's efforts and having a superior kicking game, the Cowboys were able to pull out the close victory in overtime 41-38.

    They completed their best season in program history.