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October 20, 2012

No letdown for Homecoming

Iowa State came into the game ready to repeat last season's victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but OSU coach Mike Gundy and his team had other plans in mind.

The Cyclones (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) jumped out to a quick lead by scoring on their opening possession to make it a 7-0 ballgame, and they'd end the first quarter up 10-7.

That's where things took a turn, as Oklahoma State (4-2, 2-1) scored 24-straight points to bring home a 31-10 win, and redemption for their only loss of the 2011 season.

Somewhere after the ISU field goal, the defense's switch flipped on and they began playing like everyone expected them to in the preseason. When the second half began, the Cowboy defenders hit anything and everything that was moving and suffocated Iowa State's offense, holding them to 240 total yards while forcing 9 punts.

"I think they just started playing what we called," defensive coordinator Bill Young said. "I hate to say that, but I really do think that. They started playing assignment-sound football and doing their job instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing."

With the defense doing their job, the explosive Cowboy offense had an easy day at the office and turned in an average performance. Their 31 points came against a stingy Iowa State defense, and J.W. Walsh racked up a career-high 415 passing yards, which is the ninth-most single-game total in Oklahoma State history.

His favorite target of the day was wide out Charlie Moore, who grew his legend even more after having a ridiculous spring game performance. Moore hauled in eight catches for 129 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 74-yard double-move route that Walsh dropped into his hands in mid-stride as he shot down the sideline and into the end zone.

"We practice that play a lot," Moore said of his touchdown. "(Offensive coordinator Todd Monken) made the perfect call, and with J.W. getting outside of the pocket, he's going to give me time to make a double-move and get open. Coach made a perfect call and J.W. made a perfect pass."

Outside of those two, running back Joseph Randle had another solid day, rushing for 156 yards and two touchdowns, which raises his season total to 770 yards and eight scores. A lot of his space was due to Walsh's accuracy through the air, which created space for Randle to run against one of the best front seven's in the Big 12.

With the victory, Oklahoma State solidifies itself towards the top of the conference standings and keeps the team in the hunt for a second-consecutive Big 12 Championship.

The Pokes continue their season next week when they host TCU Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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