Despite a sluggish performance by their usually high-octane offense, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were able to hold off the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a 21-3 win Saturday at Houston's Reliant Stadium. The Cowboys were led by an impressive performance by backup quarterback J.W. Walsh.
The defenses dominated for much of the first half, with a Mississippi State field goal and Walsh three-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter accounting for the only scores. The Cowboys opened the third quarter with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, capped with a Jeremy Smith one-yard plunge. Oklahoma State extended their advantage to 21-3 early in the fourth quarter through a second Smith touchdown run, this one from 20 yards out.
Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell was knocked out of the game when he hit his head on a defender's knee while being tackled in the third quarter.
X-rays were negative, but Russell did not return to the game.
For Oklahoma State, the quarterback battle between Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh looks settled. Chelf started, but only attempted six pass attempts in two series before giving way to Walsh. The sophomore finished 18/27 for 135 yards. He also racked up 118 yards on 12 carries. Running back Jeremy Smith added 95 yards on the ground for Oklahoma State.