By Schuyler Dixon/The Associated Press
DALLAS — Clint Chelf threw three of Oklahoma State’s five touchdown passes and the Cowboys shook off a disappointing Big 12 finish by dominating Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday.
The Cowboys, a year removed from a Fiesta Bowl win that capped the best season in school history, forced five turnovers and had another short touchdown drive after a 64-yard punt return from Josh Stewart.
It was the biggest bowl win for Oklahoma State since coach Mike Gundy was the quarterback in a 62-14 rout of Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. The Cowboys (8-5) missed out on upper-tier bowls after narrow losses in their last two Big 12 games.
With former Purdue quarterbacks Drew Brees and Kyle Orton watching, Robert Mavre didn’t get to 100 yards passing until Oklahoma State led 45-0 as the Boilermakers (6-7) fell to 0-4 on New Year’s Day.
Leading 28-0 at halftime, Oklahoma State erased any lingering doubt three plays into the second half when Justin Gilbert stripped Purdue receiver O.J. Ross on a short completion. The loose ball shot straight to Daytawion Lowe, who ran 37 yards down the sideline in front of the Purdue bench for a 35-0 lead.
Lowe’s score was the third fumble return for a touchdown at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium dating to the namesake bowl game that started in 1937 and moved to Cowboys Stadium in 2009.
Oklahoma State’s 58 points were the most in a bowl game at the Fair Park stadium, topping the 55 scored by Keyshawn Johnson and Southern California against Texas Tech in 1995.
The Cowboys pushed the lead to 45-0 on Chelf’s third touchdown pass, a leaping 37-yard grab in the end zone by Isaiah Anderson, who had 78 yards receiving. Chelf was 17 of 22 for 197 yards before J.W. Walsh replaced him in the third quarter.
Walsh had two touchdown passes, and freshman Wes Lunt, who won the quarterback job in summer workouts before getting hurt during the season, played the last half of the fourth quarter.
Purdue finally scored late in the third quarter when Mavre found a wide open Brandon Cottom for a 32-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Mavre finished 21 of 34 for 212 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions, but was just 11 of 20 for 80 yards before the first scoring drive.
Gundy didn’t hide the disappointment of Oklahoma State’s bowl status sliding with an overtime loss to Oklahoma when the rival Sooners tied the score late in regulation, followed by a loss at Baylor to end the regular season. But the Cowboys seemed motivated enough against the Boilermakers.
Oklahoma State went up 14-0 on a pair of short touchdown drives set up by a 64-yard punt return by Josh Stewart and Shamiel Gary’s interception of a pass tipped by Calvin Barnett. Both scores on came on passes from Chelf.
Purdue answered with its best scoring chance of the first half when Akeem Shavers, who had 93 yards rushing, ran 24 yards to the Oklahoma State 23. After Gary made a strong tackle in the open field on third down, Sam McCartney missed a 34-yard field goal.
The Cowboys then went 80 yards the other way, sparked by a 26-yard completion to Blake Jackson, who had a 7-yard scoring catch earlier. Oklahoma State scored on fourth-and-1 when Walsh, the short-yardage specialist, replaced Chelf and threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Jeremy Seaton.
Trailing 21-0, the Boilermakers were in scoring range again when Marve threw high on fourth-and-2 to an open Kurt Freytag, who got a hand on the ball but couldn’t make a juggling catch.
Purdue’s best moment came on its first possession when interim coach Patrick Higgins ran a fake punt from his 13, and punter Cody Webster easily picked up the first down with a 16-yard run. Webster ended up punting anyway five plays late.