AUSTIN, Texas -- Mike Gundy says he got plenty of text messages during the week from various people within the program. He sensed unease. His answer: "You sound nervous."
Most, he says, replied, "Should I be?"
It didn't matter what Gundy told them. His team said plenty, answering with a resounding "No,"and beating Texas 33-16 after giving up two late touchdowns in front of a spattering of lefover fans from the 100,659 in attendance at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
"It was our time," Gundy said.
Oklahoma State had been there before. Three times Oklahoma State held big leads at halftime against the squad with a darker shade of orange.
Texas erased them each time. First, the 28-pointer in 2004. Then, the 19-pointer the next year and a 21-pointer in 2007.
On Saturday, Oklahoma State trotted into the locker room with a 23-point lead.
They flew back home with a 17-point win, taking another big step toward a first-ever appearance in the Big 12 title game.
"Texas has had our number for quite awhile, so it's good for the players," Gundy said.
This is not the same Oklahoma State team that spent the last decade under the thumb of Big 12 South powers Texas and Oklahoma. Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter and Brandon Weeden leave no doubt about that. Mack Brown lauded the offense before the week, and told reporters after the game that it was by far the best Oklahoma State team he's seen in more than a decade at Texas.
Granted, this isn't the same Texas team, either. There was no Heisman candidate to run past or throw over this Oklahoma State defense. Colt McCoy and Vince Young are too busy in the NFL to worry about the beatdown their alma mater suffered on Saturday.
"We really struggled offensively," Brown said, a rarity with either McCoy or Young at the helm.
Oklahoma State came to Austin on a business trip and took care of exactly that, dispatching the Longhorns as they have every other team beneath them in the Big 12 South standings. Texas wasn't the team that has tormented the Cowboys, preventing them from leaving Austin with a win 11 times between 1944 and Saturday. They were just another bunch of guys in pads, and another team Oklahoma State beat handily, just as they did against Baylor at home a week ago.
"I feel really good about our team," Gundy said. "I have a lot of confidence in this team and I expected them to play well, but obviously you're in a tough environment. There's 90-something thousand people here and you're competing against guys that are very athletic and anything can happen."
The Cowboys saved the drama for next year.
Blackmon had more than 100 yards receiving early in the second quarter, when he hauled in a gorgeous deep ball over his shoulder for a 67-yard touchdown that gave Oklahoma State an early double-digit lead. He finished with nine catches for 145 yards, continuing his streak of nine consecutive games of more than 100 yards receiving.
"When you have a guy that can make big plays like that, they change games," Gundy said of Blackmon's long score.
The Cowboys have three that can change games.
Weeden threw for 409 yards, his second consecutive week of more than 400.
Hunter ran 23 times for 116 yards, his eighth game of more than 100 yards this season.
"We were due. Oklahoma State was due to make a few plays against Texas," he said.
Gundy called it a "complete game" on offense, defense and special teams.
None of it was strange or new, even if the sight of Oklahoma State at the top of the Big 12 South standings and Texas floundering at the bottom is both.
"This was really special for Oklahoma State," Gundy said. "I'm really happy for our fans, because we want those Oklahoma State followers to wear orange and be proud and stand tall and wave their flag and say they're coming from Oklahoma State.
"I think tonight will help them do that even more so."