It was definitely an “What is he doing?” moment.
As Oklahoma State receiver Josh Stewart pulled in the punt at the Cowboys’ 5-yard line, his decision-making was in question. Yet 95 yards later, Stewart had changed the game with a huge special teams touchdown.
“I didn't realize I caught it so deep,” Stewart said. “As a returner, if you have space, you can't pass it up -- and I had space. I took it and had some great blocking. That's what happens when you practice something all week, and it works out that way in the game."
His punt return was one of several plays by Stewart that helped the Cowboys defeat TCU 24-10 at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday. Stewart finished with 265 all-purpose yards and, quite frankly, looked like the best player on the field against the Horned Frogs. The junior’s outstanding effort makes him ESPN.com’s Big 12 player of the week.
“He very well could have been,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy when asked if Stewart was the best player on the field. “He made a number of plays and made a big-time catch on a reverse pass. Obviously, his return was really good. I would say that it would be hard to disagree with that."
Stewart’s weaving punt return was just one part of the equation. The junior was a tough cover for a TCU secondary that is generally regarded as the conference’s best unit. He finished with 10 receptions for 141 yards including an highlight-reel 27-yard, leaping catch on OSU’s fourth-quarter drive which resulted in a game-clinching touchdown.
“When you hear stuff all week about the level of secondary you will be playing against, it makes me want to make plays for my team,” Stewart said. “I had opportunities, and I just made the best of them."