December 28, 2006

Independence Day: Pokes hold off late Tide run

SHREVEPORT, La. - This time, a close game actually went Oklahoma State's way.

But the Cowboys almost blew a dominating lead before holding on to defeat Alabama, 34-31, in the 2006 Independence Bowl.

A game that was effectively over late in the second half turned into an emotional barnburner, as the Crimson Tide (6-7) surged back from a 31-17 deficit, jumping on some OSU mistakes and riding a wave of momentum during a key stretch of the game.

After a Bedlam 2001-style fade pass from Bobby Reid to Adarius Bowman put the Cowboys up by 14 points, everything was going the way of the team in orange.

Then came the punt.

After a Donovan Woods interception was squandered by the Cowboy offense, Alabama's Javier Arenas posted an 86-yard punt return, which cut OSU's lead to only seven and shifted momentum to the Tide in a big way.

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