STILLWATER, Okla. -- Even without its star running back and wide receiver, No. 16 Oklahoma State got its offense back in gear with Big 12 play just ahead.
Keith Toston ran for 84 yards and three first-half touchdowns, and the Cowboys overpowered Grambling State 56-6 on Saturday night to finish their nonconference schedule.
"It's hard sometimes against these type of teams [when] everybody says you're supposed to win. You can get caught kind of playing down at their level," quarterback Zac Robinson said. "We focused on all week just going out and pretending like we were playing a big opponent and I think we did a good job of handling that and had some big plays."
All-America receiver Dez Bryant and all-Big 12 tailback Kendall Hunter watched from the sidelines as the Cowboys (3-1) piled up 587 yards of total offense, including 321 on the ground, against their only Football Championship Subdivision opponent this season. It was the first time this season that OSU surpassed its average output from last season of 488 yards per game.
Oklahoma State also won by its largest margin since a 59-7 victory over SMU in 2004, the year before Mike Gundy took over as coach.
"After each game, we've known that we made little mistakes here and there and it stopped us from the big play," said Toston, who had scoring runs of 5, 12 and 39 yards. "Actually today, the little mistakes were taken away. I think that's why you saw a lot more big plays."
Freshman Dameron Fooks made the first four receptions of his career and scored twice. He caught a 24-yard toss from Robinson in the first half and walked into the end zone for a 19-yard score from third-stringer Brandon Weeden in the third quarter.
Fellow freshman Jeremy Smith had runs of 69 and 51 yards in the most prolific college debut for an Oklahoma State rusher. He finished with 160 yards on 15 carries and scored his first touchdown on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"That's our future," Toston said. "That's Oklahoma State's future."
The only lingering concern for OSU was a pair of turnovers by Robinson, who threw a first-quarter interception and fumbled a snap to set up the Tigers' first field goal. The Cowboys have has eight turnovers in their past three games, including four in a 45-35 loss to Houston that knocked them from the Top 5.
"You've just got to forget about it," Robinson said. "Those things happen. ... You don't want it to happen, but it's the kind of stuff that you've just got to forget."
Backup Alex Cate replaced Robinson in the second half and also fumbled on his second play from scrimmage. Cate didn't return after trainers attended to him on the field.
Weeden played the rest of the game, with Cate joining a slew of injured starters -- Bryant, Hunter, cornerback Perrish Cox and defensive end Jermiah Price -- on the sidelines. The group had stayed there during halftime to watch as Grambling's marching band performed a tribute to Michael Jackson, including a dance-along to "Thriller."
"I just prefer to talk about the guys who played in the game," said Gundy, who frequently withholds comment on injuries.
The halftime performance was one of few highlights for the Tigers, who had won 12 of their previous 13 games.
Grambling didn't pick up a first down until more than 5 minutes into the second quarter. By then, Oklahoma State had already scored on four of its first five possessions and was up 28-0.
Robinson's fumble, recovered by Derrick Johnson, gave Grambling the ball at the 49-yard line. Greg Dillon then got the Tigers into position to break up the shutout with back-to-back completions and a 14-yard scramble on third down.
Dillon was 8 for 17 for 75 yards but left the game with Grambling facing third-and-4 at the 8-yard line and didn't return to play the fourth quarter.
Ari Johnson had field goals from 38 and 25 yards for Grambling.
Oklahoma State discounted tickets in hopes of selling out Boone Pickens Stadium for the first time since a renovation that pushed capacity to approximately 60,000 and drew a record crowd of 56,901.
OSU also broke its attendance record in the first game of its four-game season-opening homestand, but now has an off week before opening Big 12 play on Oct. 10 at Texas A&M.
"We have a lot of starters and a lot of leaders that are banged up," Toston said. "So, I'm glad the bye week comes right now."
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