SAN ANTONIO — Mason Rudolph passed for 314 yards and three touchdowns and No. 13 Oklahoma State's defense smothered No. 11 Colorado in a 38-8 Alamo Bowl victory Thursday night that gave the Cowboys their fifth 10-win season in seven years.
James Washington caught nine passes for 171 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the third quarter with an apparent hand injury. Rudolph and Washington have already announced they will return for their senior seasons, putting the Cowboys (10-3) among the favorites to win the Big 12.
Rudolph even set up Oklahoma State's first touchdown when he caught a throw-back pass for 24 yards. His 5-yard TD pass to Washington made it 17-0 in the second quarter. Rudolph had scoring throws to Blake Jarwin and Jhajuan Seales in the third to make it 31-0.
Colorado's best season in more than a decade —dubbed "The Rise" — ended with a thud: consecutive losses in the Pac-12 title game and the program's first bowl appearance since 2007.
Sefo Liufau passed for 195 yards and ran for a touchdown for the Buffaloes (10-4), but was sidelined for part of the second and third quarters after limping off after a sack.
Colorado: Thrust into the play-calling role for the bowl game, Colorado's safeties coach Joe Tumpkin had a tall order in trying to keep up with Oklahoma State's head coach and offensive guru Mike Gundy. The Buffaloes were solid in the first half but had no answer for Washington, who easily beat all-Pac-12 cornerback Chidobe Awuzie on several catches. The defense eventually gave out in the second as the Cowboys piled on the points.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys delivered one of the best defensive performances from a Big 12 team all season. The Cowboys play in a league where the touchdowns seem to fly by the minute. Against Colorado, the Cowboys beat up the Buffaloes quarterbacks and gave up a few big plays but didn't break near the goal line.
Colorado: The Buffaloes won't be a surprise story in 2017 and will have to follow their big season without their senior quarterback Liufau and eight senior starters on defense. Colorado opens 2017 against Colorado State in Denver on Sept. 2.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys expect to be a big factor in the Big 12 in 2017 with Rudolph and Washington leading the way. Their season opener is Sept. 2 at home against Tulsa.