- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Daxx Garman couldn’t even remember the last game he played in, it was so long ago.

In his first game action since his junior year of high school in 2009, Garman went 16 of 26 for 244 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Oklahoma State to a 40-23 victory over Missouri State Saturday.

Garman entered the contest late in the first quarter, for injured starter J.W. Walsh, with OSU leading 10-6.

“It’s a great feeling to get back out there. It’s been a while, but I still practiced that whole time,” Garman said. “It’s just something that I’ve been patient with, just staying steady, and when the time came today, to just go and do the best I could for my team.”

Tyreek Hill ran for 62 yards for Oklahoma State (1-1), while Rennie Childs added 39 yards and two touchdowns.

“It was a good win for us,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy. “We talked about our youth quite a bit this pre-season and I think it showed up today. We got a chance to work in some young players.”

Kierra Harris threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-21 passing, and ran for 45 yards, for Missouri State (1-1), which falls to 1-30 against FBS opponents.

“Kierra did a really good job,” said Bears coach Terry Allen. “He’s really getting a handle on the offense and does a nice job with it. Other than a couple times really, I thought he handled the pressure well and looked like a solid quarterback.”

Garman’s first college touchdown was a thing of beauty, an 87-yard pass thrown on the run across his body to Brandon Sheperd on a third-and-19 midway through the second that put the Cowboys ahead 24-6. It was the second-longest completion in Oklahoma State history.

“I’ve seen him do that many times before (in practice), so when he did, I expected the ball to be thrown in the right place,” said Sheperd, who amassed 131 yards on four receptions. “That’s just Daxx. He’s going to put the ball where it needs to be.”

Oklahoma State was already missing starting running back Desmond Roland, who was injured in the squad’s season-opening 37-31 loss to top-ranked Florida State last weekend.

Walsh gained 42 yards on four rushes and was 5 of 9 for 30 yards before leaving. He seemed to get hurt when Missouri State’s Andrew Beisel stopped him at the end of an 8-yard run that put OSU on the MSU 2. Two plays later, with Walsh still in, Childs scored to give the Cowboys a 10-0 lead.

Walsh later returned to the Oklahoma State sideline on crutches, wearing a boot on his right foot.

Garman was ruled ineligible for his senior year of high school before attending the University of Arizona, where he red-shirted in 2011. After transferring to Oklahoma State, he had to sit out the 2012 season before serving as a depth backup last year, but he showed few signs of rust.

“I thought he played very well for his first game,” Gundy said of Garman. “He’s had a lot of reps built, he’s really ready to play. He made some mistakes but he also made some throws.”

Gundy indicated that Walsh would be further evaluated on Sunday, and noted that as well as Garman played, Walsh would still be the starter next week if healthy.

Oklahoma State excelled in special teams, blocking three Missouri State kicks in the first half to set a new school record. It was also just the second time in NCAA history, after Oregon State did it to USC in 1996, that a team has blocked a field goal, a point-after attempt and a punt in the same game.

The Cowboys were leading just 3-0 when sophomore Jordan Sterns blocked Chris Sullens’ punt near midfield and returned it 19 yards to the Missouri State 21-yard-line. That possession led to Childs’ first touchdown and a 10-0 advantage.

Missouri State scored on the following drive to regain some momentum, but James Castleman blocked Marcelo Bonani’s point-after attempt to keep the score at 10-6.

Later, with OSU up 17-6 in the second, Ofa Hautau turned away Bonani’s 39-yard field goal attempt.

“A lot of people take those plays off and that’s what separates us from a lot of teams around the country. We’re going to go hard no matter what the play is,” Sterns said. “That can make a difference in a game - one point or three points. Anything on special teams can really change the game.”

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