STILLWATER, Okla. – The annual Cowboy Football Reunion will be held the weekend of November 4, and the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl championship team will be honored as the team of special recognition as part of Oklahoma State's Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma. Full details on the event will be sent to former players later this summer.
This season marks the 40-year anniversary for a 1983 squad that doubled its win total from the year prior and finished as Bluebonnet Bowl champions via its first win over an AP-ranked opponent in more than four years. In addition to the 24-14 bowl win over No. 20 Baylor, that Cowboy team also finished with a 5-1 road record, ranking as its best since the 1945 team went 5-0 on the road.
Notable wins in the road schedule included a 27-17 road win at Cincinnati in OSU’s most recent game against the Bearcats, a 40-14 win at Colorado to mark OSU’s first win against the Buffaloes in three seasons, and a 34-15 win at Texas A&M to give OSU its first win in College Station in program history.
The win in Boulder came with 76 total rushes and 101 total offensive plays, both of which still tie for OSU single-game records, and the Cowboys scored 30 points in the second quarter alone. That total has only been surpassed four times in any quarter since 1916.
As a team, the Cowboys set several single-season school records that still stand in 2023, included allowing just 46 total tackles for loss, allowing only five total rushing touchdowns, allowing 2.67 yards per carry, recording 54 turnovers gained, finishing with a plus-21 turnover margin and allowing just 16.00 yards per kickoff return. OSU’s 28 total interceptions and 44 sacks also still rank second in program history.
Several individual standouts played on the 1983 team, including All-Americans Leslie O’Neal, Mark Moore, Ernest Anderson and Rod Brown, as well as other decorated players Matt Monger, Adam Hinds, Larry Roach, Rusty Hilger, John Conway, Chris Rockins, Shawn Jones, Kevin Igo, Paul Blair, Ralph Partida, Rodney Harding and many others.
The 1983 season also marked the final and most successful year of head coach Jimmy Johnson’s five-year stint in Stillwater during his College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame coaching career. The Bluebonnet Bowl win was also the first career bowl win in Johnson’s coaching career and his final game at Oklahoma State.