In a game full of scoring runs by both teams, the Oklahoma State Cowboys got the win over the Kansas State Wildcats. K-State started the game on a 13-0 scoring run after two quick touchdowns by completely dominating Oklahoma State’s run defense. However, that was not enough to stop Mason Rudolph and the Cowboy offense. Oklahoma State answered back with a 21-3 scoring run to take a 21-16 lead into the half.
In the second half, Kansas State came out ready to play, taking a nine-point lead on two separate occasions, but the Wildcats could not stop the Oklahoma State offense as the Cowboys roared back to take a 43-37 lead with under two minutes to play. Then, the Wildcats did everything in their power to put the ball in the end zone, but the game came down to one final play, which resulted in an interception by Jordan Sterns.
Rudolph Shrugs Off Mistakes
In the first half of the game, Mason Rudolph was on fire, throwing 14/18 for 275 yards and 3 TDs. He had pass plays of 48 yards to Jhajuan Seales and 54 and 42 yards to Blake Jarwin, as well as a 21-yard run, that all contributed heavily to the Oklahoma State 21-16 halftime lead.
Coming out of the locker room in the third quarter, however, Rudolph struggled at times as he threw two very uncharacteristic interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. After his second interception of the day, the Cowboy defense forced the Wildcats to punt and putting the Cowboy offense back on the field. Trailing by nine, Rudolph came out on the possession unfazed by his prior mistakes as he threw an 80-yard bomb to James Washington to pull the Cowboys within two.
Mason Rudolph has been an extremely efficient passer for most of the season, especially the last few weeks, so it was a bit unnerving when he started to make costly mistakes. Thankfully, his experience was obvious as he was able to lead the Cowboys to another comeback win.
Run Defense Gets Shredded
Kansas State QB Jesse Ertz is not a great passer by any standard, but he has the ability to run the ball. He did just that as he ran all over the Oklahoma State defense for 153 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns. Even though the Cowboys knew that he could not throw the ball with any consistency, they were still unable to keep him for being successful on the ground for most of the game.
The rest of the team ran for another 192 yards on 26 carries for another touchdown, bringing the Kansas State running game totals to 56 carries for 345 yards and four touchdowns. The Cowboy run defense has had issues at times, but if they don’t show some improvement soon, they could struggle mightily at the end of the season when they play Oklahoma.
Woeful Penalties and Special Teams Mistakes
In the post-game presser, Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy said, “They stole 150 yards from us in penalties in returns.” The Cowboys shot themselves in the foot over and over again as they finished with seven penalties for 67 yards, several of which came at crucial points in the game. Oklahoma State also allowed 142 yards on five kickoff returns, which set Kansas State up with excellent field position on several possesions.
While the Cowboys were able to pull out the win, costly mistakes in penalties and special teams errors can be the straw that breaks the camels back against a better team. Mike Gundy added at the end of comment, “I talk about [penalties and special teams] all week. Apparently I need someone else to talk about it.” It is safe to assume that the Cowboys will work on discipline this week in practice.
The Celebration is Real
More recaps coming later.