The no. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys woke up Saturday morning with high hopes. Despite playing on the road as a 1.5-point underdog to the Kansas State Wildcats, expectations were high that the Cowboys would continue their trek towards a second consecutive Big 12 Championship berth. Unfortunately, just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Oklahoma State, and the result was a 48-0 lopsided loss to the home team in purple.
Defense Gave Up Too Many Big Plays
On the first drive of the game, Kansas State quarterback Will Howard found Kade Warner for a 38-yard touchdown pass. That was the first of what would end up being 4 touchdowns on plays of at least 31 yards. Simply put, it’s hard to put together stops when you’re busy giving up big-yard plays like that.
Oklahoma State was spoiled by the top-notch defense of a season go, but those days are long gone. With most of the season played, there’s still a few games left to make some adjustments and put together a quality year. The good news is it should be pretty easy to improve on the atrocious outing that was today.
Mike Gundy Shutout for Just Third Time
The defense playing poorly isn’t that big of a shock, honestly. I didn’t think they would give up that many points, but I’m not stupid enough to believe they’re going to pitch a shutout against any Big 12 offense. What really surprised me was the sputtering offense.
Spencer Sanders will undoubtedly get the blame, as is tradition from many Cowboy fans. He deserves some heat after completing just 50% of his pass attempts (13-of-26) for 147 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. He also had zero success running the ball, managing -9 yards on 7 attempts. Anybody who watched the game, though, understands that a lot of Sanders’s issues weren’t even his fault.
Receivers dropped passes, Spencer’s lone interception was the result of a receiver falling down, and the play calling was back to some of the old habits of head-scratching decisions. Add to the mix that the front line could not block for anything, and with no ability to run the ball, it just makes sense that the pass game would suffer as well.
Entering this matchup, the Cowboys touted one of the top offenses in the nation. The good news is that the Big 12 competition that remains is the bottom-tier group of teams, so perhaps they can make the proper adjustments to get ready for a quality bowl game.
On to the Next One
Next week the Cowboys will travel to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on the Jayhawks. Kansas is just 5-3 after starting the season 5-0, and they’ve really struggled the last few weeks. They’re off this week, so Oklahoma State will have a fresh team on their hands. Kickoff time and TV channel for the game have yet to be determined.