K-State Falls, 43-37, to late Oklahoma State Rally
K-State Falls, 43-37, to late Oklahoma State Rally
6-3 (4-2 Big 12)
5-4 (3-3 Big 12)
M. Rudolph (QB): 29-38, 457yds, 5TD
C. Carson (RB): 7car, 69yds, 1TD
J. Washington (WR): 7rec 117yds, 2TD
J. Ertz (QB): 12-18, 87yds, 1TD | 30car, 153yds, 3TD
A. Barnes (RB): 8car, 72yds 0TD
D. Heath (WR): 4rec, 48yds, 0TD
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- A pair of fourth quarter touchdowns were too much for K-State to overcome on Saturday as the Wildcats fell to Oklahoma State in the final minutes, 43-37, in front of 52,450 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
The loss was K-State’s first to Oklahoma State in Manhattan since 2010.
K-State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) jumped out to an early advantage, 13-0, midway through the first quarter before entering the half trailing 21-16. The Wildcats put up 215 yards of total offense, including 153 on the ground, on 35 plays before the break and held onto the ball for more than 19 minutes of action. Oklahoma State (7-2, 5-1 Big 12) did its work through the air, throwing for 225 yards and three touchdowns before half.
The second half featured four turnovers and a true back-and-forth contest. The Wildcats ran for 192 yards after half, while the Cowboys threw for an additional 232 yards. Oklahoma State scored the game’s final 14 points with under eight minutes to play and came up with an interception on K-State’s final play to seal the victory.
The Wildcats were led out of the huddle by a huge effort from junior quarterback Jesse Ertz. Ertz was 12-of-18 for 87 yards and one interception through the air, but ran for a career-high 153 yards on 30 attempts, including a career best three rushing touchdowns. His rushing effort marked the first time a K-State quarterback has run for 100 yards in back-to-back games since Daniel Sams did so in 2013.
A true running back by committee effort backed up Ertz out of the backfield as three backs carried the ball five or more times. Freshman Alex Barnes ran eight times for 72 yards while senior Charles Jones rushed seven times for 70 yards. Sophomore Justin Silmon carried the ball five times for 29 yards and sophomore Winston Dimel only carry, a 10-yarder, was K-State’s second rushing score of the game early on.
The receiving corps was used few and far between on Saturday, but was led by sophomore Dominique Heath for the third straight week. Heath hauled in four balls for 48 yards, including the Wildcats’ longest completion of 32 yards. Only one other Wildcat caught more than one pass as redshirt freshman Isaiah Zuber brought down four for 20 yards.
The Wildcats finished with 432 yards of total offense, including 345 on the ground – more than 150 yards above their season average. K-State ran 74 plays compared to Oklahoma State’s 64, while also winning the time of possession battle by exactly 13 minutes.
On the defensive side of the ball, K-State was tasked with slowing a passing attack that averages more than 300 yards per game. Big plays of 54 yards and 82 yards proved to be the deciding factors as the Cowboys put up 457 yards in the air en route to 637 yards of total offense.
Junior linebacker Elijah Lee led the charge with eight tackles and added a fumble recovery early in the second half. Senior linebacker Charmeachealle Moore and sophomore cornerback D.J. Reed got in on seven tackles apiece, while Reed also secured his third interception of the season. Sophomore corner Duke Shelley also grabbed his third interception of the year and returned it for his first career pick-6 in the third quarter.
Special teams were of vital importance Saturday, as senior Ian Patterson stepped in an injured Matthew McCrane for placekicking duties. Patterson was 4-of-5 on PAT attempts and converted his only field goal try from 43-yards out, a new career-long.
Oklahoma State won the toss and deferred to the second half before booting the opening kickoff through the end zone. Ertz and K-State entered with a game plan and didn’t stray from it on their 11 play, 75-yard scoring drive. All 11 plays were on the ground, as Jones carried it five times for 38 yards before Ertz, on his sixth rush of the drive, trotted in untouched from nine yards out for the touchdown. The PAT attempt from Patterson clanged off the upright.
Oklahoma State’s first possession ended in K-State territory, at the Wildcats’ 37, as the defense came up with consecutive stops on third and fourth down with the Cowboys needing one-yard to gain.
The K-State offense came back on to mount a six play, 63-yard drive in 2:15. Ertz found Heath for a looping wheel route to put the Wildcats at the Cowboys’ 14 and two plays later, Dimel bounced outside for a 10-yard touchdown score. K-State went up 13-0 with 4:58 to play in the first quarter.
The Cowboys showed life in their quick response, needing only six plays and two minutes to go 75 yards for the score. Mason Rudolph found Jalen McCleskey on a short crossing route and he did the rest of the work to score from 12 yards.
After a K-State punt to end the first quarter, Oklahoma State wasted little time to begin the second. Rudolph found a leaking Blake Jarwin for a 54-yard touchdown pass at the 13:42 mark of the second quarter to put the Cowboys ahead, 14-13.
K-State returned to the running attack on its next possession. Jones found the edge for what would have been a 67-yard touchdown run, but officials ruled he stepped out at the Cowboys’ 32-yard line. The Wildcats’ drive stalled inside the 20 as Patterson came on for a career long 43-yard field goal to give K-State a 16-14 lead with 7:19 to play in the first half.
A 42-yard completion to Jarwin and a 21-yard run from Rudolph set up another Cowboy score before the half. James Washington brought down the 3-yard score from Rudolph in the back of the end zone to hand Oklahoma State a 21-16 advantage heading into the break.
To begin the second half, the K-State defense forced the Cowboys into their first punt of the game in just over a minute’s time. K-State’s ensuing drive was a three-and-out, but the Cowboys’ return man muffed the punt and Lee was there to pick up the loose ball.
With field position on Oklahoma State’s half, K-State drove all the way down to the Cowboys’ 11-yard line. The Wildcats’ sneaky fake field goal try was snuffed out, though, and Oklahoma State took over at its own 10.
Two plays later, momentum flipped again as Shelley intercepted Rudolph and returned it 29-yards for the go-ahead score, 23-21, with 8:20 to play in the third quarter. The pick-6 was the first of Shelley’s career and ended Rudolph’s streak of 163 pass attempts without an interception.
Special teams struck again on Oklahoma State’s following possession as Jayd Kirby blocked the Cowboys’ punt. K-State took over from their own 38 and with the help of two personal foul penalties, needed only six plays to score. Ertz plunged in from 2-yards to put K-State ahead 30-21 with 2:34 to play in the third.
In only five plays, Oklahoma State answered with its own 75-yard drive as Rudolph threw his fourth touchdown pass, this time to Austin Hays for 34-yards. The K-State lead was slimmed to 30-28 seconds before the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats added to the score line on their next drive, using seven run plays to move 58 yards before Ertz pushed past the goal line for his third rushing touchdown of the game, a new career-high.
With 7:45 to play, Rudolph stepped up in the pocket to drop a dime to James Washington, who outran everyone for the 82-yard touchdown and narrowed the gap to 37-35.
The Cowboys forced a three-and-out and promptly made good use of their possession, going 80 yards in eight plays to claim the go-ahead touchdown on a Chris Carson 17-yard run. A bit of trickery helped them add the 2-point conversion, making it 43-37 Cowboys with 1:46 remaining.
On the game’s final possession and two timeouts to work with, K-State worked its way down to the Cowboys’ 3-yard line. An offensive pass interference penalty backed them up to the 18 for the game’s final play, when Ertz’s last heave was intercepted in the end zone to allow Oklahoma State to hold on for the 43-37 victory.
K-State will enjoy its first off week since the second week of September with a bye next Saturday before returning to Big 12 action in Waco, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 19 against the Baylor Bears.