K-State falls to Oklahoma State, 41-39

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Jason Ricks kicked a 26-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining and Oklahoma State overcame the best passing performance of Josh Freeman's career to beat No. 25 Kansas State 41-39 Saturday night.


The Wildcats (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) called all three of their timeouts as Ricks was setting up, but his kick was right down the middle to cap a comeback made necessary when K-State coach Ron Prince decided to go for two points instead of the tie after Leon Patton's 11-yard touchdown run with 1:10 remaining.


Josh Freeman threw for a career-best 404 yards and three touchdowns to star receiver Jordy Nelson, who also caught the go-ahead 2-point conversion, but it wasn't enough for the Wildcats.


Tommy Devereaux returned the ensuing kickoff to the Oklahoma State 42, and Zac Robinson threw a 24-yard pass that tailback Dantrell Savage leaped and twisted to catch to set up Ricks' field goal. The Cowboys (5-3, 3-1) ran the ball twice to drain the clock and get the ball to the center for the field.


Oklahoma State's players rushed off the sideline when Kansas State's last-ditch kickoff return ended with only one lateral.


Robinson was 11-for-25 for 181 yards and three touchdowns, including two to freshman Dez Bryant, and he also ran for 109 yards as the nation's sixth-ranked rushing attack piled up 329 rushing yards.


Savage had 124 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.


After the teams traded the lead three times in a back-and-forth second half, Kansas State's Brooks Rossman tied it at 31 with a 23-yard field goal with 8:01 remaining. That set the stage for the wild finish.


Tight end Brandon Pettigrew caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Robinson with 4:09 remaining, slipping through the grasp of Kansas State's Marcus Watts before bolting toward the end zone and diving over the pylon -- just as he did when he scored the game-winner in a 49-45 win against Texas Tech last month.


But K-State wasn't done yet. Freeman, who'd never thrown for more than 305 yards, engineered an 80-yard drive to set Kansas State up for the tie -- only Prince decided to go for more. Nelson caught Freeman's 2-point toss while backing up in the right side of the end zone.


Oklahoma State, which gave up a 10-point lead in the final 3:04 of last year's 31-28 loss at K-State in Freeman's first career start, was able to respond with an equal dose of heartache for the Wildcats.


Nelson finished with 176 yards on 12 receptions. He had a 17-yard touchdown catch as K-State opened an early 14-0 lead, and he beat cornerback Perrish Cox down the left side for a 46-yard TD grab that made it 21-7.


Cox came right back by returning the kickoff 98 yards for a score, and that sparked a run of 17 straight points for the Cowboys. Savage's 7-yard score on the opening possession of the second half gave Oklahoma State its first lead of the game at 24-21.


K-State responded with Freeman's third touchdown pass of the game to Nelson, a 10-yard connection as Nelson ran across the front of the end zone. K-State was driving toward another score when a pair of mistakes turned the tide in Oklahoma State's favor.


Tight end Jeron Mastrud caught a pass from Freeman that would've set up a first-and-goal, but had the ball knocked away by linebacker Donovan Woods and the Cowboys recovered. After forcing a three-and-out, the Wildcats gave the ball right back to Oklahoma State when Matt Fodge's wobbly punt bounced off K-State receiver Cedric Wilson and the Cowboys got it again.


Bryant's second TD catch, a 10-yarder, put Oklahoma State up 31-28 with 13:45 to play.