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There’s no doubt about it, if you want a feel-good story of the game, K-State’s defense is it. After forcing three three-and-outs in the third quarter, Oklahoma State’s first possession of the fourth quarter also ended without a first down. Oklahoma State was given the ball inside the red zone twice – once on the six – and couldn’t get a touchdown. This was the most efficient touchdown scoring red zone offense in the nation coming into the game. That’s amazing.
Daniel Sams is going to be sore tomorrow. He’s probably already sore. If he’s not in class on Monday, it’s because he’s lying in a bath of ice he drew on Sunday, and still isn’t able to stand up and get out of the tub. He seems to be rushing about two-thirds of the plays, either by design or taking off on called passing plays. The offense had another great drive with two passess to Kyle Klein for first downs and otherwise bullrushing to the ten-yard line before Oklahoma State’s first penalty of the game was a pass interference on third down, giving the Wildcats the ball on the two. On second down Daniel Sams scored a touchdown in what would be better described as a rugby scrum than a football play. From ESPN’s David Ubben:
Oklahoma State responded with an explosive drive, reeling off plays of 12, 26, 16, and 15 on three passes and a rush to get down to the six-yard line. That’s when K-State looked to step up again, forcing an incomplete pass on first down when Kip Daily played his receiver brilliantly. However, Daily was beat the second play as Charlie Moore barely drug his right foot in bounds to record his first catch of the day. The drive took one minute and 56 seconds to put Oklahoma State up 31-29.
On the next K-State possession K-State suffered another turnover, as Daniel Sams once again underthrew his receiver on a home run play, allowing for another interception that was returned 24 yards to the K-State 17. The defense was then presented with the opportunity to make another epic stop. After allowing a five-yard pass and a three-yard run, Oklahoma State had the ball at the K-State nine facing third-and-two. Up until then, the defense was amazing all half with just one bad drive. J.W. Walsh bootlegged to the right and Dante Barnett dropped him for -2 yards, forcing another field goal. K-State had the ball back with 2:14 left to play and down 33-29 at this point.
Jake Waters came in for the final drive, and the most obvious issue facing the team was receiver depth, with both Lockett and Thompson unavailable. On fourth-and-three the team called its final time out with 1:40 left to play and brought in Daniel Sams, who found Curry Sexton at the first down marker. He was left in the game, and scrambled on the next play for 19 yards while getting out of bounds. However, he threw an interception with the clock winding down and Oklahoma State went home the victor, 33-29. This loss was more painful than the North Dakota State in my opinion.
- Jake Waters attempted three passes, completing one for four yards, and had -6 rushing yards and a fumble to his credit before the last drive. He finished 3/7 for 11 yards.
- Daniel Sams was 15/21 for 181 yards and two touchdowns, but three interceptions.
- Final turnover margin: five for K-State, one for Oklahoma State. You can’t win in those circumstances.
- Times announcers said the officials were doing a bad job and hurting K-State: I ran out of room making tallies in my notepad.
- Total yardage essentially even, 336-330 in favor of K-State.
- K-State controlled clock, 36:24.
- K-State struggled on kick returns once Tyler Lockett left the game, recording six for 70 yards (just a bit over ten per return).
- Daniel Sams finished with 27 carries for 118 yards and one touchdown, an average of 4.4 yards per carry.
- John Hubert had just seven carries and 30 yards, an average of 4.3.
- Five players caught at least two passes. There’s depth at wide receiver here, but we need Lockett and Thompson back to turn this season around.