Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The last few games with Kansas State and Oklahoma State have been entertaining to say the least. This years version would not be different. For the second consecutive year, the Wildcats would hold a lead in the fourth quarter, and for the second consecutive year, the Cowboys would rally to win. Chris Carson’s 17-yd run with 1:46 left would give Oklahoma State the 43-37 win, stealing one from K-State in the final minutes for the second consecutive year.
Kansas State started out with two consecutive scores in the first quarter. The first came on a Jesse Ertz nine-yard run with 9:20 left in the first quarter to give the Cats a 6-0 lead, after a missed PAT. Their second score came with 4:58 left in the first quarter, on a 10-yard rush by Winston Dimel out of the “Wildcat”, and this time, Ian Patterson drilled the extra point to push the lead to 13-0. Oklahoma State struck back quickly through the air. Mason Rudolph connected with Jalen McClesky on a 12-yd pass with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter, and Ben Grogan’s kick cut the lead to 13-7.
The Cowboys took their first lead of the second quarter in the first couple minutes. Rudolph found a wide open Blake Jarwin down the seam for a 54-yard touchdown pass, as Grogan’s kick gave them the 14-13 lead. K-State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) ate up over six minutes on the ensuing drive, but settled for a Patterson 43-yard field goal with 7:19 left before the break to put them back up 16-14. Oklahoma State scored the final points of the half on the next drive. With 3:44 left in the second quarter, Rudolph threw his third touchdown of the half, this time to James Washington from three yards out to give the Pokes a 21-16 halftime lead with the Grogan PAT.
Kansas State forced three turnovers in the second half. Their second forced error turned in to an instant score. With 8:20 left in the third quarter, Duke Shelley intercepted Mason Rudolph, and returned it 29 yards to give the Cats a 23-21 lead. That was Rudolph’s first interception in 163 pass attempts. K-State would add to their lead late in the third quarter. Jesse Ertz’ two-yard run with 2:34 remaining in the third quarter gave the Wildcats a 30-21 lead with the Patterson PAT. Oklahoma State would respond quickly. With just under a minute in the third quarter, Rudolph’s 34-yard pass to Austin Hays cut the Cat lead to 30-28 after three quarters, including the Grogan kick.
Kansas State responded with the first points of the fourth quarter. Ertz’ third touchdown of the day from one yard out gave them a 37-28 lead with 12:21 remaining. The Wildcats picked off Rudolph for a second time on the ensuing drive, but the drive stalled. On a fourth and inches from the OSU 48, K-State elected to punt the ball instead of going for it with 8:16 remaining. That might have been the changing point of the rest of the game. Oklahoma State (7-2, 5-1) struck quickly. With 7:45 left, Rudolph found Washington for their second connection of the day on an 82-yard pass to pull them to within 37-35 with 7:45 remaining. The Cowboys held the Wildcats to a three and out, and took the lead for good with 1:46 remaining. Chris Carson drug a couple K-State defenders with him into the end zone, and Rennie Childs caught the two-point pass from Jalen McClesky to extend their lead to 43-37. Oklahoma State netted 172 yards on their final two drives.
The Wildcats had one more chance, as they marched it down the field. After a pass interference with four seconds remaining on the Cats, Ertz’ last desperation throw from the Oklahoma State 18 was intercepted by Jordan Sterns in the end zone, preserving the Cowboys chances alive for the Big 12 title.
Mason Rudolph was 29-38 for 457 yards and five touchdowns, which tied a career high, and threw two picks. James Washington caught seven passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Carson had 69 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. Oklahoma State finished with 637 yards of offense.
Jesse Ertz went 12-18 passing for 87 yards with an interception. Ertz had 153 yards rushing on 30 carries and three touchdowns, while Alex Barnes rushed for 72 yards on eight carries. Dominque Heath had four catches for 48 yards. Kansas State finished with 432 yards of offense, with 345 coming on the ground.
Oklahoma State will host Texas Tech on Saturday at 2:30, while Kansas State has week off before going to Baylor on Saturday, November 19.
Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder
Running Back Alex Barnes
Running Back Charles Jones
Right Tackle Dalton Risner
Defensive End Jordan Willis
Linebacker Elijah Lee
Corner Back DJ Reed
Safety Dante Barnett
Kicker Ian Patterson