It wasn’t pretty. In fact, for most of the game it didn’t look like Oklahoma State was going to leave Manhattan, Kansas with a win and it looked like they would no longer control their own destiny in the Big 12 Championship race.
But with a couple of key plays in the second half, the Cowboys’ fortunes turned and the Pokes escaped Bill Snyder Family Stadium with a 20-18 win.
Oklahoma State went into halftime trailing 12-0 as the offense couldn’t get anything going after Chuba Hubbard suffered an injury and the entire unit was stagnant through the first two quarters. But in the third quarter, things started to pick up as LD Brown started to carry the load and finished with 15 carries for 110 yards.
Two field goals and a touchdown later the Cowboys held a 13-12 lead that they took into the fourth quarter. But something loomed large that would eventually play a huge role.
In the second quarter, Kansas State scored a touchdown to go up 12-0, and Chris Klieman decided to go for the two-point conversion, which the Wildcats missed out on.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter, when K-State was driving deep into the red zone and K-State QB Will Howard was stripped on a run play which landed in the arms of Oklahoma State safety Jason Taylor who took it 85 yards for a touchdown to give Oklahoma State a 20-12 lead.
Despite only six minutes to play, Kansas State wasn’t done. Will Howard took the Wildcats 60 yards on eight plays and scored a touchdown, but the two-point conversion failed. The Wildcats got the ball back with under two minutes to play, but Howard ended the game with an interception as the Pokes held on for a 20-18 win.
For Oklahoma State, this loss would’ve been crushing following last week’s defeat at the hands of Texas. It also would’ve put them on the outside looking in on the Big 12 race, which was a minimum expectation for Mike Gundy heading into the season.
Earlier this week, we wrote a piece on the games Oklahoma State fans should watch and how they shoot root if they want their Cowboys to have a shot at a CFB Playoff. That piece nearly became irrelevant by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.
During the West Virginia at Texas game, there was a tidbit from ESPN showing the Big 12 with a 2% chance of reaching the College Football Playoff.
Kansas State almost made that number 0% on Saturday, but the Oklahoma State Cowboys held on. And in a season that’s defined by the strange and unusual thanks to COVID-19, it’s the defense that continues to define and lead the Oklahoma State Cowboys and keep them alive for the Playoff, which is something we never thought we’d say.
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