After playing poorly in a 30-27 at Texas, No. 19 Oklahoma State (4-0 overall; 1-0 Big 12) can take another step toward a league title by hosting always dangerous Kansas State (3-0 overall; 0-0 Big 12) at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Dating back to last season, OSU has won six games in a row. This was the first time anyone has beaten Texas at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium four consecutive times. The Cowboys beat the Longhorns, 33-16 in 2010, 38-26 in 2011 and 38-13 in 2013.
OSU trailed the Longhorns 24-27 with 1:34 left in the game Saturday but won it with a pair of field goals thanks to a punting problem by Texas.
OSU kicker Ben Grogan played like he had ice water in his veins.
“Being down by three for so long during the game, I had already put it in my head that it was going to come down to a field goal to win it,” Grogan said. “In my head, that was my mindset, so I wasn’t worried about it as much.”
Texas’ freshman punter mishandled a snap and it resulted in a punt for minus six yards.
“I have a bunch of friends on other teams that are kickers and snappers, so I know where he’s been and I know how they feel,” Grogan said. “You’ve got to feel bad for them a little bit, but I am happy we came out with the win.”
“He may be the only kicker in college history to have to make a field goal after a delay of game with 23 seconds to win the game,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “Good news is, he made them after we had the delay of game and I was proud of him for his effort.”
OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph, who is 6-1 as a starter, had a tough game. He hit 22 of 34 passes for 290 yards but he threw two costly interceptions and was sacked three times. His fumble was picked up and resulted in a touchdown by Texas.
But the Cowboy defense prevailed. The OSU defense limited Texas to 48 yards in the second half on 34 snaps.
“It was a rewarding win for the whole team. We want to be Big 12 champions, and this is the first step, this is our first Big 12 play, and I feel like we showed what we had to do,” said OSU cornerback Kevin Peterson.
OSU ranks in the top 10 nationally in both sacks (fourth with 4 per game) and tackles for loss (seventh with 9.3 per game). Defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean are tied for the Big 12 lead with seven tackles for loss. Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor is third in the league with 6.0. Ogbah, last year’s Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, has 19 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and six quarterback hurries in four games this season.
Even so, Rudolph ranks 10th nationally with 1,237 passing yards. Rudolph is also among the top 20 quarterbacks nationally in pass efficiency, passing yards per completion and yards per pass attempt.
But quarterback J.W. Walsh has a 220.53 pass efficiency rating on the year, with three passing TDs on nine attempts. He also has two rushing touchdowns. Of his seven third-down rushing attempts this season, six have resulted in either a first down or a touchdown.
“I think we did a great job as a team, staying in the game,” Walsh said. “The defense did a fantastic job of keeping us in it. Towards the end of the game, offensively we struggled and the defense did a really good job of keeping us in it. If you can find a way to stay in it the whole time, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”
OSU managed to win even though their headsets didn’t work and the coaches in the press box had to come to the sideline to communicate.
“Communication was a little hectic,” said OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich who had to go to the sideline. ‘”It was like a scrimmage, back in high school days, those sorts of things. It was a little bit old school, but it was fun. It sure was good to get into the emotion of the game.”
“The whole game was without a headset,” said OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer. “I had one on, but it never did work. So even in the first quarter, there was no communication. Everyone was down. I am looking for personnel, and I have to make calls at the last second. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. I have never coached a game like that in my life.”
Oklahoma State was won four straight over Kansas State in Stillwater. Oklahoma State holds a 37-24 all-time series advantage over Kansas State, including a 20-9 edge over the Wildcats in Stillwater.
The Wildcats had easy victories over South Dakota and UTSA but struggled in a 39-33 triple overtime win over Louisiana Tech. OSU beat Louisiana Tech 69-14 while the Wildcats won 30-3.
Junior Joe Hubener has started his first two career games at quarterback, leading K-State to a pair of victories and accounting for an average of 252.2 total yards, including 301 yards in his first-career start at UTSA. His total against the Roadrunners included 243 passing yards on only 12 completions.
Dating back to 2005, the Cowboys have won 22 consecutive games when not committing a turnover.
Dating back to the 2008 season, the Cowboys have won 40 of their last 42 games when winning the turnover battle.