Football Post Game Wrap-Up
STILLWATER — The schedule will show Kansas State lost to Oklahoma State, 36-34, Saturday afternoon. In reality, the Wildcats’ true opponent may have been their own bodies.
Plagued by injuries coming into the game and challenged by more of them during it, K-State (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) led most of the way before falling just short of ending a 16-year drought at Boone Pickens Stadium.
OSU’s Ben Grogan nailed a 37-yard field goal with 32 seconds left to hand the Wildcats their first loss of the season.
Starting quarterback Joe Hubener exited on K-State’s first drive after a nasty collision that buried him in the turf. With Alex Delton nursing a knee injury and Jonathan Banks recovering from mono, starting receiver Kody Cook was called upon to command the offense.
Against all expectations, Cook looked calm and comfortable in the role, leading K-State to four first-half touchdowns and a 28-20 halftime advantage. He completed nine of 11 passes for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while adding 58 yards and a score on the ground.
The Cowboy defense held him in check after that point. K-State totalled just one yard of offense in the third quarter. Beginning the fourth, the Wildcats had a 28-26 advantage.
After a 32-yard run early in the final period, Cook came up favoring his right shoulder. He was removed from the game and Hubener returned.
OSU (5-0, 2-0) took the lead with six minutes left on Mason Rudolph’s third touchdown pass of the day. Trailing 33-28, Hubener found Charles Jones on a wheel route for a 73-yard pickup that gave K-State the spark it had lacked for much of the second half.
On fourth down inside the Cowboy ten yard line, Hubener rumbled in for a go ahead touchdown. The Wildcats led by one after failing on a two-point conversion attempt. K-State was a defensive stop away from victory with three minutes left.
But, as was the case for much of the game, the Wildcats couldn’t force a crucial incompletion. Rudolph found Marcell Ateman for 18 yards on fourth and nine near midfield to keep OSU alive.
The Cowboys converted on 10 of their 17 third and fourth-down situations in the game and totalled 490 yards of offense.
After Grogan’s go-ahead kick, Hubener was intercepted to end the game.
During the course of the afternoon, K-State also lost receiver Dominique Heath to a leg injury. A number of other players were hobbled at various points.
There is no time to dwell, however, as the Wildcats are just one game into a gruelling month of October. K-State hosts No. 3 TCU next week, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m.