This wasn't supposed to happen. The #2 ranked Cowboys were supposed to go in to Ames, hang 70 and then have 2 weeks to rest for a BCS National Title shot with Oklahoma.
It started well. A missed field goal and a 70 yard interception return by Shaun Lewis seemed to put the Cowboys on track for another road rout. Weeden2Blackmon was in full effect and before long, the Pokes built a 17-0 lead on the road for the second week in a row.
But the Cowboys let the Cyclones, led by Freshman QB Jared Barnett, hang around and do something special. The freshman had career highs in yards and touchdowns and made the anemic, 5-4 Cyclones look like USC (when they were good). Prior to last night, Barnett had thrown for 1 TD against Kansas. His line against the Pokes? 31/58 for 376 yards and 3 TD's.
The Pokes probably could have dealt with the big night from the freshman if they wouldn't have turned the ball over so much. Brandon Weeden and the Cowboy offense had an off night. It happens. But 2 lost fumbles and 3 interceptions is hard to work with. You just can't turn the ball over like that an expect to win. Especially when you're the #2 team in the country playing on the road in a short week.
The final piece to this horrific puzzle was our inability to run the ball. 18 carries for 60 yards says it all. The incredible O-Line that we've seen all year didn't play well and the running back that has led this team all year couldn't hold on to the ball. It was a recipe for disaster and the Cyclones, led by head coach Paul Rhoads, came to feast.
Simply put, it wasn't meant to be. The Cowboys lost a 2 overtime football game on a cold Friday night in Ames to a hungry, well coached football team. There are a lot of things that are worse. Everything's not lost.
The Cowboys can still win the Big 12 and play in a BCS Bowl. They are still 10-1 and this time, there's no "0" in front of it. It's a painful loss, but this team is still capable of taking the Oklahoma State Football program to places its never been.