Early in the evening, someone tweeted that this felt a little like the atmosphere at Iowa State last season.
How prophetic. They could have referred to Arizona and also been dead on.
Kansas State rode 5 Oklahoma State turnovers and a kickoff return TD to a fairly easy 44-30 win over the Cowboys in Manhattan.
I say fairly easy because Clint Chelf, in relief of an injured Wes Lunt, had OSU within a play of creating a LOT of tension in the late moments of the game. Unfortunately, after getting lucky on a couple of poor throws, Chelf's 3rd slightly off attempt was picked by the Wildcat's Allen Chapman, who had 3 interceptions, including a pick 6 that swung the momentum fully in KState's favor in the first half.
Wes Lunt was a true freshman on Saturday night, looking a bit uncomfortable despite throwing to a wide open Austin Hayes for the first score of the game.
CRFF was clear on our podcast...OSU had to play clean, no turnovers, short fields, or easy scores for the Wildcats.
Difference in the score? Fourteen points.
Easy scores? Fourteen points.
The pick 6 and the kickoff return.
And, despite all the turnovers, the Cowboys made Kansas State sweat. A defense that played well enough for most of the game to give OSU a chance to win couldn't stop a one dimensional offense when it counted. Collin Klein, out with what some say was a concussion, was replaced admirably by Sams. Kickoff and punt coverage gave up two crucial long returns that allowed the Wildcats to flip the field and burn up valuable clock.
This time most of the turnovers were on Lunt. He made three horrible decisions.
Randle had one crucial fumble.
Two of those interceptions and that fumble resulted in THREE KANSAS STATE TOUCHDOWNS.
After suffering what appeared to be a concussion, Lunt was replaced by Chelf, who was able to keep even Musburger and Herbstreit interested until Chapman's 3rd interception in the Wildcat end zone that snuffed out the unlikely Cowboy rally.
Before we all go anointing Chelf, let's be clear.
He threw two balls that should have been picked off before the ball that was intended for Jackson in the end zone.
Be that as it may, he should start the rest of the season. Lunt will be out for at least a week, and Chelf obviously showed some maturity that is lacking in the leadership of this offense. He made pretty good decisions most of the time, and his legs are enough to be a threat to scramble.
In the end, the theme of this team in their losses...turnovers, penalties, special teams...remained an issue. Penalties were not so much of a problem on Saturday, but turnovers and special teams definitely were.
The stats will tell a story, but nothing really matters except the turnovers. Take those away, and OSU could have won this game.
On a parting note...I sincerely hope Collin Klein is ok. Now that Kansas State has made it past the Cowboys, I would really like to see them run the table, and an injury that would render his physical nature useless would be devastating to his team. The Wildcats are talented, physical, and very well coached. Congrats to them and good luck with the rest of the season.
As for OSU, there is reason for hope. West Virginia and Baylor will be easy enough. Texas Tech could be a little tougher, but UT got after them in Lubbock and we get them in Stillwater. The Cowboys should be able to win those games, meaning the tilt in Norman would be for a 9-3 or 8-4 season, which many said would be acceptable when this whole thing began.
My attention now will be on our new backup QB.