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The Morning After: Final thoughts on that wild win over Kansas State

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Cardiologists across the greater Stillwater area are having a great morning.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning! I hope you all slept well after an incredible afternoon in Manhattan, KS. I felt like I was hit by a truck this morning when I woke up, and that’s a feeling that I’ve become accustomed to after watching Oklahoma State football over the last two years. All of the emotion.

The Cardiac Cowboys are alive. One can look at immediate history for Oklahoma State football and see a trend of close games, typically ending in a Cowboy victory. Last season alone, the Cowboys had to rally from behind in the 4th quarter four times to win. This year’s volume has been more of the same. From a late-4th quarter 80-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh, a 24-point unanswered run against Iowa State, to a goal line stand with the game on the line yesterday, the Pokes really know how to make it interesting.

After the final whistle blew yesterday, I turned to my Dad and said, “That’s one of the single best football games I’ve ever watched live.” This morning, I’m doubling down on that. Manhattan was incredible. Bill Snyder Family Stadium was rocking. The Pokes were rolling the dice. Jesse Ertz was the second-coming of Collin Klein. This game had everything.

No, the stakes weren’t as high as the Fiesta Bowl, or Bedlam in 2011, but yesterday felt like one of those games where neither team was going to win. It felt like the team with the last possession was going to win. They nearly did, too. Nearly.

I didn’t write this yesterday because I needed to gather my thoughts, and put together something coherent. So, let’s jump in to some thoughts that I had during a wild afternoon in the Little Apple.

I’m dead serious about yesterday being an all-time Oklahoma State football game.

This game had shades of the 2011 game against the ‘Cats. In that game, Collin Klein took his squad down to the OSU seven yard line with a chance to tie the game. They would not convert. In this game, Kansas State got even closer. Down to the three yard line, they had a chance to win the game with a touchdown and an extra point (we’ll talk about this later).

Like 2011, they would not convert. The bend-and-don’t-break defense comes in handy once again [grabs paper bag].

Kansas State did whatever they wanted on offense.

Luckily, all they wanted to do was run the football. I have a burning thought here, and I really want to know what you think ... Does it make a difference if Kansas State throws for 350 and rushes for 70?

My opinion? It probably does. One (rushing) is just more infuriating to watch than the other (passing). 350 passing yards in the Big 12 is just another day at the office, especially for Oklahoma State who is currently averaging 342 yards per game.

350 rushing yards, though? What is this, the Big 10? Teams have to gain yards somehow, and the ‘Cats just chose to do it on the ground. I think I’m okay with that.

We were going to get the best that Kansas State had to offer.

If you thought differently, then you learned a valuable lesson about playing the Purple Wizard in the friendly confines of the stadium that bears his namesake. Bill Snyder is an incredible coach. He does more with less than arguably any other school in the country. He identified weaknesses in the Oklahoma State defense (there might be a few), and exploited them for 60 minutes.

It is not fun to go on the road in the Big 12. It is less fun when you’re doing that in Manhattan. Those fans, while I do have some horror stories, bring the thunder every time their team takes the field. It was an incredible atmosphere, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.

Mason. Freaking. Rudolph.

If you’re not on board with QB2 (I know there are a few of you), there is still room on this wagon. Rudolph’s final line: 29-38, 457 yards, 5 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. Aside from one really, really bad throw, Rudolph was everything we expected him to be and then some. That stat line, in that environment, with his team on the ropes, is simply incredible. His pocket presence on this throw is next level.

Rudolph’s draft stock is sky-rocketing right now. We’ll have more on this later in the week. “La la la la la la ... I can’t hear you, Chris ... La la la la la”

Let’s start here ... A 21-yard run from Chris Carson puts the Cowboys up four. Mike Gundy rolls out the McCleskey-Cat for the two point conversion ...

Pause.

Why would he do this? A two-point conversion here only puts Oklahoma State up six and the odds of it working aren’t great. I didn’t like the call in the immediate action. That said, after thinking more about this, I think this is genius coaching. Flash back to the first quarter when the Kansas State kicker doinked an extra point. Fast forward to the second quarter when he kicked what was the equivalent of a R.A. Dickey knuckleball.

The odds of Kansas State scoring a touchdown on the following drive are quite slim, but in the event that they do, don’t you want a chance to make a play? A shaky kicker and an Oklahoma State team who leads the nation in field goals blocked could’ve resulted in disaster for the ‘Cats. I love the decision to go for two. I love the play even more.

Let’s talk about that offensive pass-interference flag with 10 seconds left in the fourth.

Kansas State has no timeouts. The ball is caught inside the one yard-line with four seconds left. Should’ve been game over, right? Had the flag not been thrown, the game would’ve been over. Instead, Kansas State had to back up 10 yards, but they had another shot at the win. So, why should a flag benefit the team who was penalized? KSU was awarded what was essentially a timeout with a condition.

I know the rule does not award a ten second runoff, but it absolutely should.

An omen? Absolutely.

Oklahoma State is alive in the Big 12, y’all.

With TCU’s vaporization of Baylor yesterday (thank you, Frogs), Oklahoma State now controls their destiny. Win out, and you’re the champion. That road [through Norman] begins this week against Texas Tech on Senior Day in Boone Pickens Stadium. Show up, get loud, and let’s keep this momentum rolling.

In conclusion, I figured it would be appropriate to document, in tweets, the roller coaster of emotions I felt during the final minutes of the game yesterday. Let’s do this.

(Rudolph to Washington)

(Kickoff coverage ... Not great yesterday)

(K-State is driving late)

(I was confused)

(I was wrong, per usual)

(Never a doubt)