Last week, Kansas State faced a potential first-round pick at quarterback and effectively shut him down. This week, all they have to do is stop a guy who ran for 218 yards against Boise State. What could go wrong?
The Kansas State Wildcats (3-0, 25/rv) visit the Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0, rv/22).
K-State is 3-0 as a result of escaping a feisty FCS team, outrunning an FBS team, and stomping a Power 5 team. Oklahoma State is 3-0 by virtue of escaping a feisty FCS team, escaping a team that lost to an FCS team, and escaping — albeit on the road — what may be the nation’s best remaining group of five program after 2025.
It truly has not been fun for Oklahoma State this year. They opened with a touchdown win over Missouri State, a game which ended with the Bears eating consecutive sacks after penetrating to the OSU 26 trying to score the tying touchdown. Then a 98-yard kickoff return was required to finally take the lead over Tulsa the following week — the same Tulsa which lost to Cal-Davis in week one, although to be fair that was also the same Tulsa which was within a touchdown of Ohio State in the fourth quarter last week.
And then the Cowboys had to recover a Boise State fumble deep in Bronco territory before scoring with six seconds to go in the first half to take a 21-20 lead, and the importance of that single play might be lost on the average observer. If Oklahoma State didn’t score on that very play, they might have gone into the locker room trailing. And if they’d done that, they might have lost the game because the two teams ground out a scoreless second half.
So the watchword for the season, at least as far as the Cowboys are concerned, is survival. Saturday may well come down to whether it’s a close game or not, and OSU has shown they know how to win those.
The Cowboys lead the all-time series 41-26, but only have a 9-8 edge during the Big 12 era. Eight of those nine losses have come with Mike Gundy at the Cowboy helm; he is 8-5 against K-State. Chris Klieman has yet to defeat Oklahoma State, with the Cats having fallen behind each of the last two years and being unable to complete comebacks.
Last year’s loss to the 14th-ranked Cowboys was exceptionally painful, especially coming in the midst of K-State’s late-season collapse; with the Wildcats down by a point and deep in OSU territory a Will Howard fumble was returned 85 yards for a touchdown, then the Cats came back to score but failed the two-point conversion which would have tied the game, then the defense held only to have Howard throw a game-ending interception.
In a just world, it would be K-State’s turn to inflict some sadness.
Saturday, September 25, 6:00pm CT at Boone Pickens Stadium (60,000) in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Weather at kickoff is expected to be around 90 degrees and sunny, with temperatures slipping to the high 70s by game’s end.
There are third-party seats available all over the stadium, ranging from $32-$234 (not counting club seating), and averaging around $56.
Oklahoma State opened as 9-point favorites, and the money immediately started laughing maniacally. The line quickly moved to 6 points, where it’s remained; the total is at 46.5. That suggests a 26-20 Cowboy win. OddsShark’s projection is in line with that, at 30-23, but suggests taking the over.
The game will not be available over standard television or cable networks. See below.
As always, Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, and Matt Walters will be on hand on the K-State Sports Network as well as via satellite on Sirius 137/XM 202/SXM App 965.Internet Streaming
ESPN+ has the game, with Shawn Kenney, Ryan Leaf, and Shane Sparks on the call. Audio available via kstatesports.com. Live stats... your guess is as good as ours. Oklahoma State does not provide a live stat link, and K-State’s link points to their own live stats, which obviously aren’t going to be the proper location.
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