With a help from the clock, Oklahoma State's defense gets the stop it needed
OKLAHOMA STATE 52, KANSAS STATE 45 — The Cowboys had a tough time preparing for Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, and need everything they had — including the game clock — to hold on at the end.
STILLWATER — Finally, Saturday night, the Oklahoma State defense got off the field.
Of course, the Cowboys needed some help from the clock.
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And they needed some luck with a time-pressed Kansas State offense that couldn't utilize its best weapon, the legs of quarterback Collin Klein, who danced and darted through the Cowboys all night, but was forced to throw with time not on his side at the end.
Still, the celebration and jubilation was very real when time expired and the defense was still standing and their team was still unbeaten and alive in the national title chase, once time ran out with the Wildcats at the Cowboys 5-yard line.
“It's almost like I'm in shock about it,” said OSU defensive end Jamie Blatnick, “because when the game was over, I was like, ‘Whew.' Just let the air out.
“We pushed through it and we did it.”
For a good while Saturday night, it looked like the Cowboys defense couldn't do it. K-State controlled the ball for a staggering 40:49, producing 507 total yards on 90 plays.
'Cats quarterback Collin Klein, billed as a one-dimensional running quarterback, posted career highs for completions (22), attempts (38) and yards (231), while also running a career-high 29 times for 144 yards and three touchdowns.
“Unbelievable player,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young. “He had a tremendous ball game. We knew he was a tremendous runner, didn't think he could throw that well.”
Klein hadn't thrown that well, or been trusted to throw that much, with his previous high for completions 13, against Eastern Kentucky and Baylor.
Against OSU, Klein was a constant source of frustration, slipping through the grasp of defenders on runs both designed and out of desperation. It was similar with his throws, too, as he improvised enough to keep the chains moving.
During the week, the Cowboys were at a disadvantage preparing for Klein, with no one providing a reasonable facsimile.
“We didn't have a guy who could even get close to imitating him,” Blatnick said. “We don't have a big quarterback who can make plays with his feet.