By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com – @anthonyVslater
Kansas State leads Oklahoma State 31-17 at halftime in Manhattan
- As expected, Collin Klein’s been the star, throwing for 178 yards and running for 41 more in the first half. He’s shown an improved arm and his typically methodical running style, well on his way to a 9-0 record and a firmer stranglehold on the Heisman race.
- The 100-yard Tyler Lockett kick return was a killer, and something OSU has continually fallen victim to over the past few seasons, including the Texas loss earlier this year. It was terrible coverage, with no Cowboy within five yards of Lockett on the play and Quinn Sharp attempting to race him instead of tackle him.
- But the special teams sting didn’t last long, as Desmond Roland fielded the ensuing kickoff (a short one) and bursted through the K-State coverage for the backend of a return TD explosion, reminiscent to the OSU-Texas game last year.
- Desmond Roland now has one more kick return touchdown and the same amount of interceptions as Justin Gilbert this year.
- Speaking of Gilbert, Mike Gundy subtly called him out earlier this week. He didn’t answer the bell in the first 30 minutes, getting burned on a double-move and committing a costly pass interference. There’s a bit of unrest among the fanbase about their talented but underperforming cornerback.
- Considering the environment, Wes Lunt played an understandable half for a true freshman. He showed flashes, throwing for 148 yards and a touchdown. But the late second-quarter pick-six (his third in four games) really stung. The type of momentum shifter that completely swings a game.
- Joseph Randle’s fumbling problem pops up again. Moments after Kirk Herbstreit called him ‘one of the most underrated backs in the nation,’ Randle put it on the ground in OSU territory. It could turn out to be a big play, as it has during the Cowboys last two road losses (Iowa State and Arizona).
- Crazy stat from ESPN: Kansas State has scored 104 points off turnovers this year (second in the nation) and have yet to allow an opponent to score off one of theirs (first in the nation).
- OSU’s defense has played relatively well. Only 17 of the 31 points are on them. Seven on the special teams, seven on Wes Lunt.
- Three OSU turnovers. Zero Kansas State turnovers.
- Oklahoma State is now -7 in turnover margin this season. Last year, the Cowboys were +21. Can’t emphasize the importance of that enough.
- “I need to coach them better,” – Bill Snyder at halftime. With a 31-17 lead.