Other than Clint Chelf's performance, there aren't a lot of positives to be had from Oklahoma State's 44-30 loss to Kansas State. Here's a look at Jenni Carlson's grades for Oklahoma State:
OFFENSIVE EXECUTION: D
Five turnovers just won't get it done against the second-ranked team in the country. We saw OSU struggle with ball security a week ago against TCU, but the Cowboys overcame it. Against the Wildcats? Not so much. Joe Randle lost a fumble early in the second quarter, then Wes Lunt threw his first of three picks — a pick-six — late in the quarter. Those miscues helped the Wildcats open up a 31-17 halftime lead, and they never looked back.
CLINT CHELF: B
A heck of a performance by the third-team quarterback. With back-up J.W. Walsh out with a knee fracture, Chelf was called into duty after Lunt suffered an apparent concussion in the third quarter. Chelf came off the bench firing, completing his first three passes for 49 yards. He finished the day 16 of 27 for 233 yards with one touchdown and one interception. If the Cowboys have to go with Chelf long-term, you have to feel all right about their chances.
Yes, I realize that K-State rolled up 44 points, but 14 of those points weren't scored on the OSU defense. The Wildcats had a kickoff return for a touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown. Considering that the Wildcats put 55 points on the board each of the past two games, a defense can take some solace in forcing them to kick three field goals and allowing Heisman Trophy front runner Collin Klein only one touchdown.
The Cowboy secondary just hasn't been the difference-making unit that it looked to be when the season started. Eight games into the season, neither Justin Gilbert nor Brodrick Brown has managed to come up with an interception. And now, it looks like Gilbert is getting picked on. He bit hard on a pump fake and was burned on a 50-yard pass from Klein to Tyler Lockett in the first quarter. Then as if things couldn't get worse, Gilbert was the victim of a brutal pass interference call a little later in the first quarter. The OSU secondary needs to gather itself for these last four games.
PREGAME SCENE: B
The Wildcat faithful do it up right. Lots of purple. Lots of tailgating. The scene would've gotten an A grade, but when Willie the Wildcat did his traditional pregame stunt of tackling the opponent — a guy dressed up as an “OSU Cowboy” — he did it where the Cowboy kickers were warming up. A little too close, if you ask me. Would hate to see anyone blow a knee because a mascot hit ‘em in pregame.
The Cowboys' orange helmet, white jersey, orange pant combo was a solid, clean look. Just not anything super special about it.
COVERAGE TEAMS: D
Brutal. The Wildcats not only had the 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown but also had three other returns for a combined 99 yards. And it wasn't just the guys trying to tackle the ball carrier. Quinn Sharp, who usually puts the ball in the end zone, wasn't on his game, and with calm winds, that wasn't the issue. The punt coverage team had its difficulty, too, allowing a big 39-yard return.
OSU FANS: A
Gotta give the Cowboy faithful some props. Against the No. 2 team in the country in an extremely hostile environment, OSU had a few thousand fans. And to the two Cowboy fans smack dab in the middle of the K-State student section at the 50-yard line — we salute you.