STILLWATER – Late in the third quarter Saturday, Charlie Moore recognized the way Kansas State cornerback Kip Daily was defending him on the goal line and took note.
“I came off the field and said, ‘Hey, if we get back on the goal line, I think I can run an out-route on this guy. He's using inside leverage,'” Moore said of his conversation with coaches.
Big “if”, the way the Cowboys offense was moving, or not moving as was the case.
Through their first five possessions of the second half, stretching well into the fourth quarter, the Cowboys didn't have a single first down. The crowd was beyond restless, to the point that a smattering of boos echoed through Boone Pickens Stadium.
Then something flipped.
Kansas State had just taken a 29-23 lead with 6:09 left, putting pressure clearly on OSU's scuffling offense, which swiftly marched 75 yards to retake the lead. So sudden was the change, the previously inept Cowboys produced four straight first downs on gains of 12, 26, 16 and 15 yards to the Wildcats 6.
“I guess we had those in our back pocket,” OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh said with a straight face. “We saved them for the right time.”
The nick of time.
And two plays later, Walsh hit Moore for the touchdown in the front corner of the end zone, turning out with Daily refusing to give him the inside.
“That was a veteran player making a veteran play and a veteran call,” Walsh said. “He came off the sideline and told coach (Kasey) Dunn and the coaches made the adjustment. I saw what he saw and we made it happen.
“We'd had trouble in the red zone scoring and we absolutely needed that. Big-time play by a veteran player.”