STILLWATER — This game had all the requisite ups and downs of an instant classic. But much like the final score, the Cowboys had more positives than minuses in the end. Nothing was more positive than their ability to hang in there when the going got tough.
You can't fault these Cowboys' grit. When everything seemed stacked against them, they just kept coming. After K-State went ahead 38-37, OSU answered with a two-play touchdown drive. And after K-State answered that, OSU put together a four-play, 65-yard drive. Then the Cowboy defense held despite a 15-play drive by the Wildcats.
JUSTIN BLACKMON: B-
Not one of the Cowboy star's greatest games. Usually sure handed, Blackmon fumbled not once but twice. A mishandled punt in the first quarter gave K-State life after OSU scored 14 quick points. Then with the Cowboys clinging to a four-point lead late in the third quarter, he fumbled at the K-State 1-yard line. His mistakes likely cost OSU 10 points, but he made up for it, finishing with 13 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
RUN DEFENSE: C-
The Cowboys knew that Wildcat quarterback Collin Klein was going to run, but they did little to slow him. Klein rushed for 144 yards on 29 carries. The only thing that slowed him down was his offensive coordinator. With first and goal from the 5-yard line in the final seconds of the game, K-State went to the air on back-to-back plays. Both were incomplete.
The Cowboys went with gray helmets, black jerseys and gray pants. A solid, sharp look. It wasn't the best of the season — the black-black-orange combo against Kansas still ranks at the top — but this was another quality combo. The gray pants didn't look nearly as washed out as they did when paired with white jerseys at Texas A&M.
PURPLE POWER: A
Give K-State fans credit — they travel well. A week after getting throttled by Oklahoma, Wildcats fans still made the southward journey to OSU. They made as big a visiting crowd as has been seen all season at Boone Pickens Stadium.
REMEMBERING BOB SR: B
Before the national anthem, OSU observed a moment of silence in memory of Bob Barry Sr. The legendary broadcaster was the voice of the Cowboys for more than a decade. The round of applause after moment of silence was nice, but it would've been grand to hear a couple of Barry's OSU calls. That would've elevated a nice tribute to something really special.
TURNOVER BATTLE: B-
The Cowboy defense has been stellar taking away the ball, but part of the equation in OSU's outstanding turnover margin has been taking care of the ball on offense. The Cowboy offense didn't do that Saturday. Four turnovers marked a season high.