STILLWATER — Collin Klein's final pass had fallen incomplete in the Oklahoma State end zone, sending a record crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium into a frenzy, and the Cowboy players and coaches had already gone back to the locker room after celebrating with each other and the OSU students.
Yet there were still hundreds of students gathered in the stands, savoring a thrilling 52-45 OSU victory over Kansas State that keeps the Cowboys in the national title hunt.
They were also probably trying to digest everything that had just happened. I know I was.
It's easy, and appropriate, to point to the obvious cases of redemption and resiliency that took place in a wild fourth quarter where 32 points were scored.
Brandon Weeden threw a pair of interceptions, including a pick-six, in the first half then orchestrated two touchdown drives in the final 5:16 by completing 4 of 5 passes for 106 yards.
Justin Blackmon fumbled twice in the game but snagged one of those touchdowns on a 54-yard score down the middle of the field and finished with 205 receiving yards.
A defense that could not stop the gritty Klein made a stand at the 5-yard line in the final seconds, with Markelle Martin and Brodrick Brown coming up with crucial pass break-ups in the end zone.
The most important Cowboys made many of the game's most important plays. But there were plenty of other moments and players that allowed OSU to survive its biggest scare of the season thus far.
Like Isaiah Anderson's 33-yard catch in the middle of the field on the first play of the Cowboys' game-winning drive that got OSU in K-State territory in a hurry. Before that, he had just two catches for 13 yards.
What about reserve linebacker James Thomas? He batted away a Klein pass on K-State's final drive and later helped force an incompletion when he got pressure on the Wildcats quarterback. That came after he set up a game-tying touchdown in the first half when he collected his fourth interception of the season and returned it to the K-State 5-yard line.
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