By Jason Elmquist
LAWRENCE, Kan. —
With redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh making his second straight start this season, the Oklahoma State University football team overcomes a slow start on the road, a rain delay, injuries at the receiver position and a furious late-game rally to come away with a 20-14 victory over the University of Kansas.
“It’s difficult when you have all those things happen in one game,” said Walsh, who went 18 for 29 with 255 yards passing along with 49 yards rushing. “You pile them on and it’s hard to overcome all those things. ... So we’re going to walk away from this win very happy. If you still win after the way the game was playing out, you should be excited because you know you’ve got some talented guys who can step up and make plays and guys who can face adversity and overcome it.”
The game was delayed for an hour and 19 minutes due to a thunderstorm that moved through the area. The delay came with 44 seconds left in the first quarter with the game scoreless as both teams failed to convert fourth-down plays deep in the opposing team’s territory.
“Until the delay, we were somewhat limited to do what benefits our offense,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “... It helped us today because they had a nice running scheme and we were able to make that adjustment. When we came back out after the delay, we were more effective stopping the run.”
The wet conditions made it difficult on the passing game, which forced OSU to turn to the running attack — which played right into KU’s game plan. The Jayhawks were able to limit Oklahoma State’s big threat back, Joseph Randle, who finished with 80 yards on 29 carries for an average of 2.8 yards per rush.
“With the conditions you’ve got to just nickel and dime it,” Randle said. “Sometimes the big run’s not there, so you’ve just got to take those hard-earned yards.”
Charlie Moore got OSU back on the board in the third quarter when he caught the ball just past the line of scrimmage, broke a tackle and raced up the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown — OSU’s longest play this season from scrimmage. It was his first touchdown since scoring against Tulsa last season in garbage time.
“It was just a base play in our system. ... Josh Stewart made a great block on the other side of the field and Charlie is really fast when he gets going,” Gundy said. “He is strong, so once he got out there I was sure they would have a hard time catching him.”
Kansas attempted to make a late comeback behind backup freshman quarterback Michael Cummings, who came in for starter Dayne Crist in the fourth quarter as a change of pace. Cummings put together KU’s first scoring drive early in the fourth by completing 3 of 4 pass attempts for 41 yards — capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jimmay Munine.
“They were running the same plays we had been working on for two weeks. So we knew the looks but (Cummings) did a great job coming in and making big plays,” said OSU defensive end Nigel Nicholas, who had seven tackles and a sack.
On KU’s next drive the Jayhawks cut the lead to 20-14 with a two-play, 73 yard drive that took just 42 seconds to score. Aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty, KU got a 28- and 30-yard rush by running back James Sims — the second going for a touchdown.
Kansas had another shot in the final minutes to claim the lead, but OSU's defense came up with a big fourth-down play in OSU territory to force the turnover and help milk the clock.
Oklahoma State will now turn its attention to Iowa State and Homecoming on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.