K-State falls to Oklahoma State 33-29

Oklahoma State defensive end Tyler Johnson knocks the ball out of the hand of K-State quarterback Jake Waters Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Wildcats had 5 turnovers in the 33-29 loss to the Cowboys.

The K-State Wildcats fell to the Oklahoma State Cowboys 33-29 in a game where K-State was plagued by penalties and turnovers.

The Wildcats had five turnovers on the day, including four from quarterback Daniel Sams. K-State also committed 12 penalties, four more than it had against Texas two weeks ago.

“In our history, we just have not been that kind of football team,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said after the game. “I mean, we haven’t always been extremely good, but we haven’t always turned the ball over and we haven’t always been penalized.”

The Wildcats actually led the game 29-23 with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter following a 17-yard touchdown pass from Sams to Torell Miller. But a six-yard touchdown pass from J.W. Walsh put the Cowboys up 30-29 with 4:13 left.

“We had a chance to win even with [the penalties and turnovers],” Snyder said. “But it sure makes it a heck of a lot harder.”

After the touchdown by the Cowboys, Sams threw two interceptions on consecutive drives and Oklahoma State tacked on a field goal to ice the game away.

Sams played most of the game and had up and down moments. While he had 299 total yards and three total touchdowns he also had four turnovers, including three interceptions.

“I decided to be ready for whatever comes and a lot of playing time came today,” Sams said. “It felt good to do it, but we came out with three interceptions so you can’t beat anybody doing that.”

Sams threw for 181 yards on 15-of-21 passing attempts while rushing for another 118 yards. Snyder said after the game that Sams is capable of being a balanced quarterback.

“He was throwing the ball well early in the ballgame,” Snyder said. “Which gave him a chance to be the balanced-type quarterback that we want him to be and that we know he is capable of doing.”

Defensively, senior safety Ty Zimmerman led the way with 14 tackles. As a whole, the defense saw significant improvement from its game against Texas.

“I really feel like we got better,” Zimmerman said. “I feel like our energy was up but still we could have created more turnovers. We still have room to improve but I feel we did improve this week.”

Snyder also said that he saw improvement in his defense.

“I was really pleased with the effort and what they did in the second half of the ballgame,” Snyder said. “I thought that early in the ballgame, we had some real issues, but they got them corrected. Some of the things that hurt us in the first half of the ballgame, we were able to better defend in the second half.”

For Oklahoma State, quarterback J.W. Walsh had a bounce-back performance from last week, when the Cowboys lost 30-21 to West Virginia. He threw for 245 yards and a score while also rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown.

“This was a huge win,” Walsh said after the game. “Not only that, but the way we won. The defense and offense both played really well. When one unit wouldn’t play well, the other had its back. It was a great team win.”

Despite falling behind by six points with just over six minutes to play in the game, it was the Cowboys that scored 10 unanswered points to bury the Wildcats.

“It shows the maturity of our team,” Walsh said. “Even with some young guys out there, we can face adversity and overcome some tough circumstances. To be able to come up with a big drive and a huge stop on defense was huge.”

The Wildcats, who are now 2-3 overall and 0-2 in Big 12 play, face the Baylor Bears at Bill Snyder Family Stadium next week. The Bears are on the Big 12’s best teams and possess one of the most prolific offenses in the entire country.