Cowboys look to extend home streak against K-State

K-State defensive end Jordan Willis and defensive back Randall Evans sack Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman on Nov. 1, 2014 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Emily DeShazer | The Collegian)

After cashing in on a little Big 12 referee magic last week against Texas, Oklahoma State is 4-0 and 1-0 going into their conference home opener versus K-State.

Boone Pickens Stadium has been a refuge for the Cowboys especially when the Wildcats have come to town.

The last time K-State went into Stillwater and won was 1999. Since then, there have been plenty of close-but-no-cigar moments for the Wildcats, with the most recent happening in 2013.

“Just remembering the ball game, we were in the ball game all the way until the end and turned the ball over,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said about the 2013 loss. “I think we had, collectively, three or four turnovers in the ball game, which obviously hurt us a great deal. It was how we played more than anything else. We just gave up some points and turned the ball over.”

The Wildcats fell 29-33 after former quarterback Daniel Sams threw three interceptions to match his three touchdowns and gave the ball away again on the fumble.

In that game, it was then-sophomore J.W. Walsh who stepped up, giving his Cowboy squad a one-point lead with under five minutes left in the game.

Walsh, however, is no longer the Cowboy’s main guy.

Sophomore Mason Rudolph now has the keys to the the Oklahoma State offense, and he’s been more Fast and Furious than Driving Miss Daisy so far this season.

Rudolph ranks 10th in the country in passing yards and in the top 20 in yards per attempt and pass efficiency, and technically has only played eight games as a starter after taking over in the mid-way point of last season.

“He seems like a very poised young guy,” Snyder said. “I think he throws the ball well … He’s just a good quarterback.”

The 1,237 yards that Rudolph has thrown for so far this season are a good enough reason to rank him first in conferences like the ACC or SEC, but in the high octane Big 12 that’s only good enough for third behind TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes.

So far this season, Rudolph’s top target has been senior wide receiver David Glidden who has been on the receiving end of almost one-third of Rudolph’s 20-plus yard passes.

On the ground, they have use multiple running backs but junior college transfer Chris Carson is their starter with junior Rennie Childs getting in a good amount of carries behind him.

Both backs haven’t posed too much of a threat and, compared to the caliber of running backs the Wildcat saw facing Louisiana Tech, in reality Rudolph’s arm is the main offensive threat for the Cowboys.

“They have good skill players,” sophomore Wildcat linebacker Elijah Lee said. “Their quarterback has a good arm just like (Jeff) Driskel did from Louisiana Tech, and their reserving corps is solid. They have a junior college guy (at running back) and a guy that has been playing for a few years. Also, their offensive line has some experience.”

Defensively, the Cowboys are one of the more dangerous teams in the Big 12.

Defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean both rank in the top three in the conference for sacks with Ogbah leading the way with 5.5 sacks in the first four games.

The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in yards given up per game, with 299.8 yards over the first four games of the season. They’ve also given up the second least touchdowns list season with five.

“That’s how it has to work,” senior Cowboy linebacker Ryan Simmons said in a press conference. “You can’t ever think selfishly, you have to stay within the defense and know what your job is. When you try and do too many other things, then stuff starts getting out of whack. Just making sure that everyone does their job is what everybody holds themselves accountable for.”

Kickoff between K-State and Oklahoma State is set for 3 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Tim Everson was born in Wichita, KS in 1994. Before fifth grade he moved up to Manhattan for one year before settling in Riley, KS where he graduated from Riley County High School in 2012. Tim has worked for the Collegian since spring of 2014 and took over as Sports Editor during the summer of 2015. Tim loves sports, music, movies and good food when he can get it.