Al’s Corner: reaction and analysis to the upset at Oklahoma State

The Kansas State Wildcats football team played the Oklahoma State University Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. on Nov. 18, 2017. The Wildcats went on to win with a final score of 45-40. (Photo by Cooper Kinley | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats traveled down to Stillwater, Oklahoma and took on the Oklahoma State Cowboys, where the Wildcats won 45-40. The Cowboys were ranked No. 10 on the AP Poll prior to this game.

The Wildcats performed a huge upset this week. The Wildcats were picked to lose to Oklahoma State by 17 points. Instead, they whisked away and took home their sixth win, making them bowl game eligible.

Freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson threw for 204 yards and had three touchdown passes. Thompson was sacked three times, getting injured on the third and final sack. He was able to play the last minute of the game. I’m sure I speak for all K-State fans when I say that I cringe every time someone touches Thompson.

Byron Pringle had four touchdowns during the game, ultimately standing out among his teammates. Pringle was able to get an 89-yard kickoff return for his first touchdown of the game, throwing the Wildcats up even farther on the board in the second quarter.

While the Wildcats had a strong lead in the first three quarters, something happened in the fourth that got them in a rut. The Cowboys got 20 points in the fourth quarter alone. Yup, you read that right 20 points. K-State’s defense reacted well in the last two minutes to the possible threat, as Oklahoma State was only five points behind at this point.

Thompson was hurt periodically towards the end of the fourth quarter. Thompson was sacked by two Cowboys, thus leaving him laying on the field in agony. The apparent injury is not clear as to what it was, but after some time, Thompson was back on the field and in the press conference after the game. He was helped off field, but while he was out for that little bit, freshman Hunter Hall stepped in.

Hall had no career snaps at this point. The few snaps that Hall was in there, the ball didn’t move like it should’ve. It became a very, very scary nightmare for K-State when we turned the ball back over to Oklahoma State. However, our defense stepped up and kept them at bay.

Becoming more comfortable on field, Thompson moved quick and smooth on the field. He threw a total of 204 yards for the Wildcats, which was a step up from the previous game against West Virginia. For West Virgina, Thompson threw for 159 yards. In that mix at West Virginia, he threw no touchdowns and two interceptions. Today, it was clear Thompson was more alert, smooth, quick and relaxed on field. He threw three touchdowns and no interceptions against Oklahoma State.

Wide receiver Dalton Schoen was out today, which gave Dominique Heath, Isaiah Zuber and Pringle more time on the field. While Pringle was the front runner today with 166 yards, Zuber was up next with only 22 yards. Zuber also had a 15-yard kick return.

Rushing for the Wildcats today was a huge part of the game. Thompson, Alex Barnes and Justin Silmon were the main players when it came to this part of the game. Thompson lead the rushing game with 107 yards, followed by Barnes for 102 yards. Silmon ended the game with 35 yards.

Overall, consistency still needs to be looked into. While we were a little more consistent today then we have been in the past, there’s always more room for improvement. The quarterback situation is also a huge gamble for the Wildcats, as we are down to one healthy quarterback that has had career playing time. The offense needs a little work, but it could always be worse. The big plays we had today made a huge difference in the ball game and showed the true colors of the team. The defense is the real winner in parts of this game, because they kept the Cowboys out of the end zone more times than we can count.

Immediately after the game, head coach Bill Snyder talked about being the underdog in today’s game and the team pulling out the sixth win.

“They don’t surprise me. Because it’s expected,” Snyder said. “I expect them to play well, and I expect them to be successful ballgame in and ballgame out. There isn’t anything that was a surprise. They got closer to playing to what I would expect they’re capable of playing.”

Snyder also talked about Thompson and his ability to step up today, showing his true playing skills.

“I thought Skylar did awfully well,” Snyder said. “We only threw 13 passes and still we were able to get the ball downfield. That was the important thing. So we got some big plays. We’ve had a drought with big plays, really. We got some today that made a substantial difference. (Byron) Pringle had a role in that in not only the kick return, but the catches that he made and the routes that he ran in order to get himself open. I think that was significant. Skylar managed the game well. He threw the ball extremely well. Ran a little bit when he had to.”

Snyder also talked about the defense and how they were able to keep the Cowboys away from scoring.

“At the end of the day, we made the stop that won the ballgame,” Snyder said. “Being able to hold them on four downs after watching their offense, I’m not sure anybody can hold them for four downs. That’s a pretty major task.”

I was not expecting this. Honestly, no one really was. It was a huge upset, but it showed something to all K-State fans. That would be to expect the unexpected.

The Wildcats came to Stillwater to play today. Maybe it was Phil the bobcat, maybe it was the fact of being on the road, maybe it was just the luck of the draw. They made it clear they were ready to fight for the win from the moment the ball went into play.

The Wildcats will host Iowa State on Saturday at home in Bill Snyder Family Stadium at 2:30 p.m.

I'm DeAundra Allen, co-editor-in-chief and sports editor at the Collegian. I'm a junior in broadcast journalism and pre-law, with a minor in philosophy. I was born in Brighton, Colorado, home of La Placita and the Bulldogs. I moved to Kansas in 2010, and fell in love with press boxes at a young age. In my spare time, I talk about my pets, sports, and work towards going to law school.