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Cowboys’ Final Drive Against Kansas State Eerily Similar to Bedlam



Two weeks ago, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were down by three against Oklahoma on the Sooners’ 39-yard-line with all three timeouts and 1:39 left on the clock. The Cowboys gained a total of 2 yards and ended the drive on an overthrown incomplete pass by quarterback Mason Rudolph.

Those four plays had multiple missed opportunities, as we have covered, and the Cowboys could have easily given themselves a chance to win had they been capitalized on.

Two weeks later, and OSU was in a similar position on the other side of the field at Boone Pickens Stadium. Down by five with 2:42 on the clock, the Cowboys went with four straight passes and couldn’t find success on any of them.

The first pass was dropped by receiver James Washington near the sideline and the second was the same play, but Rudolph threw too high for Washington to catch the ball. On the third play, Rudolph threw to his check-down in double coverage, Justice Hill, who dropped the ball.

And on fourth down, Rudolph overthrew the tallest receiver on the team, Marcell Ateman, by an alarming amount, thus ending the Cowboys’ comeback attempt.

It’s ironic that what many considered the nation’s best offense at the beginning of the season had back-to-back opportunities to win games at home on the final drive with plenty of time and/or multiple timeouts, and on back-to-back drives they couldn’t convert.

This happened for two reasons. First, the offense seemed to have an unnecessary hurried sense about them. They didn’t, at least against Kansas State, run the ball or get the ball to Hill once despite having over 2 minutes on the clock. This allowed the Wildcats to sit back in max coverage. They were able to get Washington isolated as a split end but they couldn’t take advantage due to player error.

Second, the execution wasn’t what it needed to be. Against the Sooners, Cowboy Back Keenan Brown gave up an opportunity for yardage and tried to run around a cornerback, resulting in a gain of one. On the subsequent plays, Rudolph missed wide open receivers on third and fourth down. Tonight, Rudolph, Washington and Hill all had errors, although Rudolph’s were the most jarring.

Does it mean that Rudolph just doesn’t have the “clutch factor”? Maybe. Rudolph was downright awful at some times, and we’ll address that in a later article. Does it mean that the Cowboy offense wasn’t as good as we thought it was? Probably.

Those things won’t likely affect the rest of the season, as OSU should take care of Kansas and will more than likely take on a middle-tier ACC or Pac-12 team during bowl season. But it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of every Cowboy fan knowing what could have been, and scenarios like this always hurt worse the second time around.

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