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Instant Recap: Oklahoma State Bounces Back With 29-21 win Against Kansas State

OSU avoided a losing streak with the win.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Forget Texas being back, is Oklahoma State back?

After back-to-back losses and a bye week, the Cowboys avoided a losing steak with a 29-21 win against Kansas State on Friday night at a blacked out Boone Pickens Stadium. The defending Big 12 champion Wildcats entered the game as 11-point favorites before dropping to 3-2, as OSU improved to 3-2.

A rarity for OSU in 2023, the game just went the Cowboys’ way, from snaps flying over Will Howard’s head on fourth-down tries, to Alan Bowman getting enough time to find open receivers. There were successful fake punts and completed reverse passes from Brennan Presley to Bowman.

After OSU’s defense immediately held K-State to a three-and-out, Alan Bowman marched the Cowboys to the end zone to begin his third start and second full game as QB1. Bowman threw for 63 yards and rushed for another 11 in that first series. Ollie Gordon punctuated the opening drive with a 2-yard touchdown to give the Pokes a lead they’d never squander.

Things only got better for Bryan Nardo’s defense from there, as safety Cameron Epps picked off Will Howard on K-State’s next drive to record OSU’s first forced turnover since Week 2 against Arizona State, which also happened to be the Cowboys’ last win. OSU turned the turnover into three points and a 10-point lead.

Epps got his second interception of the night and his career later in the second quarter, but returned that one for a 35-yard touchdown. The pick-6 gave OSU a 20-7 lead at halftime.

The defense stifled a Wildcat offense that averaged 39.5 points a game before arriving to Stillwater and also forced three interceptions from a veteran quarterback.

K-State had also excelled at stopping the run, while the Cowboys could never get their run game going before. OSU rushed for 174 yards Friday night, though, as K-State had allowed only 73.2 rushing yards a game before, which was sixth-best in FBS.

Gordon led the backfield with 21 carries for 136 yards, averaging 6.5 yards a carry, and a touchdown.

Although Gordon and Bowman played exceptionally well, Alex Hale was OSU’s most potent offensive weapon, accounting for 17 of OSU’s 29 points. Hale was 5-of-6, with the lone miss being a block. He had makes of 43, 34, 53, 31 and 25. It was the second straight game Hale had a make from 53 yards.

Those red-zone trips without touchdowns did make it closer at the end than things felt, though. K-State scored a touchdown and failed to convert a two-point conversion to make it 29-21 with 8:56 left.

The Wildcats were then later driving and into OSU territory before Nickolas Martin picked off Howard for the third time to give the offense back the ball with 3:24 left and a chance to ice the game. The offense failed to get a first down, though, giving the ball back to the Wildcats 24 ticks later. But, once again, the defense came through for OSU.

OSU will host another team from the Sunflower State next, when the 3-1 Kansas Jayhawks visit at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

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