10/9/2013 6:45:00 PM Defense does it again for Pokes
Oklahoma State receiver Jhajuan Seales pulls in a pass good for a 43-yard gain during first quarter action of Saturday’s Big 12 Conference matchup between the Cowboys and Kansas State. The Pokes held on for a 33-29 win. Seales had four catches for 87 yards.
Journal photo by Kyle Lomenick
By Rick Lomenick, Journal Sports Editor
It wasn't that long ago when Oklahoma State fans would cringe when the defense would be put into a pressure situation such as stopping an opponent in anyway shape or form. Or, the offense was the best defense because of its ability to score points.
That doesn't seem to be the case so far this season.
The Cowboys' defense came up big Saturday afternoon to hold off a pesky Kansas State bunch for a 33-29 win. The win was the first for the Cowboys in Big 12 Conference action and improves the overall record to 4-1. Another off week awaits the Pokes with hopes the extra time will help get more spark in the offense.
The defense looked like the one a couple of seasons ago with regards to forcing turnovers. K-State turned the ball over five times in the second half with two fumbles and a pass interception coming on three straight drives during the third quarter. Two more interceptions occurred on the Wildcats' final two drives that could have resulted in wins.
The Cowboys did see some improvement on special teams, especially with field goal kicking. Freshman Ben Grogan kicked four field goals in addition to three extra points. Three of those field goals came in the second half with the third one coming with 2: 24 left in the game to give OSU a 33-29 advantage, thus forcing K-State to score a touchdown to win. Grogan did have a field goal blocked late in the second quarter that was returned for a score.
There were times the offense showed some signs of actually using the "Air Raid" attack. One instance set up the first score when quarterback J.W. Walsh hit receiver Jhajuan Seales for a 43-yard flea-flicker connection. The only bad thing about that was Walsh's lack of arm strength caused Seales to hold up and catch the ball while falling down at the KSU two-yard line.
Jeremy Smith would complete the drive when he plowed straight ahead for the score that created a 7-7 tie.
The other flash and quite possibly the most critical drive came in the final six minutes of the game. K-State had just scored to take a 29-23 lead. Starting from its own 25-yard line, the OSU hurry-up offense clicked to perfection. The Cowboys went to second down only once in the six-play drive but it was that play that gave the Pokes a score when Walsh hit receiver Charlie Moore on a six-yard connection with 4:13 left on the clock. Grogan toed his most important extra point kick in his young career to give OSU a 30-29 lead.
This would be when the defense stepped up big. On KSU's first play of the ensuing drive, linebacker intercepted the pass and returned it 24 yards to the K-State 17-yard line. The offense then stalled and Grogan kicked the field goal for the 33-29 score.
The Wildcats then began one final drive and was having some success against the prevent-like defense OSU used. But it abruptly halted when safety Daytawion Lowe intercepted a pass and returned it 72 yards thus sealing the win for OSU.
O-State will face TCU as part of homecoming festivities on Saturday, Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. The Horned Frogs gave Oklahoma a tussle last Saturday before dropping a 20-17 decision in Norman. Hopefully the extra week of work will get things finally rolling for OSU. Because there won't be any more extra preparation weeks this season and some pretty stiff competition still awaits.