Spencer Sanders completed 22 of 34 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns, leading Oklahoma State to a 31-20 victory over No. 25 Kansas State on Saturday night.
Jaylen Warren rushed to 123 yards on 27 carries and added 81 yards on four receptions for Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12). Sanders also scored an urgent touchdown as Oklahoma State’s defense stifled Kansas State’s potential comeback attempt.
The Cowboys failed to score in the second half for the second game in a row.
After amassing 294 yards of total offense and building a 31-10 lead late in the second quarter, Oklahoma State got cold and scored just 54 yards in the third quarter, including four consecutive three-and-out possessions.
Deuce Vaughn, who came into the game leading the Big 12 and ranked eighth in the nation with 371 rushing yards, got just 22 yards on 13 carries to Kansas State (3-1, 0-1). Vaughn collected a team-high 73 yards and a TD on five receptions.
Kansas State: After five consecutive games with 200 plus rushing yards coming from last season, the Wildcats scored just 62 on the ground, including minus-3 in the second half. When starter Skylar Thompson was out due to injury, Kansas State used two quarterbacks, each having some good moments and some not-so-good ones.
Will Howard started and passed 4 of 12 in 50 yards. He also lost a fumble snap late in the first quarter that was restored by Oklahoma State’s Malcolm Rodriguez in the final zone for a touchdown. He ended up leading the Wildcats in rushing yards with 28 on three carries. Jaren Lewis came on the field in the second quarter and completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The two QBs switched locations several times the rest of the way.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys got receiver Tay Martin back in the lineup, and that made a big difference in their passing game. The “super senior” returned after missing the two previous games due to injury, giving Sanders more options and the opportunity to run a more balanced offense. The Cowboys had just 13 pass attempts last week while running the ball 57 times, in part because they were missing four key receivers. But this time, OSU maintained a fairly even balance and rushed 43 times against 34 throws. Martin had six receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown in the first half and finished with nine catches and 100 yards total.
SENSING OF THE SENSING
With the loss, Kansas State will no doubt drop out of the poll. Oklahoma State, which received votes and was several places out of the top 25, could probably get into the next poll.
Kansas State: It will not be any easier for the Wildcats as they return home to host No. 4 Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys play their fourth home game of the season and host Baylor.
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