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Cowboys survive rally by Kansas for 20-14 victory

October 14, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has grown accustomed to seeing his quarterbacks and running backs pile up big numbers for one of the nation's most prolific offenses.

He isn't used to seeing them plod along like they did on Saturday afternoon.

J.W. Walsh threw for 255 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, but Joseph Randle was held in check and a stingy Kansas defense kept forcing the Cowboys to punt. It wasn't until a personal foul penalty against the Jayhawks in the closing minutes allowed Oklahoma State to run out the clock on a 20-14 victory that Gundy could finally exhale.

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"It was a serious struggle, and it was difficult for me to watch," said Gundy, a record-setting quarterback for the Cowboys in the 1980s. "It frustrates me because that's my background."

Oklahoma State waited out a lightning delay and then built a 20-0 advantage entering the fourth quarter, but two touchdowns by Kansas made the final minutes interesting.

The Jayhawks had the ball back and were facing fourth-and-5 at the Oklahoma State 41 with 2:45 left when backup quarterback Michael Cummings' pass toward the sideline fell incomplete.

Kansas held the Cowboys' offense, which entered the game first in the nation in scoring, on three straight running plays to force a punt. But a personal foul called against D.J. Beshears for roughing the kicker allowed Oklahoma State to keep the ball and run out the clock.

Walsh went the whole way for the Cowboys (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), even though Wes Lunt could have played in a pinch. Lunt was the starter until hurting his knee Sept. 15 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Randle finished with 80 yards rushing for Oklahoma State, while Gundy improved to 62-32 as the head coach. He's now tied with Pat Jones (62-60-3) for the most wins in school history.

"It's not the prettiest win that we'll have in the record books," said Oklahoma State kicker Quinn Sharp, "but it's still a 'W,' and we'll take it."

James Sims had 138 yards and a touchdown rushing for the Jayhawks (1-5, 0-3 Big 12), but the biggest storyline this week concerns who will be under center.

Dayne Crist was just 10 of 22 for 136 yards before getting replaced late in the third quarter by redshirt freshman Michael Cummings, who had played sparingly the first five games.

Cummings was 5 of 10 for 75 yards and led the Jayhawks to both of their touchdowns.

"If you don't have much inventory left on the call sheet, the one thing you have going for you is you can always change personnel," Kansas coach Charlie Weis said.

The first quarter was about as ugly as the weather.

Under steel-gray skies and driving rain, Oklahoma State and Kansas managed to end four straight drives with failed fourth-down conversions - one of them a failed field-goal fake.

The first lightning strike came with 44 seconds left in the first quarter, sending both teams to their locker rooms and fans scurrying for the concourse. Lightning continued to light up the sky for the next 40 minutes, and the delay stretched to 1:19 before the game clock started again.

By that point, squeegees were needed to help remove standing water from the sidelines.

Oklahoma State finally got purring in the second quarter.

The Cowboys took possession near mid-field and Walsh hit Tracy Moore for a 31-yard gain. Four plays later, Walsh scooted in from four yards out for a 7-0 lead.

Sharp added a 49-yard field goal with 49 seconds left in the half, but his 52-yard try as time expired left Oklahoma State with a 10-0 lead.

That was still the score when Oklahoma State took over with about 12 minutes left in the third quarter. On the first play from scrimmage, Walsh hit Charlie Moore with a quick pass, and he broke a tackle before sprinting 72 yards down the sideline for the touchdown.

Sharp's field goal made it 20-0, and that's when Weis switched quarterbacks.

Cummings struggled on his first series, but he was sharp on his second try. He led Kansas 65 yards in nine plays, and his 21-yard touchdown toss to Jimmay Mundine with 10:52 left in the fourth quarter woke up the sparse crowd that had suffered through the weather.

The crowd really came alive when the Jayhawks got the ball back.

Sims ripped off a 28-yard gain, a personal foul penalty moved the ball 15 yards more, and Sims meandered his way through the middle of the line for a 30-yard TD jaunt that made it 20-14.

Oklahoma State's defense stiffened, though, and the Jayhawks ran out of time.

"The last couple of games we really haven't been showing up in the fourth quarter, but this was a big turnaround for us," Sims said."