Kansas State didn't his quarterback Alan Bowman once Friday night.
STILLWATER — After two weeks of losses and a bye-week to stew on it, OSU got a critical win at home Friday, upsetting Kansas State 29-21. Here are the advanced stats that illustrate how the Cowboys beat the defending Big 12 champions.
No quarterback hits allowed: Forget sacks, OSU quarterback Alan Bowman wasn’t hit once by the K-State pass rush on Friday.
The Wildcats managed just four quarterback hurries, and the OSU pass protection received a grade of 93.2 from Pro Football Focus, the highest grade OSU has received in any area this season. Previously, OSU’s best pass protection grade was 67.2 against Iowa State, when Bowman was sacked twice and hurried 14 times.
“When the offensive line didn’t give up sacks and negative yardage plays, we were able to stay on the chains which made us a much more effective third down team in this game,” Gundy said.
Return yards surrendered (15): The wildcats tested the Cowboy special teams only twice on Friday, and both times senior return man Brooks Phillips should have called for a fair catch.
At the end of the first quarter, kicker Logan Ward kicked off to Phillips, who was dropped by freshman linebacker Poasa Utu after a 15-yard return. Additionally, KSU receiver Shane Porter was called for a holding, which started the Wildcat drive at their own 7-yard line.
In the fourth quarter, Phillips caught a punt but was tackled by Parker Robinson for zero yards.
PFF lists OSU as No. 4 special teams in the nation, behind Illinois, Iowa and Miami (Ohio). Mike Gundy said there are six coaches involved in watching special teams, and it’s the very first thing he grades and gameplans for on Sundays
“We put a lot of time and effort into it and try to use multiple players, changing them game to game based on where we think their strengths are, just like we put (Uta) on kickoff coverage just cause we felt like we had an advantage with him doing a couple of things,” Gundy said.
Holding K-State tight end Ben Sinnot to four receptions: Sinnot presented a unique challenge for the OSU defense. He is a 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end who leads K-State in receiving yards.
Against the Cowboys, Sinnott caught just 40% of his 10 targets for 39 yards. He beat the Cowboys in the red zone for a touchdown catch, his third of the season, but was mostly bottled up by OSU’s kitchen-sink approach.
Sinnott was targeted on throws against five different Cowboys, including a linebacker, two safeties and two cornerbacks. It was his second lowest yardage output of the season and just the second time he was held under 64 yards.