Oklahoma State edges past Kansas, 20-14
- Oct. 14, 2012
- 1 Comment
Dayne Crist had time. Time in the pocket, time of possession and time to make Charlie Weis as well as Jayhawk fans believe he could be the starting quarterback.
But late in the third quarter of Kansas’ 20-14 loss on Saturday to Oklahoma State at Memorial Stadium, Crist’s time ran out.
With Kansas trailing by 20 and still without any points, head coach Charlie Weis pulled his fifth-year senior quarterback in favor of a redshirt freshman who’s only playing time occurred last week at Kansas State during the blowout where several backup players were used.
With Crist in the midst of his fourth game with a completion percentage of less than 50 percent, and after gaining just 137 yards against Oklahoma State, it was redshirt freshman Michael Cummings’ turn to lead the Jayhawk offense.
“I had dialed up the call sheet already,” Weis said of the quarterback change. “I was grasping for what can I get to get going. If you don’t have much inventory left on the call sheet, the one thing you have going for you is you can change the personnel.”
It wasn’t a smooth change right away. Cummings first series included the quarterback rushing for negative 17 yards. Oklahoma State keyed in on the freshman and left him with little to go except backwards.
Yet it was all forward progress after that. Progress with the offense, progress with Cummings’ passes and progress with the game that was suddenly up for grabs.
After that first series, Weis realized that the tempo he had set was too slow for his new signal caller. Instead of having Cummings adjust to him, Weis chose to adapt to him.
With the change in tempo, the freshman that was trying to take it one play at a time began moving the chains in an uncharacteristic fourth quarter for the Jayhawks.
Prior to Saturday, Kansas had been outscored 43-13 in the final period this season. Against Oklahoma State, and with Cummings behind center, the Jayhawks began to reverse that trend.
Cummings marched the Jayhawks 44 yards down the field before connecting with sophomore tight end Jimmay Mundine on a 21-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to put Kansas on the board.
After the first touchdown, senior wide receiver Kale Pick said things began to click for the otherwise inept offense.
“The first touchdown we had in the fourth quarter is really when we started building momentum,” Pick said. “Once we made a few plays it started to snowball.”
Kansas was still far from a comeback, but with a defense that held the Big 12’s leading rusher Joseph Randle to just 2.8 yards per carry, it didn’t seem impossible.
After kicking off to the Cowboys, the Jayhawks forced a three-and-out that set Kansas up at their 27-yard line.
With more than nine minutes left on the clock, there was plenty of time for Kansas to climb back into the game.
But the Jayhawks only needed 42 seconds and two rushes by junior running back James Sims to score their second consecutive touchdown.
The first run went for 28 yards, the second, which came after a fifteen-yard penalty on the Cowboys, went for 30 yards and to the back of the end zone.
After three quarters, and an hour and 19-minute rain delay earlier in the game, Kansas was down by just six points.
“The last couple of games we really didn’t show up in the fourth quarter,” Sims said. “This was a big turnaround for us. We just came together and wanted to finish the game strong.”
The Jayhawks could have finished stronger. Cummings only commanded one more drive and it stalled near midfield after a failed fourth down conversion.
Kansas’ defense would come up strong again stopping the Cowboys at their 46 yard line with just over two minutes left.
But on the ensuing punt, with the Jayhawks set to get the ball back, the Kansas special teams unit was called for roughing the kicker, a 15-yard penalty that gave Oklahoma State a first down that clinched the victory.
In a fourth quarter where the Jayhawks could have used a little more time, they turned to a freshman quarterback who made the most of it, and who may be seeing more playing time in the future.
“I think Mike played pretty solid,” Weis said. “He put us in a position to win the game. It’s something we are going to have to seriously look at.”