Kansas cornerback Greg Brown (5) tackles Oklahoma State wide receiver Tracy Moore (87) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — J.W. Walsh threw for 255 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, and Oklahoma State survived a wild fourth-quarter rally by Kansas for a rain-soaked 20-14 victory Saturday afternoon.
Walsh played the whole way for the Cowboys (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), even though it was thought that Wes Lunt might be available. Lunt was the starter until hurting his knee Sept. 15 against Louisiana-Lafayette. The more mobile Walsh has played well in his place.
Joseph Randle added 80 yards rushing for Oklahoma State, while Mike 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.
James Sims had 138 yards and a touchdown rushing for the Jayhawks (1-5, 0-3 Big 12), who trailed 20-0 when backup quarterback Michael Cummings took over for Dayne Crist in the third quarter.
Cummings led the Jayhawks to their first touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and helped guide them to another with 8:52 remaining. But the freshman's incomplete pass on fourth-and-5 at the Oklahoma State 41 with 2:45 left turned the ball over, and a roughing-the-kicker penalty on D.J. Beshears after the defense had forced a punt allowed the Cowboys to run out the clock.
Cummings finished 5 of 10 for 75 yards and a touchdown. Crist was 10 of 22 for 136 yards.
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. The Cowboys were stuffed at the line twice rather than let big-legged kicker Quinn Sharp take the field. The Jayhawks came up short on their first try and then failed to convert a faked field goal on their second.
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 resumed.
By that point, squeegees were needed to help remove standing water from the sidelines.
When the game resumed, Kansas made the first big play when Lubbock Smith picked off Walsh and returned the ball to the Oklahoma State 27. But three straight runs netted just 3 yards, and coach Charlie Weis elected to try again on fourth down — and failed again.
The nation's top-ranked offense finally got purring later in the 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 on a quick pass play. Moore sprinted 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 stuck around.
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.
KU Athletics release:
KU Comeback Falls Short; Loses to OSU, 20-14
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas’ Mike Cummings was handed the Jayhawk offense in the third quarter and with the help of a career-high 138 rushing yards by James Sims, the Jayhawks came within a touchdown of defeating Big 12 Conference opponent Oklahoma State in a 20-14 loss at Memorial Stadium Saturday.
The defense of Kansas (1-5 overall, 0-3 in league play) kept the game close to set up the potential late-game heroics. KU held Oklahoma State (3-2, 1-1) to its lowest point total since the 2010 Cotton Bowl, when the Cowboys were defeated 21-7 by Ole Miss.
Powered by a career-high 12 tackles from Jake Love and a career-best tying effort from Bradley McDougald with 12 stops, the Kansas defense held OSU to 371 yards of total offense, including 116 yards on the ground. Oklahoma State entered the game leading the nation with 55.8 points and 659 yards per game.
OSU opened the fourth quarter with a 42-yard field goal from Sharp to take a 20-0 lead. Cummings entered the game at quarterback in place of starter Dayne Crist and threw his first career touchdown with a 21-yard pass to Jimmay Mundine to put KU on the board, 20-7. Cummings completed five of his 10 pass attempts in the game for 75 yards. On the ensuing Kansas drive, Sims ran in a 30-yard touchdown and was responsible for 58 of the 73 yards on the drive to make it a 20-14 game with 8:52 on the clock. Sims had 27 carries in the game.
The Jayhawks were forced to punt following their next drive and a roughing the kicker penalty against Kansas with less than two minutes remaining eliminated any chance of the KU offense regaining possession. Oklahoma State ran out the clock to seal the victory.
The game opened with a scoreless first quarter that included four failed fourth-down conversion tries between the two teams, including a fake field goal attempt by Kansas, a one hour and 19 minute weather delay and a combined 184 yards of total offense. Oklahoma State’s second failed fourth-down attempt occurred inside KU’s 20-yard line and marked the first time this season that the Cowboys were unable to score in the red zone ending their 25-for-25 string.
Oklahoma State’s J.W. Walsh put the Cowboys on the board midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. The six-play, 51-yard drive was highlighted by a 31-yard pass from Walsh to Tracy Moore. Walsh threw for 255 yards on 18-for-29 passing.
OSU increased its lead to 10-0 with a 49-yard field goal by Quinn Sharp on a 48-yard drive at the end of the first half. The Cowboys tried to increase their lead on the final play of the second quarter, but Sharp’s 52-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
KU defense held OSU to its lowest first-half score in its last 14 games. The 10 points was the fewest first-half points scored by the Cowboys in over a year when OSU posted three points at the half at Texas A&M on Sept. 24, 2011.
Following a stalled offensive drive by Kansas, OSU had the only score of the third quarter from Charlie Moore’s 72-yard touchdown pass from Walsh, which marked the longest play from scrimmage for the Cowboys this season.
Kansas will be back in action next Saturday when the Jayhawks travel to No. 10-ranked Oklahoma. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m., and will be televised on FOX Sports Net.