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Saturday, November 5, 2011
Halftime analysis: OK State 27, K-State 24

By David Ubben

STILLWATER, Okla. -- What a half.

Up and down and lots of big plays. Basically, the exact opposite of that tussle in Tuscaloosa.

Different strokes for different folks.

Here's some quick analysis of the first half, where Oklahoma State leads, 27-24.

Turning point I: Trailing 17-14, Brandon Weeden was intercepted by Allen Chapman and couldn't chase down the defensive back, who returned the pick 60 yards for a touchdown to put K-State up 10.

Turning point II: Weeden marched the offense down the field for a field goal, and two plays later, James Thomas returned a tipped interception to K-State's five-yard line that definitively put momentum back in the hands of the Cowboys.

Stat of the half: Uh, pretty simple. K-State and Oklahoma State combined for 51 points in the half. That's a whole lot, and a whole lot of fun.

Best player in the half: Tracy Moore, WR, Oklahoma State. Moore's already surpassed his career high with 123 yards and a game-tying touchdown on seven catches. His previous career high was 112 yards.

What Oklahoma State needs to do: It's pretty clear that Oklahoma State's offense is going to roll more often than it's going to stumble. Cut down on the turnovers and don't make risky throws, and OSU should win this game by double digits. Turn it over, especially in game-changing fashion like muffed punts deep in their own territory and interceptions returned by touchdowns, and this turns to an upset pretty quick.

What Kansas State needs to do: The running game hasn't been as solid as K-State would like. The Wildcats have 128 yards on 22 carries, but 57 of them came on a double reverse to Tyler Lockett. That's 67 yards on the other 20 carries. Not good. So much for a ball control offense. The offensive line has to assert itself, but Collin Klein has been solid, completing a handful of clutch throws, despite his forced interception that changed the game and had no business being attempted.

Force a couple three and outs, get the running game going like it's been all year and K-State will be in this game late. As we learned in wins over Baylor, Miami and Eastern Kentucky, this team knows how to win in the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma State hasn't trailed in the fourth quarter of a game this year. The advantage in that situation is obvious.