Oklahoma State’s football team used a big first half to to beat Kansas State 31-20 in the Big 12 opener for both teams at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday night.
Kansas State got the ball first and got a 37-yard run from quarterback Will Howard to set up a 32-yard field goal by Taiten Winkel to take a 3-0 lead with 8:51 to play in the first quarter.
OSU responded with a 75-yard drive in 7 plays.
Spencer Sanders passed to Jaylen Warren, who took off for a gain of 52 yards.
Warren also had 123 yards rushing on 27 carries.
That helped set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Sanders to put the Cowboys on top 7-3 with 6:32 to play in the first quarter.
Sanders was 22-for-34 passing for 344 yards
K-State answered on the ensuing kickoff, as Malik Knowles returned it 99 yards for a touchdown and it was 10-7 Wildcats with 6:18 left in the first quarter.
OSU responded with an 8-play, 73-yard drive, with Sanders passing to Brennan Presley for a 20-yard touchdown and the Cowboys were back on top 14-10 with 3:26 left in the first quarter.
The Cowboys added to the lead not long after that, as Howard fumbled a shotgun snap into the end zone and Malcolm Rodriguez recovered for an OSU touchdown to make it 21-10 with 3:15 to play in the first quarter.
After forcing a K-State punt, the Cowboys marched 90 yards in 11 plays, with Sanders lobbing a fade to Tay Martin for a catch in the back right corner of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown to make it 28-10 OSU with 10:51 left in the second quarter.
Martin had 9 catches for 100 yards.
An Alex Hale 20-yard field goal extended the lead to 31-10 with 4:21 to play in the first half.
Sanders passed to Martin for 20 and Warren had a run of 14 yards to set up the Hale field goal.
K-State moved the ball on their ensuing possession, but Jaren Lewis was intercepted by Kolby Harvell-Peel at the OSU 18-yard line.
The Wildcats got the ball back and Winkel kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired to make it 31-13 OSU at halftime.
Oklahoma State got the ball to start the second half, but Alex Hale missed a 48-yard field goal wide right.
Neither team could do anything offensively after that until late in the third quarter, when Lewis escaped heavy pressure and passed to Duece Vaughn, who raced 55 yards for a touchdown to cut the OSU lead to 31-20 with 1:08 left in the third quarter.
It stayed that way after the two teams exchanged two punts, then Hale missed a 49-yard field goal wide left with 6:58 to go, keeping it an 11-point Cowboy lead.
OSU has won seven of their last eight games against K-State in Stillwater.
The Cowboys improve to 4-0 on the season.
OSU hosts Baylor next Saturday at 6:00 pm.