(TNS) — Key players, moments and grades from Kansas State's 45-40 victory over Oklahoma State:
Kansas State player of the game: Byron Pringle. Without Dalton Schoen, the Wildcats needed someone to step up and help Skylar Thompson in the passing game. Pringle did exactly that, delivering his best game in a K-State uniform. The junior receiver was unstoppable at times, piling up 280 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.
Oklahoma State player of the game: James Washington. The Cowboys' top receiver grabbed eight passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. K-State had trouble covering him all day.
Key moment of the game: Oklahoma State had an opportunity to steal this game in the final minutes when it held the ball at midfield with 2:16 remaining. The way the Cowboys had moved the ball in the second half, odds seemed to be on their side. But K-State forced four straight passes to hit the ground, ending Oklahoma State's comeback hopes before they started.
Offense: A. K-State was headed for a perfect grade when Skylar Thompson connected with Byron Pringle for a 60-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. The Wildcats led 42-13 and were firing on all cylinders. Then the went conservative and nearly blew the game. Still, there was little to complain about when it was over. Thompson had 204 yards and three touchdowns passing, while also rushing for 93 yards and a touchdown. Byron Pringle erupted for 166 yards and three touchdowns. The running game setup the passing game. K-State even gained more yards per play (6.8) than high-powered Oklahoma State (6.1).
Defense: B. Kendall Adams and Duke Shelley both came up with interceptions, Will Geary, Kyle Ball and Trey Dishon all had sacks and K-State limited Oklahoma State to 13 points over the opening 40 minutes. It also came up with a key stop late. Mason Rudolph ended up throwing for 425 yards, so it was far from a perfect effort. But without top cornerback D.J. Reed, who missed the game for undisclosed reasons, it was hard to ask for much more.
Special Teams: A+. Matthew McCrane made his lone field goal attempt and Byron Pringle scored on an 89-yard kickoff return.
Coaching: A. K-State was dealing with so many injuries that Dalton Risner and Trent Tanking were the only captains healthy enough to participate in the coin toss. Few thought the short-handed Wildcats could compete with the favored Cowboys, let alone stroll to a 42-13 lead. But Bill Snyder and his coaching staff had the team ready to go.