Wildcats take painful loss on homecoming weekend

29 Oct

In the first seven minutes of the ball game, it appeared all the critics might be right about Kansas State. At the end, they were … at least about this particular game. The scoreboard read 58-17 Oklahoma. It was a devastating blow to the previously undefeated Wildcats.

“Right now my thoughts are, ‘Just forget about it,’” said wide receiver Tyler Lockett. “We were not ready to play, and we got beat badly, and nobody wants to lose like that.”

On homecoming weekend in Manhattan, the defense that had been so highly regarded took a horrible beating. The Sooners’ offense ran rampant, gaining 690 yards. 520 of those came through the air, the worst aerial attack ever by an opponent at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

While the skill and speed of No. 11 Oklahoma did not shock the Wildcats, they certainly did not expect the outcome they got on Saturday.

“We knew what kind of a team they were coming in,” said quarterback Collin Klein. “It wasn’t a surprise, but frustrating, not being able to execute like we were. We were struggling, and to watch them come right back – it was hard.”

Largely thanks to two interceptions by Nigel Malone in the first half, the No. 10 Wildcats trailed just 23-16 going into the locker room at halftime. As the second half progressed, it became clear who made better halftime adjustments.

In the final 30 minutes, the Wildcats did not score; the Sooners scored five touchdowns. Kansas State recorded just 32 yards of offense in the second half. Oklahoma got more than 10 times that number – 378, to be exact.

While those statistics make the home team defense look pretty awful, coach Bill Snyder said made it clear that it was a team loss.

“We have been able to, through the course of seven ball games, to possess the ball and move the ball well enough to keep people’s offense off the field a substantial amount of time, and we were not able to do that,” Snyder said. “This wasn’t totally a defensive malfunction to the degree that it cost us the ball game. We lost the ball game on both sides of the ball.”

Interestingly enough, it did not start out that way.

To begin the game, Oklahoma marched down the field on consecutive possessions while Kansas State answered with three-and-outs. The Sooners took a 14-0 lead.

A minute later, the Wildcats took advantage of the Sooners kick out of bounds. They got a field. It was 14-3. It was a modest beginning for the Kansas State offense, to be sure.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Wildcats committed a false start, the kind of attention-to-detail penalty that coach Bill Snyder cannot stand. On the second play of that quarter, quarterback Collin Klein weaved through the Oklahoma defense for a 42-yard touchdown rush.

All of a sudden, it was 14-10 Oklahoma.

On the Sooners’ next possession, cornerback Nigel Malone picked off Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, setting the Wildcats up for – wait for it – a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Klein.

Just like that, Kansas State led Oklahoma 17-14.

After giving up 17 consecutive points, the Sooners responded promptly with a touchdown of their own. They only went up by three points, however, as defensive tackle Raphael Guidry blocked the extra point. It was his third such play of the season after blocking two Texas Tech field goals a couple weeks earlier.

With the Sooners leading 20-17, the Wildcats sustained a nice long drive only to miss a 25-yard field goal. On Oklahoma’s ensuing drive, Jones threw another interception. It was Malone again, good for his sixth pick of the season.

Unfortunately for Kansas State, that possession yielded nothing after running back John Hubert fumbled and Oklahoma recovered. Only able to get a field goal from the possession, the Sooners went into the locker room with a six-point advantage.

Though the Wildcats did a decent job containing the Sooners in the first half and moving the ball themselves, they could not do either in the second half.

“We couldn’t move the ball, and we couldn’t stop them; it’s pretty simple,” Snyder said. “Every one of our victories has really been a team victory, it truly has, and this was a team loss. We struggled on both sides of the ball, very much. Take your pick.”

With Oklahoma State next on the dock, though, the Wildcats cannot dwell on this debacle. That sentiment is unanimous.

“We’ve just got to come together on Monday and bounce back,” said cornerback David Garrett.

 

 

 

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