No. 15 Wildcats upset No. 6 Sooners

23 Sep

Quarterback Collin Klein and the Wildcats outran the Sooners on Saturday night, flourishing yet again in their underdog role.

In the last couple seasons, fast-starting Kansas State teams encountered what some would consider harsh reality checks – a 58-17 defeat by Oklahoma in 2011, a 48-13 whooping by Nebraska in 2010.

This year, it looks like no one is stopping the Wildcats. That idea gained significant credence Saturday night in Norman, where Kansas State won, 24-19, for the first time since 1997.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was 14-0 against ranked teams there going into the game against the 15th-ranked Wildcats.

Now he is 14-1.

Kansas State knocked off the Sooners for the first time since 2003, so this win is clearly one that will stick with the program for years to come. Though the current players only get to enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling for the next 24 hours or so, the longer-term effects of such a victory are not going anywhere.

“It gives us confidence and momentum,” Kansas State running back John Hubert said. “We just want to rest and keep getting better. We are one of those teams that can be in the top five easily, but we like to be underdogs. It gives us confidence to go out and play hard.”

On Saturday the Wildcats’ offense continued its trend of finishing strong, scoring 10 points in the second quarter and 14 points in the fourth. The Kansas State defense held the Sooners to one score per quarter – a field goal in each segment of the first half, a touchdown with the extra point in the third quarter, and a touchdown sans two-point conversion in the fourth.

Flashy plays are what make the highlight reels, but the proper execution of fundamentals ended up being what won the game for the Wildcats – and what lost it for the Sooners.

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones fumbled and threw an interception, while backup quarterback Blake Bell also fumbled. Kansas State took advantage of the extra opportunities and offered none to the Sooners in return. By my count, the Wildcats allowed 14 passing plays of 10 yards or more. That number still sounds a bit high, but in fact, that stat is 44 percent lower than what Kansas State gave up to Oklahoma last year – 25 such plays. Also, the Wildcats sacked Jones, forced a fumble by him and intercepted him.

Troubling for the Sooners and confidence-inspiring for the Kansas State is the fact that the Wildcats converted in seven third-down situations. Two of those came during the final drive of the game and were essential in allowing Kansas State to run out the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of the Oklahoma offense.

“It was just one of those things where we were finally able to move the ball in the fourth quarter,” Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein said. “We knew we had to get it; we credit our offensive line for giving us the ability to let us to what we had to do. We were able to execute when we had to execute.”

The Sooners finished with 386 yards of offense, but the Wildcats nearly equally that total with 362. Moreover, Kansas State actually displayed a much more balanced attack than Oklahoma, who relied on passing for over two-thirds of its yardage.

The Wildcats rushed for 213 yards and passed for 149. Hubert went for 130, racking up plenty of those yards after contact that make him so valuable, and Klein added 79. Both found the end zone on the ground. Through the air, Klein completed 13 of 21 passes, spreading the ball around to six different targets.

Kansas State returned to its normal occupation of ball control specialist, retaining possession for 34:37 compared to 25:13 for Oklahoma. The win lifted the Wildcats to 4-0 on the year and 1-0 in Big 12 play. Certainly, it was a heck of a way to kick off the conference portion of the schedule.

For their part, the Sooners seemed stunned.

“It’s kind of uncharacteristic stuff for us there,” Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard said. “We just put the defense in bad spots. That game, the offense we played, we didn’t play well enough for this team to win the game. You just have to look at it and it’s just kind of some weird stuff that happened. But you just have to move on.”

The Wildcats will have to move on as well, but surely, they will do so a bit reluctantly. Saturday is a night they won’t soon forget.

One Response to “No. 15 Wildcats upset No. 6 Sooners”

  1. Butch September 23, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    The Mistakes OU made WERE DUE TO THE PRESSURE that the KSU WILDCATS put on ’em… 
    Obviously OU didn’t feel same PRESSURE against Florida A&M… 
    So it wasn’t OU’S mistakes that got’em, IT WAS THE KANSAS STATE WILDCATS that DID IT To’em… 

    Cat fans know it was NOT AN UPSET! That word ” UPSET ” means, OU Folks & The General Media  
    cannot Fathom, cannot Conceive, cannot Comprehend, cannot simply Understand how a FULL TEAM 

    16 Goals!

    Cat Crew in Japan

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