Tag Archives: Kansas State Oklahoma 2012

Punter an unsung hero in KSU’s upset

22 Sep

Even in a game of many huge plays – fumble recoveries, interceptions – punter Ryan Doerr proved invaluable. (Photo from kstatesports.com)

After the Wildcats’ defeat of Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday night, members of the media will run over each other trying to get to Collin Klein, to Ty Zimmerman, to Justin Tuggle, to John Hubert. All those guys deserve massive credit, as do many more on the roster. One guy few will think of, however, is one who proved incredibly instrumental in Kansas State’s victory.

The punter, Ryan Doerr.

Think about it. As a rule, punters are underrated. They are typically considered a last resort. Fans usually groan when the punt unit comes onto the field. That being the case, bailing out a team after its offense has failed to score is a rather important job.

Doerr did that with excellence on Saturday night.

He punted five times. The average starting field position for the Sooners after Doerr’s punts was their own 12-yard line. Thanks to Doerr, Oklahoma faced the challenge of approximately 88 yards to the end zone  immediately following every Kansas State drive that fizzled.

Think of the momentum swing that those punts created. Oklahoma would be all amped up, having stopped the Wildcats from scoring, only to have the Sooners’ offense presented with nearly the entire length of the field to go for a score.

If you still don’t believe me about Doerr’s incredible contribution, check out the list of his game-changing moments below, which I pulled from ESPN’s play-by-play:

First quarter:

“Ryan Doerr punt for 27 yards, downed at the Okla 9.”

(OU’s drive ended in a field goal.)

“Ryan Doerr punt for 29 yards, fair catch by Justin Brown at the Okla 18.”

(OU’s drive ended in a punt after the Sooners went three-and-out.)

Second quarter:

“Ryan Doerr punt for 49 yards, fair catch by Justin Brown at the Okla 16.”

(OU’s drive ended in a fumble.)

Third quarter:

“Ryan Doerr punt for 43 yards, fair catch by Justin Brown at the Okla 12.”

(OU’s drive ended in a touchdown.)

“Ryan Doerr punt for 37 yards, downed at the Okla 4.”

(OU’s drive ended in an interception.)

Advertisements

Keys to the Game: KSU vs. OU

22 Sep

Let’s cut to the chase today. Oklahoma (2-0) is quite heavily favored over Kansas State (3-0) when the teams meet Saturday night in Norman, where the Sooners are 44-2 against Big 12 competition under coach Bob Stoops. Here is what the Wildcats have to do to have a chance.

1. Get pressure on Landry Jones. Easier said than done, clearly, since this quarterback torched Kansas State last year for 505 yards when Oklahoma defeated the Wildcats 58-17 in Manhattan. The Sooners completed 25 pass plays of 10 yards or more, including seven of 20-plus yards. The Wildcats did not sack Jones once in the 2011 meeting – not particularly surprising since Oklahoma allowed just 11 all season long. However, through two games this year, the Sooners have already given up seven sacks … and the Wildcats have amassed eight over their three non-conference games.

2. Mix it up on offense. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has played his cards close to the vest so far, but you had better believe the playbook will be opening up this week. We’ve seen a significant amount of running back John Hubert already, but the passing game should also get going with a little more of Chris Harper, Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett. Throw in fullback Braden Wilson and tight end Travis Tannahill, and you see the Wildcats have quite a few options should they choose to use them. All in all, it is less predictable than trying to run quarterback Collin Klein every time, which seemed to be the dominant strategy last season.

3. Avoid injuries. With both linebacker Arthur Brown and center B.J. Finney going down in last weekend’s contest against North Texas, keeping everyone healthy is certainly a short-term and a long-term goal. Despite a lack of big-time, four-star or five-star recruits, the Wildcats have solid starters. Their depth leaves something to be desired, however, and the loss of either Brown or Finney could be a fatal blow. Snyder said Tuesday that both should be ready to go this week, but hopefully they are actually as physically well as Snyder would have people believe.