Note: this is primarily a second-half recap. Please go here for our first half recap.
In 2012, K-State won a squeaker, 24-19 in Norman. The teams combined to exceed that combined score in the first half, with Oklahoma owning a 24-21 lead. It was a tale of two offensive approaches: Oklahoma held the ball for 19 minutes. K-State just eleven. Oklahoma managed just 87 yards through the air and threw an interception, but gained 234 on the ground. Conversely, K-State managed just six yards rushing, but had 265 yards passing (mostly to Tyler Lockett, who had three touchdown receptions in the first half).
The reasons were obvious: Oklahoma dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. K-State was unable to stop the run, and unable to get the run going. However, no one in Oklahoma’s secondary could cover Lockett, as he found himself open time and time again.
Opening the second half, K-State stiffened up in the red zone and held Oklahoma to a field goal and a 27-21 lead. The question was how the Wildcats would respond. Third quarters have been K-State’s recently, and a trip to the red zone ended at the 11 yard line and a field goal to close the gap, 27-24. Not ideal, but not a disaster. Still anyone’s game.
The key play was at the end of the third quarter when Oklahoma went for it on fourth and one. Trevor Knight’s run was ruled first down, but a replay showed his foot stepped out of bounds earlier than first observed. The call was upheld due to lack of evidence, although if the standard for decision-making was simply ‘more likely than not’ rather than ‘conclusive,’ it would have been turnover on downs. But then Oklahoma got hit with holding and was pushed out of field goal range. Oklahoma fumbled for the second time in the quarter, but Oklahoma successfully recovered both. The Sooners were still forced to punt, but K-State got the ball at the three yard line, not around the 40.
K-State’s possession went incompletion, incompletion, incompletion, and Mark Krause was forced to punt from the back of the end zone. A short punt into the endzone was fielded on the run around the 25, and returned 22 yards to the three by Jalen Saunders. The next play was obvious: handoff to Brennan Clay for a 34-24 lead.
Tyler Lockett took it upon himself to win the game (as if he hadn’t already), and the only thing that stopped him from returning the kickoff for a touchdown was a horse collar tackle around the 45. Then on the first play he brought down a tipped pass for a seven yard reception. He also struggled with a pass that bounced off his hands, and on third down Jake Waters threw an interception that was returned 74 yards for a touchdown and broke the game open 41-24.
Tyler Lockett responded with another return to the K-State 45, and the first pass went to Tyler Lockett again for another eight yards. That catch set a school record with 241 yards receiving (a record he set against Texas earlier this year). Another reception with Waters on the run and trying to avoid the sack upped the record, and then a big first down to get Lockett the all-purpose yard record for K-State, breaking the record set by Darren Sproles. Lockett then proceeded to draw Oklahoma into a pass interference penalty and put the ball on the two. Jake Waters punched it in three plays later, but on a drive that ate way too much clock before closing the score to 41-31 with six minutes left to play.
The combination of just six minutes left and Oklahoma’s ability to run the ball made the 41-31 lead insurmountable. The Sooners worked to run down the clock, picked up a key third down conversion, K-State didn’t get the ball back until the clock read 2:33 and just one timeout remained for the Wildcats, sitting on the 20 yard line. Jake Waters took a sack on first down, was intercepted on second, and Oklahoma took over sole possession of fourth place in the Big 12 with a 41-31 victory.
Quick stat recap:
- Oklahoma outgained K-State, 472 yards to 372.
- Most of OU’s damage was done on the ground with 301 yards. K-State managed just 26 rushing yards, but had 348 passing.
- K-State’s had two turnovers, but one came on the offense’s final play when Jake Waters was down two scores with two minutes to play, and desperately trying to move the ball. I’ll take it.
- John Hubert had nine rushes for 17 yards, an average of 1.9 per carry.
- With the way Oklahoma closed gaps, Barry Sanders would have had trouble popping off a decent rushing performance.
- Personal observation: I’m not certain how this team could have such trouble running the ball when Jake Waters seemed to have so much time to throw.
- Tyler Lockett finished with 12 catches, 278 yards, three touchdowns. Most of that damage came in the first half. Also had five kick returns for for 162 yards, an average of 32.4 yards. A lot of that damage came in the second half. That was one of the most complete games you’ll ever see someone put together.
- Mark Krause had four punts and averaged 34 yards. Not a good day for him at all.
- Daniel Sams had three carries for seven yards, and no attempted passes. He was ghost after the first quarter. The wind was a factor today, and I can’t believe he didn’t see more time on the field.
- With Jack Cantele spending the game on the sidelines for unknown reasons, Ian Patterson knocked in a 28 yarder and was 4/4 on PATs.