Numbers never lie, but, in the topsy-turvy world of college football, numbers can be incorrect. Case in point, one week after being statistically dominated by the Texas Longhorns in their annual showdown and coming out victorious, the tables were turned on the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday against Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats. Just looking at the game stats, one would think the Sooners chalked up another Big 12 win at home. However, at games end, the scoreboard read 31-30 in favor of the Wildcats. On this game day, the Sooners weren’t good enough to overcome turnovers and special teams meltdowns.
With the score tied at seven early in the second quarter, OU had the ball at its own 2-yard line when quarterback Trevor Knight tried to hit Durron Neal with a quick pass. Kansas State’s Danzel McDaniel cut in front of Neal, intercepted Knight’s pass and trotted four yards into the end zone to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead.
The Sooners evened the score on their next possession when Knight found favorite target Sterling Shepard for a 47-yard scoring strike.
Kansas State regained the lead when quarterback Jake Waters hit Tulsa Washington product Tyler Lockett with a 9-yard touchdown pass. OU kicker Michael Hunnicutt trimmed the Wildcat lead to 21-17 when he knocked through a 38-yard field goal. In a harbinger of things to come, the score could have been 21-20 heading into intermission, but Hunnicutt missed on a 32-yard attempt.
The see-saw battle was deadlocked at 24 after Sooner tight end Blake Bell hauled in a 4-yard touchdown toss from Knight with a little over nine minutes left in the third quarter. Waters used his legs to go up 31-24, scoring on a 4-yard scamper to paydirt.
The Sooners were driving for a potential game-tying score late in the third quarter, but on second down inside the Wildcat red zone, a reverse pass intended for Shepard from Neal was picked off in the end zone by Morgan Burns, ending the threat.
In the fourth quarter, OU once again threatened to tie the score when Knight connected with Neal on a 9-yard scoring strike, but Hunnicutt’s extra point attempt was blocked by K-State’s Travis Britz.
OU had one final chance to take the lead after the Sooner defense held the Wildcats to a three-and-out. Knight led the Sooners from their own 30-yard line to the Kansas State four, but three straight running plays failed to find the end zone, and Hunnicutt pushed his 19-yard field goal attempt wide left. Waters and the Wildcats ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
Photos by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.