By: Hunter Cornejo
For the 3rd straight week, the Oklahoma Sooners started off the game slow, this time with Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez leading the Wildcats to a 14-0 lead. Oklahoma answered back with Dillion Gabriel connecting with Theo Wease for a 56 yard touchdown pass, and then on the next drive, with Gabriel finding Marvin Mims for a 50 yard touchdown pass. Adrian Martinez put the Wildcats on the board once again with a rushing touchdown to make the score 21-14. A fourth down false start forced the Sooners to settle for 3. Kansas State’s star running back Deuce Vaughn broke free for a gain of 22 to put the Wildcats in field goal range, making the half time score 24-17 Kansas State. Eric Gray got the Sooners’ offense started in the 2nd half with 4 touches for 46 yards. However the Wildcats defense answered back, once again forcing the Sooners to call on Zach Schmit for a field goal. The Sooner defense shut down Adrian Martinez on the next drive, forcing a K-State punt, however another penalty shut down the Sooners’ chance to put points on the board, when a foolish substitution forced the Sooners into a delay of game. Punter Michael Turk had a phenomenal punt that would’ve downed the Wildcats at the 1 yard line, but the Sooners’ punt coverage was not able to stop the ball before it crossed the goal line. Adrian Martinez was once again able to march the Kansas State offense down the field, putting the Wildcats in field goal range to make the score 27-20. Kansas State stopped the Sooners’ offensive momentum, forcing them into a 4th and 3. Jeff Lebby had a good play called up, however Dillion Gabriel had another inaccurate pass to Drake Stoops, and Stoops was unable to reel it in. The Oklahoma defense stopped Adrian Martinez, but another penalty killed a Sooner drive before it could even get started. Adrian Martinez builded on the defensive momentum, this time doing whatever he wanted to the Sooners’ defense, whether on the air or on the ground. Martinez capped off the drive with a nasty read option for a 15 yard touchdown run on 3rd down. Oklahoma answered back with Gabriel finding tight end Brayden Willis for 6, making the score 34-27 Kansas State. Adrian Martinez basically iced the game on a 55 yard scramble, then Martinez walked into the end-zone for the 5th time. Dillion Gabriel answered back once again finding Brayden Willis for a touchdown, but it was too little too late, as the Sooners were unable to recover the onside kick.
This loss to Kansas State is by far the most frustrating loss in recent years to the Wildcats. Losing the Big 12 opener at home puts the Sooners on the outside looking in on playoff hopes. Brent Venables said all week long that this Kansas State team was much better than the poll voters have believed. Kansas State had 6 guys make the All Big 12 preseason team, while Oklahoma’s only representation was Michael Turk. Brent Venables preached on the importance of stopping Kansas State’s special teams, but Oklahoma was not able to do it, with Malik Knowles breaking free for a 58 yard kickoff return. Venables knew that the Sooners would have to stop Kansas State’s dominant rushing attack, but the were unable to with Adrian Martinez rushing for 148 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging 7 yards per carry, and Deuce Vaughn adding another 116 yards. The Kansas State offensive and defensive line was much better than Oklahoma. The K-State O-line held the Sooners to 0 sacks and 4 tackles for loss only for a loss of 7 yards. Although Oklahoma won the yardage total leading Kansas State 550-509, they lost the game. Kansas State was able to convert on third down 8/17 times to Oklahoma’s 4/13, and 2/2 times on 4th down to Oklahoma’s 50% success rate. Dillion Gabriel has to be better for the Sooners to have a chance at winning the Big 12, he missed Drake Stoops twice. The first time it was a walk in touchdown for Stoops, the second time it was for the first down on 4th down, once again another opportunity for the Sooners to put points on the board. Oklahoma will have to start out the game vs TCU firing in all facets of the game. They cannot dig themselves into a hole like they did vs Kansas State. Oklahoma also has to play much more disciplined, they had 11 penalties for 87 yards, while Kansas State had 6 for 37 yards. Oklahoma’s penalties were a big factor in Kansas State’s win, penalties killed their drives both offensively and defensively time and time again. Oklahoma looks to bounce back on October 1st when they take on TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. The game will start at 11:00 CT AM on ABC.