For the second straight season, Kansas State pissed off a senior workforce from Oklahoma. This time the Wildcats made it towards a stacked deck.
Kansas State defeated the No. three Sooners 38-35 on Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma, with three touchdowns again within the second half and eight key gamers lacking from the two-downs.
“It is an enormous achievement given the circumstances and the difficulties our boys have been via,” mentioned Chris Klieman, Kansas state coach. “Excited that we fought 4 quarters. I belief these guys, I consider in them; the most important factor is that they must consider in themselves. They know we wish to give them alternatives they usually have the very best of them in the present day made.”
The win was Kansas State’s first on the street towards a workforce that completed within the prime three on The Related Press ballot. The Wildcats had misplaced their final 16 such video games. It was additionally her first win as an unranked workforce towards a prime three workforce in 30 makes an attempt.
The Wildcats are solely the fifth unranked workforce to beat an AP prime three opponent after being no less than 14 factors behind at halftime since 1936. That is primarily based on analysis by the Elias Sports activities Bureau.
“We performed very dangerous soccer within the second half,” mentioned Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley. “We did not do the issues we needed to do to place this recreation down.”
The Sooners had been main 21-7 at halftime and 35-14 in direction of the top of the third quarter earlier than the Wildcats made a comeback. Riley mentioned his workforce’s early dominance – the Sooners beat Kansas State by 288 yards to 98 within the first half – gave him hope for a much bigger lead within the center.
“The primary half was dominant,” mentioned Riley. “I bear in mind pondering, ‘Man, I do not even know the way shut this recreation is correct now.'”
Behind massive video games from quarterback Skylar Thompson (334 passes, 4 mixed speeding and passing scores), Deuce Vaughn (174 mixed receiving and speeding yards and a landing), a protection with 4 takeaways and a blocked particular unit one boat too late , the wildcats may flip the tide.
“We saved ourselves within the first half once we did not transfer the ball offensively they usually moved it at will,” mentioned Klieman. “We had some massive breaks to cease some drives there. And within the second half, when the sport acquired nearer, our protection acquired higher, our rush acquired higher.”
When requested what he was most dissatisfied with with the Sooners, Riley mentioned it was “sadly troublesome to decide on.”
“All three sides had been concerned,” mentioned Riley. Whereas the state of Kansas had 4 meals stalls, Oklahoma didn’t implement gross sales, a typical theme for the Sooners protection in 2019. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch mentioned, “It is a revenue making enterprise and we now have failed.”
Okay-State had 302 offensive yards for the second half and a median of 10.1 yards per recreation over that interval. Klieman was pleased together with his workforce’s efficiency, particularly contemplating the variety of key gamers lacking.
On Monday, Klieman talked about that when a dozen gamers returned and missed their season opener towards Arkansas State on September 12, the Wildcats misplaced a further 10 gamers to constructive COVID-19 take a look at scores or contact tracing. He mentioned Saturday that he wasn’t positive the Oklahoma recreation can be performed till Friday. He mentioned he was excited to see a number of different gamers get possibilities and succeed within the midst of these absences.
“Knock on wooden as a result of who is aware of who will likely be out there subsequent week, you recognize?” Stated Klieman. “And that is precisely what everybody on our workforce and faculty soccer must see. It is an ideal win … OK, now we now have to return on Monday and see who is accessible and get the blokes able to play whoever is.
“I hate to say that and you do not wish to hear that, however sadly that is the truth we dwell in.”
Thompson, who additionally performed a significant function in stunning the Sooners in Kansas in 2019, mentioned he was happy with his workforce’s perseverance.
“We may have simply given up and laid an egg in the present day, however we did not,” Thompson mentioned. “We misplaced three touchdowns. We had penalties. We made errors. However this workforce simply saved grinding and believing. It was particular to be part of it and I’ll bear in mind it for the remainder of my life. “
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.