Oklahoma Sooners: Wildcats-Sooners-092212

Defensive redemption propels KSU upset

September, 23, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- Tre Walker climbed the wall in the southeast corner of Owen Field just to reach a few loved ones Saturday. He had to hug somebody, and couldn't wait until his pads were off to do it.

While the Kansas State linebacker took care of his business there, a "K-S-U" chant echoed through Norman after Bill Snyder's Wildcats finished making history. Walker was climbing to get off the field, but the rest of his team never wanted to leave after Kansas State's 24-19 victory over Oklahoma. Coaches and players hugged and high-fived.

Kansas State and Oklahoma players both had glassy eyes, for very different reasons.

"I mean, I was shocked," defensive end Adam Davis said.

Sure, the Kansas State faithful knew they could win. But that they would? History shot disapproving glances the way of anyone who believed otherwise.

Oklahoma was a perfect 14-0 versus ranked teams at home under Bob Stoops, dispatching opponents by an average of 28.2 points dating all the way back to 1999. The Wildcats hadn't beaten the seven-time Big 12 champs in the regular season since 1997.

Those stats, though, hadn't reached Davis. And he was still shocked. So were the raucous 85,276 Sooners fans in attendance who provided the best Big 12 atmosphere to date.

"It feels like you're on top of the world," Davis said of the postgame party on the field.

The big names on Saturday will attract plenty of attention. Landry Jones' shortcomings. Collin Klein's toughness and passing prowess, highlighted by a 12-yard completion on third-and-11 to Tramaine Thompson that all but iced the game in the final minutes.

[+] EnlargeJarell Childs, Ryan Mueller
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireJarell Childs (26) celebrates with Ryan Mueller after recovering a Landry Jones fumble in the end zone for Kansas State's first touchdown.
The real story? A dogged defense that harassed Jones into two game-breaking turnovers and got lucky with a third when a low snap scooted past Blake Bell, leaving the Belldozer broken down on the way back to the sideline instead of into the end zone.

Snyder, ever the exploiter of weaknesses, saw a big one in Jones that plenty of others saw, too.

Asked if Jones was "spooked," Davis replied: "I noticed it in the first half. When we'd get upfield, he'd start jabbing his feet real quick and moving. That let us know that he don't like nobody in his blind side, and we tried to attack it all night."

The Wildcats succeeded. They flushed Jones from the pocket in the first quarter and linebacker Justin Tuggle, playing defensive end on that particular play as part of a specialized package, caught Jones from behind and stripped the ball. Jarell Childs scooped it up just a yard in front of the goal line and scored.

Kansas State's defense believed.

"What we did all week was worked on trying to flush him out of the pocket, because we know he ain't good with pressure," Davis said. "If we get to his blind side, he's going to get jittery and try to move out the pocket and scoot up and stuff. We tried to get our D-tackles to cause pressure on the edge and try to get him."

The Wildcats notched two sacks, but the constant pressure had Jones looking mediocre for most of the night. His second turnover came when tackle Vai Lutui lunged at Jones from his knees. Jones threw off his back foot and promptly sailed a probable completion into the waiting arms of Kansas State safety Ty Zimmerman.

"It was a little bit of a struggle offensively. ... Our defense, I think, created the turnovers that took place, by and large," Snyder said. "I thought they did a heck of a job."

Snyder was a cool customer holding a hot cup of coffee with cream and sugar, taking sips while he answered questions after the victory in his Cotton Bowl windbreaker on a brisk fall night in Oklahoma. At one point during the conference, a cricket flew in and landed an inch from Snyder's left eye. He broke an answer for only a moment to swat away the pest.

Nothing could get to the unflappable SnyderCats on this night.

"When you play somebody as good as an Oklahoma team, it really does mean something special to them, and they feel good about it," Snyder said.

Snyder's demeanor wouldn't have been much different if the 14-point underdogs had gotten waxed by 30, like so many teams at Owen Field before them. Still, his message to the team remained consistent.

"He said he was very proud of us," Davis said with a grin.

Expecting maybe something a little more dramatic?

"Yes, we were, but you never really know what to expect," Davis said.

Well, that just wouldn't be very Snyder. Saturday's win, though? Doing what no team had ever done before and getting outgained in total yardage while doing it?

Could anybody else but Snyder do that?
NORMAN, Okla. -- With a throng of Kansas State fans celebrating in the stands just yards away, dejection and disappointment filled the Oklahoma Sooners as they slowly walked off the Owen Field turf after the No. 15-ranked WIldcats’ 24-19 win over OU on Saturday night.

And when the No. 6-ranked Sooners look back on their first home loss against a ranked team under head coach Bob Stoops, they can look closely at their inability to get key defensive stops when they needed them.

“We kind of broke down a little bit in the fourth quarter,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We fought ourselves through the game, but we just got outexecuted in the fourth quarter and that was really the game.”

The Wildcats were 3 of 3 on third down in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of the Sooners defense in various ways to complete critical conversions.

(Read full post)

Instant analysis: K-State 24, Oklahoma 19

September, 22, 2012

Kansas State did it again. Powered by an impressive fourth quarter from quarterback Collin Klein and 130 rushing yards and a touchdown from John Hubert, the No. 15 Wildcats escaped with a stunning 24-19 victory against No. 6 Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

It was over when: On third-and-3 with 1:59 left in the game and both teams out of timeouts, Klein plowed left on a keeper and picked up five yards for the game-clinching first down. The Wildcats held on to the ball for the game’s final four minutes and ended in the victory formation after their second third-down conversion of the drive.

Game ball goes to: Collin Klein. He threw for only 42 yards in the first half, but he saved his best stuff for the final quarter, throwing for 72 yards on 4-of-5 passing. Klein paced the Wildcat attack with 79 rushing yards and, most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over once.

Stat of the game: Three Oklahoma turnovers were the difference-maker in the end and doomed an inconsistent Sooner offense. A Landry Jones fumble became a Kansas State touchdown, a Blake Bell fumbled snap at the goal line cost OU a crucial score and Jones’ interception late in the third quarter set up another Wildcats touchdown.

What Oklahoma learned: The Sooners are still very much a work in progress. OU couldn’t make up for a shaky night from Jones, and its run game (27 carries, 88 yards) didn’t provide much help. With Texas Tech and Texas up next, Oklahoma needs to get its act together quickly.

What Kansas State learned: Just as they did last year, the Wildcats proved they can hang with the big boys in the Big 12. The close-game magic that carried KSU to 10 wins in 2011 isn’t gone, that’s for sure. The Wildcats can make their case for being the conference’s top team in three weeks at West Virginia.
NORMAN, Okla. – Thanks to a pair of key Oklahoma fumbles, the Sooners trail Kansas State 10-6 at halftime in a key Big 12 showdown.

Stat of the half: The Sooners entered the weekend having scored touchdowns on all 10 of their red-zone possessions. Tonight, they have scored just six points on three red-zone chances.

Player of the half: Kansas State linebacker Justin Tuggle has only one tackle, but it was a huge one. Deep in OU territory, Tuggle sacked Sooners quarterback Landry Jones and stripped the ball, which was recovered by K-State’s Jarrell Childs in the end zone for the only touchdown of the first half.

What’s working for the Sooners: Spearheaded by free safety Tony Jefferson, who already has 11 tackles, the Sooners have kept quarterback Collin Klein at bay. The K-State offense has only one field goal, and no pass play longer than 12 yards.

What’s not working for the Sooners: The Sooners have moved the ball, but have been unable to capitalize in the red zone. Jones overthrew a wide-open Brannon Green off play-action on OU’s opening possession, forcing the Sooners to settle for a field goal. Then backup quarterback Blake Bell fumbled out of the Belldozer package inside the K-State 5-yard line.

What OU needs to do to come back: If the Sooners can take care of the ball, and take advantage of their opportunities in the red zone, they should be fine. The defense is playing well, and the Sooners are getting sparks at receiver from Sterling Shepard and Roy Finch.


Big 12 2015 Recruiting Overview
National recruiting analysts Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert discuss the top 2015 recruiting classes in the Big 12.