“Start off by complimenting Kansas State,” Stoops said. “Congratulating them on a well played football game. The guys really, which they have been doing and everyone knows, played hard, played well. Executing in a big football game.”
The Wildcats were the beneficiaries of miscue after miscue by the Sooners, and in large part, off the hands of signal caller Landry Jones.
In the first half, Jones coughed one up and K-State linebacker Jarell Childs picked it up for a 1-yard touchdown return.
Later in the first half, Jones wildly missed wide receiver Trey Metoyer outside the left side of the end zone on what would have been an easy touchdown.
That came after he earlier threw errantly behind tight end Brannon Green on OU’s first scoring drive, or it could have cashed in six.
“We played really dumb football, me especially...this one was on me,” Jones said.
Mixed in all that, though, was quarterback Blake Bell’s botched snap on a first-and-goal play at the 1 that K-State picked up and took over, avoiding any damage on that possession.
But it didn’t stop there.
Deep in the third quarter with OU seemingly starting to take control of the game despite owning just a 13-10 lead, Jones fired off his back foot and found not Crimson and Cream, but instead a white and royal purple jersey of defensive back Ty Zimmerman for a costly interception.
“The fumble, the pick, missed Moose on the tight end pop-up play,” Jones said. “A lot of different plays left up to me.”
That set up K-State’s eventual go-ahead score, a 5-yard touchdown rush by quarterback Collin Klein, early in the fourth quarter.
K-State made it 24-13 with just 7:27 remaining when running back John Hubert sprinted nine yards to pay dirt.
But the Sooners even still had their chances.
Jones took the Sooner offense 65 yards on 10 plays in 3:14 and brought them to within 24-19 on a 10-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Sterling Shepard with 4:09 to go.
OU elected not to onside and it looked destined to pay off, but it could not hold on a third-and-11 play in which Klein found his wide receiver Tramaine Thompson for 12.
“They kind of worked us on third down and that kept drives going,” said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
With one last gasp, Klein rushed for five on third-and-3 to ice it inside the 2-minute mark as the Sooners were without a timeout thanks to calling one before their earlier 2-point conversion play.
“We were fighting all night to get them in an uncomfortable situation,” Mike said. “I thought they played the game at their tempo most of the night. They know how to plaly and we just couldn’t get control of the game the way we wanted to.”
All in all, the Sooners committed three turnovers, while in a hostile environment, the Wildcats were poised, took care of the ball and committed none.
Not too surprisingly, OU actually out-gained K-State 386-362 and still came up short because of those turnovers and also a couple costly penalties.
“You do those things to yourself, though,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel. “You play behind; you don’t take advantage of opportunities when you’ve got them; you put yourself in the negative situations where you are playing behind the chains--those are all things that we really did to ourselves. It was just a lot of situations that we could be a lot better.”
Shepard led the way with seven catches for 108 yards and a touchdown, and Jones finished 28-for-43 for 298 yards and a touchdown, plus the fumble and interception.
OU only amassed 88 total yards on the ground, with running back Dominique Whaley picking up 51 of those.
“We could be more consistent and stay on the field,” Bob said. “We’ve got a lot to work on, obviously.”
For K-State, Klein finished 13-of-21 for 149 yards, but he was hugely efficient, hitting on several key third downs, including the one late.
Hubert ran for 130 yards and a score on 23 carries.
The Sooners (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) now head into their second bye week before heading to Texas Tech in two weeks, while K-State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) also takes a week off before welcoming Kansas to Manhattan.
Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.