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Chris Klieman Gets Program-Defining Win for Kansas State Over Oklahoma

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Kansas State

Almost one year ago to the day, Oklahoma blasted Kansas State 51-14 in what would turn out to be Bill Snyder’s final season on the sidelines. Kyler Murray, the eventual Heisman winner, piled up four touchdowns as OU outgained Kansas State with 702 total yards to 245.

One year and one day later, Kansas State, led by first-year head coach Chris Klieman, entered a 24-point underdog at home against the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners, who had another Heisman contender at quarterback in Jalen Hurts.

Here we go again, right?

In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”


The Sooners did get off to their usual start, with a field goal on the opening drive, and then after five plays on their second drive, Jalen Hurts rushed ten yards for the score as OU led Kansas State 10-0 less than six minutes into the game.

While K-State could have been dejected in the moment, the Wildcats put together a methodical 10-play, 88-yard drive, ending with Skylar Thompson’s first rushing touchdown of the game as K-State pulled to within three in the first quarter.

The teams would then exchange touchdowns and field goals, and with OU up 20-17 late in the first half, with the ball on 2nd and 13 at their own 21, Lincoln Riley went with some trickery that didn’t work out. Wide receiver Nick Basquine rolled out and his pass was intercepted by A.J. Parker. Three plays later, Kansas State would find the end zone on Thompson’s 14-yard run for its first lead of the game. OU was able to tack on three points before the half, but it was the Wildcats with all the momentum, leading 24-23 heading into the break.

K-State got the ball to start the second half and picked up right where they left off with a field goal to lead 27-23. But the Wildcats were just getting going.

After an OU three-and-out, the Wildcats scored four plays later on another Thompson run. But then the floodgates opened for KSU as T.J. Pledger fumbled the kick off return and Kansas State was able to recover. Four plays later it was who else, but Skylar Thompson, finding the end zone on a three-yard run to go up 41-23. On it’s next drive, Kansas State would go 10-plays and 73 yards to take a commanding 48-23 lead with 12:54 to play in the third quarter.


But the Sooners would not go away that quietly. OU scored 18-straight points and with under two minutes left had a chance at an onside kick to try and get the ball back down a touchdown. Initially, it looked like OU recoevered the onside kick, but a review showed that the ball hit a Sooners player before the ball had gone 10 yards, meaning Kansas State would get the ball, essentially clinching the 48-41 win for the Wildcats.

The Kansas State Wildcats improved to 5-2 on the season, while OU lost its first true road game in five years and 15 days, that’s 1,841 total days, dating back to TCU in 2014. The Sooners fell to 7-1 on the season and according to ESPN their chances of making the College Football Playoff fell to 17%.

The Wildcats hit the road down I-70 to take on Kansas next week, while OU will have two weeks to think about this loss during a bye week.

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