With the sports world on hold for who knows how long, I think it is fair to say that there is a bit (or a lot) of emptiness inside of us. We are all craving sports like we crave our favorite foods and the best foods are always fresh. But unfortunately, we don’t have “fresh” sports right now but thank goodness for technology. While Matthew Postins is revisiting some classic Big 12 basketball, I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a Big 12 football rewind. Of course, with teams changing since the 90’s I figured I want to get every current team involved so I will only include games dating back to 2012.
In case you didn’t know, 2012 was the first season of the modern Big 12 and what better year to start this series by looking back at some of the best games from that season. Remember you can email me ideas ([email protected]) or shoot me an idea on Twitter (@DerekDuke25) and tell me what you would like to read about or send a classic Big 12 game you would like me to revisit from 2012. First up on the list, Kansas State at Oklahoma from September 22nd, 2012.
Heading into this game, Kansas State was sitting at 3-0 and ranked as the fifteenth best team in the country. Just two weeks prior, the Wildcats put a beatdown to remember when they beat the Miami Hurricanes 52-13 in Manhattan. Keep in mind in the previous season (2011), Oklahoma beat Kansas State 58-17 to put the first stain on the Wildcats resume because in the 2011 matchup, Kansas State went into the game undefeated at 7-0.
As for Oklahoma, they were coming off a disappointing 2011 campaign where they finished fourth in the Big 12 in a time where they were starting to lose their grip on the Big 12 conference. With veteran quarterback Landry Jones in his final year, Oklahoma was seeking revenge in the 2012 season trying to take back the conference championship from their in-state rival Oklahoma State.
QB Collin Klein: Collin led the Wildcats to a solid 10-3 record in 2011 and he was certainly already a big name in the Big 12 at this time. While his passing numbers weren’t great, his 1,141 rushing yards in 2011 is what put him on the map. Little did we know that the 2012 season would be one to remember for a long time in Kansas State history. To this day, Klein is a Wildcat as he is the current quarterback coach at Kansas State.
WR Tyler Lockett: In 2011, Tyler Lockett was the Big 12 freshman of the year and even was a freshman All-American for his return duties. While this game was played very early in his collegiate career, Tyler was an emerging star and he turned into a superstar by the time he left Manhattan. Tyler is currently playing for the Seattle Seahawks heading into his sixth year in the NFL.
LB Arthur Brown: I couldn’t leave Brown off this list. He was a former Miami transfer, but he had one hell of a career for the Wildcats and was the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
QB Landry Jones: While he wasn’t the most exciting quarterback for Oklahoma in recent memory, Landry did pad up the stat sheet due to his time as a starter for the Sooners. After taking over for Sam Bradford in 2009, Landry was the starter for the next three seasons and would wind up finishing with over 16,000 yards passing and 126 touchdowns in his time in Norman. Landry has been in the NFL for the last seven seasons with the Steelers, Jaguars and Raiders and now is playing for his former college coach Bob Stoops in the XFL for the Dallas Renegades.
Safety Tony Jefferson: Tony had a fantastic freshman season in 2010 and winded up being a first team All-Big 12 selection in 2012. He ended up forgoing his senior year and entered the 2013 NFL Draft. Due to an injury and some off the field concerns, Tony went undrafted but was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals where he spent four seasons there before spending two more with the Baltimore Raves from 2017-2019. As of right now, Tony is a free agent.
OT Lane Johnson: Lane was a former tight end and defensive end and started his first season at tackle in 2011. He ended up having a solid 2012 season and was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. To this day he is still an Eagle and has made three straight pro bowls going into his eighth NFL season.
These two teams were feeling each other out in the first quarter. In fact, each team had just two possessions in the first quarter and the only score came from a 28-yard field goal from Oklahoma kicker Michael Hunnicutt to give the Sooners a 3-0 lead.
The first touchdown of the game came in the second quarters as Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones was sacked deep in his own territory by Justin Tuggle and when Landry fumbled the football, Jarrell Childs was there to scoop it up for the easy score to put Kansas State up 7-3. Immediately following that drive, the Sooners would march back down the field and get the ball all the way to the Kansas State one-yard line. Knocking on the door for a score, the Sooners went with the “Bell Dozer” package but it backfired as quarterback Blake Bell dropped the snap to give Kansas State the football right back.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats would go on a long thirteen play eighty-eight-yard drive that resulted in a field goal to go up 10-3 with less than three minutes in the first half. However, the Sooners would get another field goal on the board before the first half ended with Kansas State leading 10-6 at the break.
Both teams would trade punts to start the third quarter but finally Oklahoma found the endzone as Blake Bell redeemed himself with a short three-yard score to put the Sooners on top 13-10. But another Landry Jones turnover would be costly as he threw a pick from his own twenty two yard line and Kansas State would capitalize thanks to a Collin Klein rushing touchdown just a few plays later to give Kansas State the lead back at with 13:16 left in the ballgame.
Just two drives later, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein led a beautiful drive to put the Wildcats up two scores as running back John Hubert found paydirt from nine yards out with 7:27 left. But give the Sooners credit, Landry Jones led a quick touchdown drive and hit Sterling Shepard for a ten-yard score to pull within five with under four and a half minutes left to play. But, in typical Kansas State fashion, Collin Klein and the offense found a way to chew over four minutes of clock to win 24-19 in Norman.
The score was close but the big difference in this ballgame was the three Oklahoma turnovers. Kansas State took care of the pigskin and the Sooners didn’t. That’s what this game boiled down to. Landry Jones made two critical errors deep in his own territory and Blake Bell fumbled the football when the Sooners were about to score.
This was a huge win for the Wildcats that gave them some serious momentum. After the big win in Norman, Kansas State jumped into the top ten the following week and then went on a serious rampage as they started running wild in conference play. Even though they had a close call against Iowa State two weeks later, Kansas State would crush ranked West Virginia 55-14 and Texas Tech 55-24 in late October. After two more easy wins against Oklahoma State and TCU, the Wildcats were sitting pretty at 10-0 ranked number one in the country heading into the Baylor game.
But instead of getting a title shot, Kansas State fell to a mediocre Baylor squad on the road as they let their national championship hopes slide out of their hands. They would rebound with a win against Texas in the final regular season game but fell to a good Oregon team in the Fiesta Bowl to finish the 2012 campaign as Big 12 Champions at 11-2.
Meanwhile for the Sooners, they would win the rest of their conference games but fell to Notre Dame at home 30-13. Keep in mind, that Notre Dame team wound up playing Alabama for the title and got embarrassed on national television which is something they are still good at to this day in big games. With a second place finish in the Big 12, the Sooners faced a red hot A&M team in the Cotton Bowl as Johnny Manziel put on a show (where he may or may not have been sober) to beat the Sooners in Jerry World 41-13.
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