As has been the case each of the last few times that Oklahoma and Kansas State have met on the field, a hard-fought battle broke out in Norman tonight as the Kansas State Wildcats took down the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners 41-34.
This game came down to which team would make fewer mistakes, and tonight it was the Wildcats who implemented a nearly flawless game plan.
Here are three thoughts on the Wildcats’ gigantic win in Norman and what it means moving forward.
Adrian Martinez Lights Up Oklahoma’s Defense
Transfer quarterback Adrian Martinez has been criticized through three games for his inability to create big plays for the offense, but tonight in Norman, he was electric. Whether it was accuracy in the intermediate to long passing game, or textbook reads at the mesh point in the read option game, Martinez was a one-man wrecking crew. At the end of the day, the Wildcats used the passing game to set up the run and were wildly efficient at both. Martinez was 21/34 for 234 and a score through the air, but where he excelled was as a rushing threat, particularly in the red zone. The poise and patience of the senior signal-caller shone through in the biggest moments, as he turned 21 rushing attempts into 148 and four touchdowns.
Oh, and let’s not forget this run that took whatever energy remained out of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Overall, Martinez played a terrific game and deserves a ton of credit for this victory.
Penalties, Penalties, Penalties
K-State’s defense deserves a ton of credit for keeping Oklahoma from connecting on big plays, but one of the storylines that will remain after this game will be the untimely penalties from the Sooners. Time after time, Oklahoma would rip off chunk play after chunk play but as soon as they crossed midfield, a false start penalty would derail the drive and force the Sooners to punt or settle for three points. At the end of the game, OU had committed 11 penalties for 87 yards, compared to six penalties for 37 yards on Kansas State. Several times during the broadcast, Oklahoma would commit a penalty and the camera would pan to head coach Brent Venables, who was promptly taking notes every time. Needless to say, a tough week of practice awaits the Sooners after a sloppy performance like that.
It’s Official: K-State Has Oklahoma’s Number
Oklahoma has been dominant against eight of its opponents in Big 12 play for the last several years, but the outlier has been Kansas State. It has been the Wildcats who have dominated this series in recent years as tonight’s win gave the Wildcats three of the last four against the Sooners and each of the last two in Norman. Tonight, K-State looked better prepared, more physical, and more focused, which was the case in each of their previous victories against the Sooners. Chris Klieman has continued to preach the toughness and mentality that Bill Snyder instilled in Manhattan all those years ago, and it has been a winning formula when they take on Oklahoma. There’s no way around it; Kansas State has planted its flag in Norman and plans to stay awhile.