Right on Kimball Final Score (1)

What a football game.

Behind cagey quarterback play and timely defensive stops, the Kansas State Wildcats beat the Oklahoma Sooners 31-30 Saturday for their second consecutive victory in Norman. The win keeps K-State’s conference and national championship hopes afloat.

I’ll be honest – most of these Right on Kimball posts are written pretty easily halfway through the game. Instead, today’s game offered a thrilling battle from opening whistle to final gun.

Today’s Cats versus Sooners game was a buffet of delectable scheming between two old friends who love to compete.
Of course you know Bob and Mike Stoops cut their coaching teeth while helping Snyder build K-State from a laughingstock into a power.
Longtime K-State scribe Scott Fritchen posted a comforting stat midway through the halftime break. “K-State is 169-5 when leading at the half since 1990. Its current streak of 42 straight wins when leading at the half is No. 2 nationally.” In fact, the last nine KSU-OU games have been won by the team leading at halftime.
Still, these Stoops brothers wouldn’t go down without a fight. The two teams had battled pretty equally, with ESPN noting K-State’s 6.6 yards per play offensively versus OU’s 6.7 yards.

Oklahoma alternated between ball control and hurry up offenses. Star running back Samaje Perine battered K-State’s front seven, racking up 44 yards (7 per carry) on a march down to the goalline with five minutes to go.

K-State Defensive Coordinator Tom Hayes countered with additional defensive linemen, stopping Perine on three running plays in a row, setting up a pivotal field goal attempt by OU’s kicker.

What I liked:

  • Jake Waters playing like an established veteran. Waters stood in the pocket amid a bevy of Sooner blitzers, delivering  perfectly positioned balls to Tyler Lockett, Curry Sexton and Glenn Gronkowski.
  • Waters also ran the ball effectively, busting off a 52-yard run to start the 3rd quarter.
  • The punt Wildcat true freshman Elijah Lee downed at the Oklahoma 2-yard-line. I thought the ball would line drive into the end zone, but Nick Walsh struck it beautifully – setting up…
  • Danziel McDaniels. #7 was all over the field today, making the play of the game with an interception of Knight on the 1-yard line returned for an easy touchdown.
  • ESPN’s sideline reporter noted that Knight’s completion percentage is the second lowest in the Big 12. “That’s behind Kansas’ quarterbacks,” he noted. Ouch.
  • Randall Evans wearing #27 to honor the late David Garrett. Garrett, as you’ve probably heard, was shot and killed last week in his hometown of Cleveland. He was a small-sized, feisty player who helped Snyder rebuild the football program the second time. Watch the 2011 team highlights again and see how many plays “Rat” made in big games.
  • Watching Bob and Mike go nuts. The brothers predictably freaked out over a targeting penalty when OU’s player speared Ryan Mueller helmet to helmet. I guess OU coaches also were opposed to this kind of play.
  • Travis Britz’s blocked extra point. 95 blocked four kicks last year, and this one may have been enough to mess with Oklahoma’s Michael Hunnicutt’s confidence. Hunnicutt’s missed chip shot with four minutes on the clock proved pivotal.

What I didn’t:

  • The struggles at safety. After every easy Oklahoma touchdown, you could see K-State’s #20 chasing from behind. That usually means a mistake has been made.
  • Crucial drops. Tyler Lockett missed an easy one on K-State’s first drive, and Kody Cook’s mishandling on an out route to the sideline killed a promising drive at the end of the 3rd quarter. Lockett’s drop didn’t prove as costly as Cook’s.
  • 12 men on the field. On an extra point. Inconsequential in the game or not, that’s embarrassing.

At the risk of channeling Mitch Holthus, K-State and Bill (Moses) Snyder won a big, big, big, big, big victory today in Norman, Oklahoma.

If this year is anything like 2012, buckle up.

About The Author

Charlie is a 2001 K-State grad and has gone to games and followed the Wildcats since 1992.

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