MANHATTAN, Kan. – Oklahoma’s football team used a powerful running game, and a handful of big plays in the second half to beat Kansas State 41-31 on Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas, earning head coach Bob Stoops his 158th career win, breaking Barry Switzer’s OU school record.
The Sooners marched to a touchdown on their opening drive, going 64 yards in eight plays, with Trevor Knight throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard on third down and goal.
OU was driving on their second possession, but Knight had a miscommunication with Jalen Saunders and had his pass picked off by Randall Evans.
Late in the first quarter and into the second, OU used all running plays on a 14-play, 98-yard drive, capping it with an eight-yard touchdown run by Knight to put OU on top 14-0.
Knight had 14 carries for 82 yards rushing, and was 14 of 20 for 171 yards passing.
Kansas State answered in less than a minute, as the Sooner defense had a busted coverage, leaving Tulsa native Tyler Lockett wide open.
Lockett caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Jake Waters to get K-State on the board and cut the Sooner lead in half to 14-7.
Waters passed for 348 yards on 17 of 29 attempts.
The Wildcats tied it up on their next possession, burning the Sooner secondary twice on long passes, one a 43-yard gain to Tramaine Thompson, the other a 30-yard touchdown pass to Lockett that tied the game at 14 with 5:26 to play in the second quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Sooners to respond.
Brennan Clay scored on a 64-yard touchdown run, finishing off a 3-play drive that took less than a minute and a half, putting the Sooners up 21-14.
Clay rushed for 160 yards on 20 carries in the first half, and finished with a career high 200 yards, with OU rushing for 301 yards as a team.
K-State’s response was immediate.
A holding penalty backed the Wildcats up to their own 10, then Waters found Lockett wide open again for a 90-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 21 with 3:40 to play in the first half.
Lockett had six catches for 206 yards in the first half alone, and finished with 12 catches for a school record 278 yards and three touchdowns.
Lockett had 440 all-purpose yards.
Oklahoma worked almost all the remaining time off the clock, but their drive stalled inside the K-State 10-yard line and they had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Michael Hunnicutt with two seconds left in the first half to take a 24-21 lead to halftime.
Both teams settled for field goals on their first possession of the second half, with Hunnicutt hitting a 37-yard field goal off the left upright for Oklahoma.
K-State’s Ian Patterson kicked a 28-yard field goal to reduce OU’s lead to three again, 27-24.
Early in the fourth quarter field position was the big factor in the next Sooner score.
After Jed Barnett punted to the K-State three-yard line, the Wildcats went three downs and out and had to punt back to OU.
The punt was into the wind, and the short kick was fielded by Jalen Saunders on the run at the 27.
Saunders nearly scored, getting knocked out of bounds at the Wildcat three, and it took Oklahoma just one play to score.
Saunders led OU in receiving with 7 catches for 95 yards.
Brennan Clay went around the left end for the touchdown to give the Sooners a 34-24 lead with 12:55 to play in the fourth quarter.
A big kick return by Lockett, plus a horse collar 15-yard penalty on Quentin Hayes gave K-State the ball at the OU 38 on the ensuing possession.
The OU defense stepped up, as Zack Sanchez intercepted a Jake Waters pass on 3rd and 4, and Sanchez returned it 73 yards for a touchdown to give the Sooners a 17 point lead, 41-24, with 11:47 left in the fourth quarter.
Kansas State got their first touchdown of the second half on their next drive, with Jake Waters sneaking in the end zone from a yard out to cut the OU lead to 41-31 with 6:10 to play.
The Wildcats got the ball back, but Quentin Hayes intercepted Jake Waters at the K-State 44, and OU ran out the clock to clinch the win.
The Sooner defense held K-State to just 24 yards rushing
The Sooners improve to 9-2 overall and 6-2 in the Big 12, while Kansas State dropped to 6-5 overall, and 4-4 in the conference.