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No. 9 Oklahoma Uses Late Surge to Top K-State, 42-35

staff - October 21, 2017 9:34 pm

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State Wildcats were defeated 42-35 by the No. 9 ranked Oklahoma Sooners at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, despite rushing for 268 yards, including three rushing touchdowns from quarterback Alex Delton.

HOW IT HAPPENED

K-State held a 21-10 advantage at the half but the No. 9 Sooners used 32 second-half points to come-from-behind, including a go-ahead score in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory.

Early in the game it was K-State as the offensive aggressor. On the second play from scrimmage, the Wildcats set the tone and jumped out to an early lead, behind a 75-yard touchdown rush by running back Alex Barnes. After receiving the handoff, Barnes hit the hole created by the K-State offensive line and finished it off to record a new career-long rush and the longest K-State rushing attempt since John Huber went 95 yards against Missouri State in 1995.

Oklahoma would respond with an opening-drive touchdown of their own, headed by quarterback Baker Mayfield, who took a carry for 32 yards on the drive, leading to a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews.

The opening-drive rushing touchdown would create a theme for the Wildcats, behind the strength of rushes from Barnes and quarterback Alex Delton. The Wildcats would add their second rushing touchdown on a one-yard Delton quarterback sneak in the first quarter.

On the opposing drive, the Sooners threatened in K-State territory, but were cut short when Denzel Goolsby stole the ball away from the Oklahoma receiver in the back of the end zone. Goolsby’s interception would lead to an acrobatic 21-yard touchdown scamper from Delton, as he evaded the Oklahoma defenders and leaped over the pylon for a touchdown.

Just prior to halftime, the Wildcats defense proved clutch in the trenches, holding the Sooners to three points on two possessions, including a crucial hold on fourth down at the goal line. The Wildcats held the Sooners to 2-of-4 in the red zone in the first half, and entered the locker room at halftime with a 21-10 lead.

To start the second half, Mayfield led the Sooners down the field for 80 yards in seven plays, that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown carry by Mayfield. Oklahoma would score 18 unanswered in the second half to take the lead into the fourth quarter, 28-21.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Sooners sent an errant snap over the punter’s head which was recovered by Colby Moore. The recovery set the Wildcats up in scoring position and sparked the offense, as Delton capped a short drive with a one-yard rush to tie the game at 28.

The Sooners responded with a drive propelled through the air, as they marched down the field in three plays to score on a five-yard touchdown.

With nearly five minutes remaining, the Wildcats followed suit, facing a 75-yard trip to the end zone, they went to the air. Delton hit Byron Pringle for strikes of 40 and 30-yards, then hit Isaiah Zuber on a five-yard out route to tie the game up at 35 with nearly two and a half minutes remaining.

Oklahoma reached midfield, then field goal range, then close to the red zone with the clock ticking under 30 seconds remaining. K-State appeared to bottle up Rodney Anderson in the backfield for a loss, but he shook a tackle and escaped around the end for a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown run, leaving just seven seconds left on the clock. Trailing 42-35 and facing another 75-yard trip down the field, K-State attempted a pair of laterals but was stopped in the backfield by the Sooners, ending the game.

The Wildcats totaled 431 offensive yards in the game, including 287 through the ground game. The Wildcats converted on 5-of-9 third downs, tying a season best third-down conversion percentage set against Central Arkansas earlier this year.

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Sophomore Alex Barnes had a career-day for the Wildcats, rushing for 96 yards in the first half, including a career-long 75-yard rush on the second play from scrimmage. Barnes carried five times in the game for 108 total yards and one touchdown.

Coupled with Barnes, Delton hit the 100-yard mark for the first time of his career, surpassing the mark in the first half. Delton closed the game with 142 rushing yards on 27 attempts and three touchdowns, he also connected on 12-of-14 passing for 144 yards.

Sophomore Isaiah Zuber led the team in receptions, hauling in seven receptions for 25 yards. Byron Pringle added to the receiving game for the Wildcats, hauling in two catches for 70 yards, both on the game-tying drive.

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Defensive back Denzel Goolsby’s interception in the first half marked the first takeaway of the game for the Wildcats, and the first of his career, as he stripped the ball away from Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb in the back of the end zone.

Senior Tanner Wood recorded one of two sacks for the Wildcats, bringing down Mayfield for a loss of nine in the second quarter. The sack marked the second of the season for Wood.

The Wildcats defense was anchored by senior Jayd Kirby who made a career-high 13 total tackles in the game. Trent Tanking added 10 total tackles for the Wildcat defense, marking the fourth time Tanking reached double digits in total tackles this season, including a career-high 13 last week against TCU.

SPECIAL TEAMS STARS OF THE GAME

Midway through the fourth quarter, a stray snap by the Sooner’s punt squad was recovered by Colby Moore at the 13-yard line. The Wildcat takeaway served as a momentous shift for the Wildcats, as they were able to capitalize on the field position.

Place-kicker Matthew McCrane connected on all five of his extra points against the Sooners, upping his career-points scored to 255. McCrane’s point total moves him into fifth in points scored in K-State history, and the third among kickers. He nearly connected on a 59-yard try with the wind at his back in the first half.

Punter Nick Walsh punted three times for a net of 136 yards on Saturday, including a 43-yard punt that was fair-caught at the 6 yard-line. Walsh booted a game-long 51-yarder in the fourth quarter.

STATS OF THE GAME

75 – On the second play from scrimmage, Kansas State running back Alex Barnes took a handoff through the Sooner defense for a 75-yard touchdown, the longest of his career and the longest Wildcat rush since 1995, when John Huber took a 95-yard run to the house against Missouri State.

SEASON RECORD UPDATE

K-State 3-4 (1-3 Big 12)

Oklahoma 6-1 (3-1 Big 12)