The 5th-ranked Sooners jumped out to a 17-7 lead over the Wildcats, and for about one quarter of play on Saturday, everything seemed fairly normal in the Big 12. But then everything changed.
The Wildcats put together a 10-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in a 4-yard touchdown run by Joshua Youngblood. The score did two things. It closed the gap to three at 17-14, but more than that, it showed that Kansas State’s 96th-ranked offense had come to play.
The Sooners answered with a scoring drive of their own, but they were forced to settle for a field goal from 25 yards out. The Wildcats answered with a field goal of their own to pull back within three.
There was something in their air in Manhattan, and when AJ Parker picked off a tipped pass to give the Wildcats the ball on Oklahoma’s 14-yard-line, EMAW Nation was feeling the upset. Three plays later, Skylar Thompson picked up his second rushing touchdown of the day to give the Wildcats the lead at 24-20.
The Sooners picked up another field goal before the end of the half to give Crimson and Cream Nation some hope that OU would wake up at the break and close the game out in the second half.
That didn’t happen. After literally crashing last week, the wheel fell off the Schooner in the third quarter. The wildcats put up 17 unanswered points and had a 41-23 lead heading into the fourth. More shockingly though, from the second quarter to midway through the fourth quarter, Kansas State went on a 41-6 run by scoring on eight consecutive drives.
I don’t know if it was the fact that they were facing a 25-point deficit, or if the K-State defense felt pretty safe by that point, or if the jet lag finally wore off, but the Sooner’s offense finally got going in the fourth.
The Sooners put up 17 quick points to make it 48-41 with time running out. Needing a score with just 1:45 left in the game and no timeouts remaining, the Sooners did the improbable and recovered the onside kick deep into Wildcat territory.
Jalen Hurts then put together a Heisman-defining drive to send the game to overtime where Oklahoma could complete the comeback of the ages. At least, that’s what Sooner Nation believes would have happened had the recovery not been reviewed.
Upon review, officials determined that Trejan Bridges illegally touched the ball before it traveled 10 yards. Out of timeouts, all Lincoln Riley and company could do was watch Kansas State knee it out to complete the upset.
It was an unlucky break for the Sooners, and I am working on a followup post with some thoughts on the call. For now though, watching it live as the officials conferred, I would have understood either call. It was fairly clear that Bridges had touched the ball, but it was so close to the needed 10 yards and the fact that they needed to camera angles synced up to make that call, I would have understood if the call stood. It was that close.
The reality is though, had the call stood, or had Bridges been ruled to have been blocked into the ball, there is no guarantee the Sooners get the needed touchdown to tie the game, and had they done that, there’s no guarantee they win in overtime.
You can’t play just half a quarter and expect to win a game in this league. The Wildcats deserved the win, and it kicked off a day of chaos for the conference.