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FINAL: Oklahoma 42, Kansas State 35 - Coaching malpractice

Something is rotten in Vanier, and needs to be cleaned up.

Frankly, I wouldn’t blame him if he transferred.
Frankly, I wouldn’t blame him if he transferred.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

After changing things up and doing different things for 30 minutes, leading to a 21-10 halftime lead, K-State went back to doing the same maddening things which don’t work. That led to Oklahoma scoring 18 straight points to take a touchdown lead.

And then a track meet broke out.

K-State finally got a defensive hold, and a bad snap on the punt gave the Wildcats a short field. Alex Delton was able to tie the game, but Oklahoma came right back. Baker Mayfield hit Marquise Brown on a 66-yard play against coverage that should never have been on the field, and two plays later the Sooners led again.

But the Wildcats reverted to the gutsy offensive playcalling which worked in the first quarter, and what do you know? Alex Delton led a two-minute-worthy drive, hitting Bryon Pringle -- BYRON PRINGLE!!! -- twice for 40 and 30 yards, and striking back almost as quickly.

That forced Oklahoma to drive, and the Wildcat defense was almost up to the task. With only 24 seconds left, the Sooners weren’t really in field goal range Austin Siebert yet, but a 10-yard completion from Mayfield to Brown put them there.

It didn’t matter, because on the next play Rodney Anderson ran to the edge, found a gap, and made a right turn down the sideline and scored with seven seconds left. Jayd Kirby was called for a face mask on the play as a final insult.

K-State had 314 yards of offense, which is mind-boggling when you consider they had 257 yards rushing in just the first half. (They finished with 268.) The defense gave up 619.

Delton, who was averaging almost 10 yards a carry in the first half, finished with 142 net yards (166 forward) on 27 carries. Yes, 27. Alex Barnes, who had 96 yards on three carries in the first half, finished with 108 on six carries. Pringle had his two catches for 70 yards; Isaiah Zuber had seven catches for 25, and Dalton Schoen had 39 yards on one reception.

Bill Snyder’s explanation for Barnes not getting more carries? “It was just the nature of what we were doing. Part of it was the quarterback run game.” The quarterback run game which resulted in Alex Delton gaining 28 yards on 14 second-half carries (not counting yards lost on sacks).

Baker Mayfield? 32-41 for 410 yards and 2 TDs, plus 69 on 9 carries. Anderson ran for 147 yards to lead the Sooners. Brown had 6 catches for 126 yards.

What did we learn?

1. Elijah Sullivan was either hurt, or kidnapped by aliens

Seriously, did anyone see him at all today? Meanwhile, Kirby was getting bodied for the entire game. For years, it’s been our policy to avoid trashing players here. But when it has to be said, it has to be said. Hence our statements of truth regarding Byron Pringle’s play the last month, and this: Kirby has no business being on the field in pass coverage. Period. Ever.

2. Someone not wearing a uniform has problems with guts.

Dana Dimel opened the game with an audacious game plan. It led K-State to a 21-10 halftime lead. And then K-State went back to the “play not to lose” nonsense that drives everyone insane, with the usual result. A blown lead at halftime.

I don’t know. Maybe Snyder’s just tired of hearing about his record when leading at the break.

3. Alex Delton is not bad.

Look, he did everything he could. When the play calling is stupid, the QB run game is not going to work. I don’t care who’s back there. He threw the ball well — 12-14 for 144 yards and a touchdown, and one of the two incompletions was the interception he threw on a non-sensical call to throw deep near the end of the first half.

And the drive he led to re-tie the game at 35 was a thing of beauty.

4. The actual defensive backs are pretty awesome.

Oklahoma’s big plays didn’t come on D.J. Reed or Duke Shelley, or even Denzel Goolsby (who had a beautiful strip-pick in the end zone). A.J. Parker got beat a little bit. The failures in the secondary today were almost entirely when Kirby and/or Sean Newlan was targeted in coverage.

Yes, Sean Newlan, because Kendall Adams spent the game on the sideline with an injury. (Snyder is hoping he’ll be back next week.)

5. Gus Johnson is an idiot.

Every time Oklahoma punted or kicked deep, Gus Johnson managed to misidentify the deep return man -- as Dominique Heath on the opening kickoff, and as Isaiah Harris on the rest.

There is a depth chart, Gus. It says quite clearly which dude wearing #2 is back to receive the kick. You go to meetings with the coaching staff before the game to talk about personnel and whatnot. And not only are you unable to identify D.J. Reed despite all this helpful information, but nobody managed to correct you for three hours?

We close with this, the only truly beautiful thing we saw twice tonight: