Kansas State beat Oklahoma 48-41 yesterday. The Sooners were a Top 10 team, so the upset victory will have a ripple effect on this season’s College Football Playoff selections.
None of that matters to us, the purple faithful. For us, this was, in a sense, a win for the ages, a program-defining win for first-year head coach Chris Klieman. A home win over Oklahoma is so rare that none of Kansas State’s current roster or even most of the students in attendance were alive the last time it happened, way way back in 1996.
That this game came down to one review of an onside kick is unfortunate, because (though the call was correct), it took the focus off Kansas State’s stellar performance on both offense and defense. As Jon Morse notes in the official BotC recap, for 48 minutes, the Wildcats absolutely beat the Sooners down, and that should be the only take-home from this win: Kansas State can run with anyone in the Big 12.
Skylar Thompson was ready for primetime, netting 242 total yards and four touchdowns, all while displaying the confidence and poise he showed during the non-conference portion of the season.
The three-running-back set the Wildcats had showed off early in the season made another appearance against OU, this time because Jordon Brown is back from injury. He teamed up with Harry Trotter and James Gilbert in the back field to keep the Sooners’ defense guessing and ran off big chunks of yardage as a result.
The offense, in summary, is fine. Any concerns about running a balanced offense should be put to bed by this one remarkable stat: the Wildcats had 213 yards passing, and 213 yards rushing.
The defense was good too, although a late-game collapse allowed Oklahoma to close the lead and almost put the game in jeopardy. Indeed, as a unit, Kansas State’s defense held the Sooners below their season average in the following categories: points, yards, rushing yards, passing efficiency and first downs. That’s a pretty great showing against the Big 12’s most potent offense.
Finally, a shoutout to the special teams unit. Blake Lynch was nails on field goals and extra points yesterday, and superstar punter Devin Anctil, who didn’t see the field for long stretches of the game, was as lights out as we expect him to be.
As some of you may know, my family is originally from India. In the Hindu tradition, this weekend is Diwali, or the festival of lights. Depending on geography, the reason for the holiday varies considerably, but as with nearly all myth the world over, the story converges around a brave hero’s triumph over a seemingly invincible demon.
I cannot think of a better analogy for Kansas State’s defeat of Oklahoma. Good 1 Evil 0.
Kansas State couldn’t sustain the rhythm from the big win over the Jayhawks two nights ago, and lost to Iowa State in straight sets (20-25, 23-25, 16-25). Iowa State outhit the Wildcats and also managed 18 more kills on the night than their opponents. Afterwards, Susie Fritz admitted that the Cyclones’ transition game overwhelmed her team, and they didn’t adjust quickly enough.
This is the VolleyCats’ 12th straight loss in Ames, and the team is now 2-6 in conference play, and hope to gain some traction when they visit West Virginia on Wednesday.