Isn’t college football grand? Isn’t it amazing how a win can reset your expectations of a team and maybe even the entire season?
In Norman last night, Kansas State beat #6 Oklahoma 41-34 in the Big 12 opener for both teams, delivering a statement and maybe even cementing the Wildcats’ status as a proper rival for the Sooners. It was the most points Kansas State has ever scored at Oklahoma in the series, and the win caught enough attention to vault the Wildcats into the latest AP Top 25 poll (still only RV in the Coaches’ Poll though).
It was dark when the game kicked off, but at Oklahoma yesterday, it was nearly always 9AM. Adrian Martinez, playing with unexpected confidence, had himself a career day, somehow going from goat to GOAT in the space of just a week. Martinez was 21/34 for 234 yards and a touchdown through the air, adding another 148 yards and four (4!) touchdowns on the ground. Most significantly, Martinez had no turnovers on the night, while distributing the ball to six different players, including a game-high four passes for 80 yards to Ben Sinnott. (Yes, we are now a program that throws to tight ends).
It’s hard to find any negatives to quibble about in last night’s win. If it wasn’t quite the clinic of football fundamentals Kansas State put on in Norman back in 2012, it was nevertheless the Wildcats doing just enough in every phase of the game to keep the Sooners guessing. The defense broke a little, not looking nearly as tough against Oklahoma’s big play offense, but the unit nevertheless came up with some big stops and generally pressured Dillon Gabriel enough to stall drives and come up empty. There were no fireworks on special teams, but Chris Tennant was perfect on both field goals and extra points, and Ty Zentner averaged 47.4 yards per punt.
The offense was terrific though. For all the handwringing after the Tulane game, the team and the coaching staff came ready to play. Oklahoma’s defense was ready for Deuce Vaughn, keying on him early and often, but they were not quite for Martinez’s legs, and definitely not for Martinez’s passing arm. If the offense keeps chugging along like this, there could be many good things in store for our Wildcats down the stretch.
That was fun. Let’s do it again!
Kansas State (4-5-2, 0-1-1 Big 12) dropped a 1-0 match against Oklahoma State on Saturday in Manhattan. The match’s lone goal came in the fifth minute when Gracie Bindbeutel found the net.
Up next, the Wildcats are back in action on Friday, hosting TCU
The VolleyCats lost a tough 5-set match to Kansas, 25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 20-25, 15-7. Despite loss, K-State libero had 20 digs and reached the 1.000 mark, a school record for faster player to that honor.
The team will be back in action on Wednesday. The VolleyCats will be Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.