Just a week ago, Oklahoma was on top of the world.
Fresh off a 20 point win over an upstart No. 23 West Virginia, the Sooners were licking their chops as they headed into Dallas to take on a struggling Texas team at the Cotton Bowl.
A win against their bitter but limping rival in the Red River Shootout seemed imminent.
The Longhorns, led by 313 yards rushing, upset the No. 10 Sooners in a move that both steered Texas off the skids and Oklahoma’s high hopes into worry.
Now, the Sooners head to Manhattan, a place they haven’t lost since 1996.
“I don’t know,” Stoops in a press conference with SoonerSports.tv on Monday. “We’ve been fortunate to execute well when we’ve played up there. We have gone in there knowing it’s going to be a tough environment and have been able to execute and make tough plays. That’s all it is really.”
Even more so, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops hasn’t lost consecutive regular season games since his first season head coach.
Also, the Sooners are 15-1 in the game following the Texas game and are 6-0 after a loss to Texas.
Oklahoma has one of the best quarterbacks in the conference in junior Baker Mayfield who is off to one of the best starts in Sooner history.
Mayfield’s 18 total touchdowns and 1,593 passing yards rank him second in those stats after five games in Oklahoma history behind Josh Heupel.
“I think he’s a poised young guy,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said in his Tuesday press conference. “I think he’s taken command of the offense in such a way that he’s garnered a great deal of respect from the other players. I think he throws the ball really well. He’s another one of those ‘dual’ guys and he can bring it down and bring it out. He’s been good in scramble, good on option type game, zone read stuff… His leadership and presence on the field is beneficial to Oklahoma.”
Mayfield also ranks in the top 10 in the nation in points per game, total offense per game, passing touchdowns per game and passing yards per game.
Even with the high powered pass attack, unlike teams like TCU and Baylor, OU has not had the ability to make plays on the ground.
“Inconsistent,” Stoops said in describing his team’s offense. “I feel we’ve got to be able to run the football in a better way. Then again, we had some plays there the other day that we did run it better. We probably need to run it a bit more at times .”
Sophomore running back and preseason Heisman candidate Samaje Perine is only averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has recorded only three touchdowns this season.
The Sooner offensive line while struggling in setting up the run has also had issues in pass protection.
Oklahoma has given up 13 sacks in the last three games including giving up six sacks during their loss to Texas.
“We’ve got to be able to, with some of the protection issues we’ve had, have our timing better…,” Stoops said. ” But also, Baker (Mayfield) needs to know when to get rid of the ball. So it’s a little bit of all of that,”
The line on either side of the ball hasn’t been too impressive for the Sooners.
Oklahoma has been outrushed in every game they’ve played except for against Tulsa and against Tennessee.
It was Texas, however, who exposed the Sooners the most as they just pounded away at the Oklahoma defensive line racking up 313 yards rushing on 58 carries.
It was also an issue in their first Big 12 game this season versus West Virginia, where the Sooners gave up almost 200 yards on the ground on 53 carries.
It will be up to K-State to play into their strengths that correspond with many of Oklahoma’s weakness in order to get their first Big 12 win of the season.
Kickoff between the Sooners and the Wildcats is set for 2:30 p.m. at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.