Kansas State entered the matchup against fifth-ranked Oklahoma as 23.5 point underdogs. On Saturday, the Wildcats jeopardized the Sooners’ College Football Playoff hopes with a 48-41 win over Oklahoma.
It was the first win in Manhattan over Oklahoma since 1996 and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Sooners.
K-State was putting the pressure on senior quarterback Jalen Hurts and forced the Sooners to a field goal on the opening drive.
On the next drive, Hurts got his first touchdown of the day with a 10-yard touchdown run to put Oklahoma up 10-0 early in the first quarter.
The Wildcats offense woke up in their second possession of the game with a long drive capped off by a four-yard run by junior quarterback Skylar Thompson.
On the ensuing drive, the Wildcats had a third and 10, but the Sooners converted on a broken play and scored on a seven-yard touchdown run by Hurts to go up 17-7.
K-State finished the first quarter with a long drive that ended with a four-yard run by freshman running back Joshua Youngblood early in the second quarter to keep the Wildcats in the game, trailing 17-14.
The Sooners responded again with a long drive that lasted 4:45, but settled for a 25-yard field goal to go up 20-14.
On the Wildcats’ next drive they went for it on fourth and six, and ended up kicking a field goal to put the score at 20-17 Oklahoma.
K-State got the ball back after an interception by junior defensive back AJ Parker on a throw by senior wide receiver Nick Basquine to put the Wildcats at the Oklahoma 14 with under a minute left to play in the first half.
The Wildcats took the lead on a 14-yard run by Thompson to put the Wildcats ahead of the Sooners at 24-20 after Parker’s interception.
The Sooners were on the verge of scoring before the half, but a sack by sophomore defensive end Wyatt Hubert held Oklahoma to a field goal as time expired in the first half but the Wildcats held a 24-23 lead. It was the first time all season that the Sooners trailed at the half.
K-State rushed for 105 yards in the first half, 62 of those yards came from senior running back James Gilbert.
K-State opened the second half with a drive capped off by a 37-yard field goal by junior kicker Blake Lynch to extend the K-State lead over the Sooners 27-23.
The Wildcats got a big stop, and on the punt got a huge K-State bounce to start the second possession of the half at the Oklahoma 46-yard line.
The Wildcats scored on that drive on a 3-yard run by Thompson run to put the Wildcats up 33-23 midway through the third quarter.
K-State got the football on the kickoff with a fumble recovery by sophomore defensive back Ross Elder on a fumble forced by senior linebacker Eric Gallon II. Gallon suffered an injury on the play and was carted off the field.
The K-State offense kept the momentum rolling with a four-play, 25-yard scoring drive capped off with another touchdown run by Thompson, his fourth of the day, to go up 41-23.
K-State kept piling it on with a two-yard run by Gilbert to take a 47-23 lead over the Sooners early in the fourth quarter.
The Sooners got a touchdown back on a 70-yard touchdown pass from Hurts to junior wide receiver CeeDee Lamb to inch closer at 48-30 with 12:32 remaining in the game.
Oklahoma started their next drive at the Oklahoma 28 yard line and marched down the field to get back into the game with a touchdown rush by Hurts. They got a two-point conversion to pull with 10 at 48-38.
Oklahoma got the ball back after stopping K-State once again and opted to kick the field goal to cut the K-State lead to 7.
The Sooners lost the onside kick because an Oklahoma player made contact with the football. K-State was awarded the ball after a lengthy review.
The Wildcats kneeled out the clock and the party was on in Manhattan as fans stormed the field at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
K-State had the ball for 38:08 minutes of the game and gained over 400 yards for the third time this season.
The rushing core led by Gilbert rushed for 213 rushing yards. Gilbert alone rushed for 105 yards and one touchdown, but Thompson stole the show rushing for four touchdowns in the game.
“When you have a guy like Skylar Thompson — where he can run the ball too — I feel like it keeps the defense off-balance because they have to worry about the ball-carriers, but at the same time they’ve got to worry about No. 10 too,” Gilbert said.
Head coach Chris Klieman talked about the difference on offense compared to the last couple of games.
“Just rhythm, getting into a rhythm offensively and being able to run the football with our power game inside, we were able to hit some perimeter runs. I think it was big to have Jordon Brown back — it gave us back that three-back set with some older guys,” Klieman said.
Thompson threw for 213 yards and one touchdown, but rushed for 56 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
“I thought Skylar Thompson was on point. He saw pressure and delivered the football. Against a really dominant defense, we didn’t turn the ball over, and that’s a big thing,” Klieman said.
Thompson finished the game with a 128.2 rating.
The Sooners put up 497 yards, including 395 passing yards and 96 rushing yards and four total touchdowns by Hurts.
The defense managed to sack Hurts twice and have five tackles for losses. Junior linebacker Elijah Sullivan talked about the performance of the defense.
“I mean give it up to the coaches, they made the calls, we just executed the plays. I mean hats off to the D-line, they did a tremendous job today cutting everything up making the quarterback do different things and scramble out. And we got a couple of sacks here and there, a couple of pressures so I give it to the coaches for all that we did,” Sullivan said.
K-State will go on the road to face in-state rival Kansas in Lawrence in the Sunflower Showdown on Saturday at 2:30 on Fox Sports One.