Midway through the second quarter Saturday, the Kansas State Wildcats had just taken a 17-14 lead over the Oklahoma Sooners in very Kansas State fashion. A bad interception by Landry Jones had given KSU favorable field position, setting up a drive that eventually led to shifty quarterback Collin Klein powering the ball into the end zone from a couple yards out.
It felt like the kind of game Bill Snyder's Wildcats had been winning all season. Despite appearing outmatched, KSU was capitalizing on Sooner mistakes, heisting the momentum built up by OU in streaking out to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Unlike K-State's previous seven foes, however, OU wasn't falling for the smoke-and-mirrors act. After going down in the second quarter, the Sooners scored 44 unanswered points and cruised to a big 58-17 win. OU's victory raised the Sooners' record to 7-1 overall (4-1 Big 12) and bolstered their hopes to get back into the BCS conversation.
For Kansas State (7-1, 4-1 Big 12), it marked the end to a fantastic run to open the season in which the outgunned Wildcats had relied on fundamentals and ugly football to stun the college football world.
In a complete team win, it was a field goal that turned the tide for the Sooners. Following a KSU fumble near midfield as the first half was winding down, kicker Michael Hunnicut, who missed two attempts in an upset loss to Texas Tech a week earlier, pushed a 53-yard kick through the uprights by the thinnest of margins to close the half and give OU a 23-17 lead heading into the break. Given the Sooners' stuggles on special teams this season, Hunnicut's kick gave OU a surprising spark. (OU makes 53-yard field goals about as often as Bill Snyder smiles.)
OU quarterback Landry Jones threw for a school-record 505 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on the day. Fourteen of Jones' 35 completions on 47 attempts went to All-American wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who had 171 yards and a touchdown on the day.
The big win didn't bring entirely positive news in Norman. Walk-on sensation Dom Whaley suffered a broken ankle on the first play of the game, ending the running back's season and casting a pall over an otherwise positive day for the Crimson and Cream.
For Kansas State, the loss definitely brought the Wildcats back down to earth. That shouldn't keep fans and media from showering praise on the legendary Snyder for the work he's done in leading K-State out of the wilderness for a second time. His team had the misfortune of running into a motivated team that is simply more talented. There should be no doubt KSU is back on the right track.
The dominating performance by the Sooners showed the previous week's stinker versus Texas Tech was more aberration than revelation about the strength of the team. Unfortunately for them, the win also served as a reminder of what could have been for a team that may be one of the few that can hang with Alabama or LSU in New Orleans. In the world of the BCS, stomping a quality team like KSU helps OU's case. Still, it won't change the reality that OU needs a win over a very strong Oklahoma State team and a ton of help to get to the Big Easy.