OU beat Kansas State 58-17 last season in Manhattan, and here’s why: the K-State secondary was not athletic enough to keep up with the Sooners’ short (and occasionally long) passing game. Landry Jones dumped the ball into the right places, and OU receivers ran wild. Jones passed for a school-record 505 yards.
Ryan Broyles had 14 catches for 171 yards. Kenny Stills had four catches for 101 yards. Roy Finch, out of the backfield, had seven catches for 69 yards. James Hanna, 3-for-59. Jaz Reynolds, 3-for-51. Dejuan Miller, 3-for-42.
The Sooners have a remade receiving corps, and notably absent is Broyles. But Trey Metoyer and Justin Brown are newcomers who have shown flashes of excellence. Can Kansas State match up with the OU pass game?
“The secondary, with the exception of David Garrett, is virtually the same,” said K-State coach Bill Snyder. “That is good news. The bad news is that they got torched a year ago. Hopefully the experience has worked in their favor.
“I think so many things have to happen. Landry Jones is a very talented quarterback with great experience. Yes, you have to get pressure on him. We have been better in the first couple of ballgames than we were perhaps a year ago, at least statistically it indicates that, but this is a level up in regards to how they protect him, how quickly he can get the ball off and move around in the pocket and avoid the rush. There are a lot of ways to try, and that is all I can say is try, to disrupt a quarterback. Just heavy pass rush is one way if you can get it. If you cannot, then you have to look at some other possibilities, but the coverage certainly fits into it.
“If receivers come open in a heartbeat, then your pass rush is probably not a factor because they have a chance to get the ball off so rapidly. So it has all got to work hand-in-hand, and therein lies the dilemma.”
A week after losing to OU, the 2011 Wildcats went to Stillwater and lost 52-45, as Brandon Weeden threw for a school-record 502 yards. the OSU offense and the OU offense aren’t all that similar, other than their reliance on the pass, but in back-to-back weeks, the ‘Cats gave up more than 1,000 yards passing and 110 points. However, in the Cotton Bowl against the also pass-happy Arkansas Razorbacks, K-State was much better. The Hogs won 29-16, but quarterback Tyler Wilson completed just 20 of 31 for 216 yards and two touchdowns.