MANHATTAN, Kan. — A series of numbers was scrawled this past week on the dry-erase board in Oklahoma's team meeting room.
Large and circled in black marker: 17-0 and 31-7.
That would be the 17 consecutive points Texas Tech scored to gain a 31-7 lead on the way to the upset win last week in Norman. Those numbers were drilled into the heads of the Sooners during meetings and practices.
Some similar figures emerged here Saturday against eighth-ranked Kansas State — in OU's favor, this time. The No. 9 Sooners responded from their first loss by scoring the final 44 points to defeat the previously undefeated Wildcats 58-17 on Saturday afternoon in front of 51,004 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“We could not stop them,” said Snyder, Kansas State's coach and the stadium's namesake.
Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) actually trailed 17-14 early in the second quarter. It outscored Kansas State 35-0 in a second half in which the intermittently maligned defense held the Wildcats to 31 yards and four first downs in the final two quarters.
“The offense kept scoring and the defense kept getting a lot of three-and-outs,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.
That could have been a held-over line from Tech's Tommy Tuberville after last week's stunner. But it was Stoops, whose team experienced the antithesis of what happened against the Red Raiders – and then some.
K-State (7-1, 4-1) punted four times in the third quarter, and OU scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions to break open the game.
What the lousy second quarter was last week for Oklahoma, with the Sooners fumbling once and going three-and-out four consecutive times, the third quarter Saturday proved quite the opposite. Offense and defense, everything seemed to come together at one time. The Sooners suddenly lit up and played ball.
The college football world, down on Oklahoma this past week, might have a different take on OU by today.
“I feel like there was some type of doubt,” said running back Roy Finch, who led the team with 73 rushing yards. “Being a No. 3 team in the country, and losing at home to Texas Tech, that should never happen.