Not a good night at Owen Field for the Sooners. Landry Jones was not good. The defense withered in the fourth quarter. Not a lot to get excited about.
Landry Jones: D. Landry Jones had perhaps his worst game of the past three seasons, despite numbers that don't look awful on the ESPN ticker – 28 of 43 passing, 298 yards, one TD, one interception. Landry fumbled near his goal line, giving K-State a gift touchdown, and threw a panic interception late in the third quarter that ignited the Wildcats' dominant fourth quarter. But it was even worse than that. KSU's Ty Zimmerman dropped an easy interception late in the second quarter, replay review bailed out a shovel pass disaster and Landry fumbled while being sacked on OU's final drive, though the Sooners recovered. Even early, Landry was off target, throwing behind receivers.
Fourth-quarter defense: F. K-State had the ball three times in the fourth quarter. The ‘Cats drove 38 yards in seven plays for the go-ahead touchdown, 77 yards in eight plays for a back-breaking touchdown and finally converted two third downs while running out the clock in the final four minutes. Through three quarters, the Wildcats had just 229 total yards and three offensive points. In the fourth quarter, KSU had 133 total yards, seven first downs and 14 points. The ‘Cats faced only three third downs in the fourth quarter and converted them all.
Game management: D. The Sooners seemed consistently confused, burning five timeouts just before a snap. The chaos came from both offense and defense. The most damaging was after OU's touchdown with 4:09 left, which drew the Sooners within 24-19. Lined up for a two-point conversion, the Sooners were in a no-back set. Then Brennan Clay shifted back to tailback, tight end Brannon Green switched sides of the field and receiver Justin Brown went in motion. Then OU called timeout, which it desperately needed to extend the game.
Run game: C. The Sooner running backs gained 110 yards on 23 carries, which is a decent return on investment. But after early success, the gains dried up. Dom Whaley had 27 yards on four carries in the first seven OU snaps of the game. And Roy Finch gained 11 yards on a sweep out of a full-house backfield, but the Sooners never went back to Finch or that play.
Receivers: A. On a night of lackluster offense, the receivers were not the problem. No drops, a couple of nifty catches (Kenny Stills, Trey Metoyer) and the emergence of Sterling Shepard as a playmaker (seven catches, 108 yards, one touchdown). Great game for a corps that was a question mark all summer.
Belldozer: D. Blake Bell was on the field for two plays. Bell scored on a three-yard TD run in the third quarter, but he also fumbled a snap when OU was on the KSU 1-yard line, and the ‘Cats recovered. That's not an acceptable ratio for an offense that is set up in prime real estate.
Matching wits: C. Bill Snyder got the best of his old lieutenants, the Stoops brothers. Snyder stuck surprise plays in his hip pocket, set them up beautifully and pulled them out at just the right time. A perfect example: third-and-12, KSU on its 42-yard line, midway through the fourth quarter, and the ‘Cats Tramaine Thompson flared out for a throwback that went unguarded for a 26-yard gain. Mike Stoops said OU didn't have a good game plan ready for KSU's no-back formations.
Fan wardrobe: B. Most Sooner fans came properly adorned in crimson. But a few fans caused confusion. A man, standing in line to enter the stadium, wore a classic K-State purple shirt, with an OU cap. Two people walked toward the stadium in bright orange T-shirts that said “BOOMER SOONER,” and no, there was no profanity on the back. Finally, a guy on Campus Corner wore an OU shirt with a Nebraska cap. Choose a side, people.
Defending Klein: B. KSU throwback quarterback Collin Klein was his usual bulldozing self, with 79 yards on 17 carries. And Klein's passing was very efficient — 13 of 21 for 149 yards, including 4-of-5 for 72 yards in the fourth quarter. But still, the Sooners contained him decently throughout the game, aside from a couple of fourth-quarter passes.