Oklahoma football: What to make of Sooners’ loss

Saturday’s game against Kansas State was the sixth time Oklahoma football was favored by 20-plus points and ended up losing. It is the most among any team in college football.

The Sooners were absolutely dominant in the first half against Kansas State, controlling the clock and game from every side of the ball. You almost thought at halftime the Sooners should be up by a lot more. The second half is really simple - too many mistakes. With almost six minutes left in the third quarter, Oklahoma led the Wildcats 28-7. Kansas State ended up defeating the Sooners 38-35, and the second half was all problems for Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma.


Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson dominated the Sooners defense the past two years. In Manhattan last year, Thompson ran for four touchdowns and threw for a little over 200 yards passing. Yesterday in Norman, Thompson threw for 334 yards and ran for three touchdowns.

Oklahoma is missing a few key players up front, but Kansas State is not an explosive offense. This team couldn’t even put up 38 on Arkansas State two weeks prior. Oklahoma’s defense had only one sack and five total tackles for losses while also not getting any turnovers, which are key in Alex Grinch’s formula to winning.

Defense has been the Achilles heel for Oklahoma for awhile and has way better offenses coming up on their schedule. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch took the blame for Saturday’s performance during his press conference. This defense will be playing Iowa State then Texas these next two weeks, two very crucial games for them.


Oklahoma’s offense had not really lost a step until the second half. Spencer Rattler had 387 yards passing with four touchdowns but three interceptions, one being the game sealing. The freshman’s first conference game was good but not the outcome he or the Sooners wanted.

Once the Wildcats took the lead with a little over four minutes left, Riley and his offense failed to score for the rest of the game. OU’s true freshman Seth McGowan had another rushing touchdown but a fumble as well. The Sooners’ offense turned the ball over four times to the Wildcats zero. Costly and simple mistakes slowed down Riley’s offense and allowed the Wildcats to slowly come back into the game.

Lastly, the Sooners had not had a punt blocked since the 2013-14 season, a huge momentum swing in the game for Kansas State. Simple mistakes all across the board cost the Sooners their first conference game at home. The Sooners were previously on a seven-game win streak in opening conference games. They have now lost to the Wildcats two years in a row and are headed to Ames, Iowa to face the Cyclones this next Saturday.

Bright Side

Luckily for Sooner fans, they are all too familiar with what happens after a loss. After last year’s loss in Manhattan, the Sooners won out and won their fifth straight Big 12 title. Consistency is something Oklahoma is trying to maintain and they will need it this coming Saturday against Iowa State. A chance at redemption and a good game before the Red River Rivalry. Let’s see what the Sooners can change in one week.

Photo courtesy of KStateSports.com