Embarrassing. Catastrophic. Flat. Uninspired. Many words come to mind when thinking about the Sooners’ meltdown in Dallas last week, but very few of them are safe to print. It seems to be a rule of thumb that Stoops always rebounds after a loss, though. Bill Snyder is still the most consistent coach in college football, which is incredible considering his tenure. The Sooners have had more success than any other Big 12 team against the Wildcats since Stoops took over.
Snyder, who celebrated his 76th birthday last Wednesday, is also coming off a tough loss to TCU. He remains a class act despite his tough 0-2 Big 12 start. After losing on a game-winning field goal to Oklahoma State a few weeks ago, he wrote this note to OSU kicker Ben Grogan:
I have so much respect for Coach Synder and the Kansas State Football program, so cool for him to do this! pic.twitter.com/E6rhnoMHro
— Ben Grogan (@Ben__Grogan) October 9, 2015
OU is 2-2 against K-State since 2012. The Sooners lost in Norman last season, but Stoops is 5-0 against the Wildcats in Manhattan, with the average margin of victory being almost 19 points. Dual-threat quarterback Joe Hubener is a force for K-State. In last week’s rollercoaster loss to TCU, Hubener rushed for four touchdowns. This is cause for concern after OU’s lackluster performance against a similar quarterback last week. However, a costly Hubener fumble ruined Kansas State’s upset bid against the Horned Frogs. Kansas State has averaged 3.11 points per possession against tough defenses such as TCU and OSU. Oklahoma has given up just 1.85 points per possession so far. This game will be decided by the defenses. The Wildcats play traditionally and conservatively on offense, but that’s just how Bill Snyder likes it. They’ve attempted 220 rushes compared to their 125 passes so far. Considering how Texas gashed OU on the ground last week, OU’s front seven needs to buckle down.
Two straight weeks Kansas State’s defense has managed to give away games that they had a chance to win. “It’s frustrating because it’s been two weeks now that we needed to make a stop on defense and we didn’t make it happen,” said defensive end Jordan Willis. They’re only giving up 105 rushing yards a game, good for best in the Big 12. It took OSU’s rushing attack 27 attempts to muster 49 yards. TCU’s run game, led by Trevone Boykin and Aaron Green dominated K-State’s defense.
Can Riley get his talented corps of backs involved? Can the offensive line protect Mayfield long enough to make accurate throws? Will this Sooners team rebound, or did losing to the likes of Texas utterly destroy their confidence? A loss like last week’s provides many more questions than answers.