NORMAN- For the second straight season, the Kansas State Wildcats stunned the Oklahoma Sooners.
While the Wildcats outlasted a second half surge from Oklahoma last season, it was Kansas State who came back after the break to win 38-35.
Mental errors cost Oklahoma this time around.
“Too many mental mistakes,” center Creed Humphrey said after the loss. “Too many penalties, too many turnovers. Those things cost you and they cost us today.”
Leading by 21 points with 2:46 left in the third quarter, the Oklahoma offense screeched to a halt, allowing Kansas State to wear out the Sooner defense.
Oklahoma allowed five plays of 20 or more yards in the final 17 minutes of the game, which the Wildcats converted into 24 unanswered points to close the game.
“We were failing to make a simple play,” safety Pat Fields said. “You’ve got to tackle guys and get them on the ground.”
“A lot of their very explosive plays we had an opportunity to maybe hit for a 10, 15 or maybe 20-yard gain,” he said.
“We failed to do that.”
After holding Kansas State to just 98 total yards in the first half, Oklahoma surrendered 302 yards in the final 30 minutes.
“We stopped attacking,” Fields said. “The first half we were on attack mode, and then in the second half we were like ‘no, we’re defending the lead’.”
“We have to play with an offensive mentality and attack.”
As the defense struggled, the mental side of the game broke down for the Sooners as well. Six of Oklahoma’s 10 penalties occurred in the fourth quarter alone.
Humphrey singled out one cause of the penalties on the offense.
“Poor technique across the board for us,” he said. “We just played with poor technique and the penalties showed that.”
The turnover battle was won in overwhelming fashion by the Wildcats as well. Kansas State forced four turnovers and blocked a punt, with the Sooners unable to peg any turnovers back.
“We got to find a way how to get interceptions,” Fields said. “They were throwing a lot of [quick passes].
“They didn’t really put the ball in the air too much but we still gotta find a way how to get our hands on balls,” Fields said.
Defensive coordinator bemoaned the lack of turnovers from his unit, placing the blame on himself.
“At this point we’ve been together for over a year, there’s no one else to blame but me for that,” Grinch said. “I’m missing on it. I’m missing on it somehow.”
“I’ve got to go back to the drawing board and say ‘why are we unable to do it’,” he said.
“It’s a results business, the facts are the facts.”
Oklahoma will have to adjust and move forward with their first road trip of the season to Iowa State looming next Saturday.
“It’s a horrible feeling, but can’t look back on it now,” Humphrey said.
“We just gotta keep pressing forward and get ready for the next game coming up really starting right now.”