Things feel very different at the start of the Big 12 game than the thinking and expectations were at the start of last week. The Wildcats reaffirmed many people’s concerns about the passing game against Tulane and fell 17-10. Now, the Wildcats are tasked with putting it all behind them and restarting for a road test against the sixth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners.
The Wildcat offense experienced major problems on Saturday. It was still a solid day for Deuce Vaughn, despite missing the third quarter with cramps. He rushed for 81 yards but no touchdowns and went under 100 yards for the first time since Oct. 23, 2021, against Texas Tech, a streak of eight games.
More alarming than the end of Vaughn’s rushing streak, Adrian Martinez threw for the most yards of his young K-State career, but the panic meter has hit a higher level than it was after the two weeks previous.
The “Mob” defense continued to be excellent on Saturday, forcing key points that both came out of the hands of Daniel Green. Ultimately, the shortstops doomed the defense that continues to fly down the field and make big plays. Now the task becomes trying to stop the perennial power of the Big 12, Oklahoma.
The Sooners started their season 3-0 and are coming off a dominant win against a battered team in the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Dillon Gabriel was electric for the Sooners, rushing for a 60-plus-yard touchdown and throwing for two. Eric Gray, Sooner’s running back, rushed for more than 100 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns of his own. Offensive talent is still not a question for Oklahoma and it could have gotten better under new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby this season.
Defensively, Brent Venables’ team has limited opponents to just ten points a game this season, albeit against three opponents who are a combined 3-8 this season. Oklahoma’s defense has also produced 13 sacks in the first three games of the season, comparatively, the Wildcat offensive line has allowed five sacks this season. Including just one in the last two weeks.
The Wildcats will try to emulate their 2020 season when they lost to a pack of five schools and follow up with a road win at Norman next time around. The Wildcats have won three of the last five visits to Norman (2012, 2014, 2020).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on FOX, it will be the Wildcats’ first night game at Norman since the 2012 Big 12 Championship season.