MANHATTAN, Kan. —
Achieve what was emphasized: It isn’t a great defensive performance when you allow three touchdown passes of more than 30 yards. But OU’s top defensive priority coming into Saturday’s game was stopping the run.
The Wildcats rushed for 24 yards — the least OU has given up on the ground since a 2009 meeting with Baylor.
“Our plan was to control the line of scrimmage and be great against the run game. Our plan wasn’t to give up big passes, but that kinda kept them going,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “I feel to beat these guys you have to be great against the run game, and we were.”
Matching kick: OU kicker Michael Hunnicutt converted both of his attempts (30 and 37 yards) Saturday. The second field goal, which Hunnicutt banked in off the left upright, tied OU’s single-season record for field goals. Tim Duncan set the mark with 21 in 2001 and Hunnicutt tied it in 2011.
Need a break: The Sooners were depleted Saturday. In addition to Williams, a suspension also kept receiver Lacoltan Bester back in Norman. Offensive lineman Adam Shead didn’t make the trip due to a back injury, neither did defensive tackle Torrea Peterson (leg injury), running back Keith Ford (ankle) and linebacker Jordan Evans (ankle).
Offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson went down with an ankle injury in the third quarter and cornerback Aaron Colvin was limited with a shoulder injury.
“It’s been difficult. We’re down a lot of guys, but it doesn’t matter. We have to go play,” Stoops said.
OU is lucky in that it doesn’t play again until the Bedlam game Dec. 7 at Oklahoma State.
Wind factor: OU’s players said the cold weather (it was 25 degrees at kickoff) had a major impact on the game. But the wind clearly affected Kansas State’s offense. It scored 24 of its 31 points with the wind at its back. The touchdown it scored into the brisk north wind came with 6:10 left to go and after the Sooners had built a three-possession lead.
“I always feel the wind makes more of a difference than anything. The wind with the cold was a bit challenging,” Stoops said.
OU scored 21 of its 41 points with the wind.