NORMAN — Oklahoma went from dominant to average in a little over three hours Saturday night. That was the amount of time it took for 15th-ranked Kansas State to expose every imperfection the sixth-ranked Sooners possessed.
For the Sooners (2-1, 0-1 Big 12), the revelations in the 24-19 loss at Owen Field were frightening.
“We expect more out of ourselves,” wide receiver Kenny Stills said after OU committed three turnovers. “It’s embarrassing to go out there and play like that as an offense.”
Kansas State (4-0, 1-0) deserves more credit than that. It played mistake-free football throughout the night and literally jumped on every tiny opportunity the Sooners tossed their way.
Quarterback Collin Klein rushed for 79 yards and threw 149 yards in a very workman-like performance. But he kept the chains moving and kept feeding the ball to running back John Hubert, who rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown.
“We knew it would be a battle, and it was exactly that,” Klein said. “We credit everyone for hanging together. The defense got big stops and turnovers. Again, we were able to do enough to get the win.”
While the Wildcats were together, the Sooners were breaking apart — starting at the quarterback spot.
Landry Jones struggled, and backup Blake Bell made a costly mistake. Jones threw for 298 yards and a touchdown, but his night will be remembered for his second-quarter fumble that set up Jarell Childs’ one-yard return for a touchdown and the interception he threw to Tyler Zimmerman that set up Klein’s five-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. First, there was the errant throw on OU’s opening drive that blew a potential touchdown pass to Brannon Green.
Jones didn’t shy away from the mistakes.
“I played pretty terrible,” he said. “The majority of this game is in my hands. I didn’t take care of the ball and I didn’t make enough plays. This one is probably on me.”