Game Week: Oklahoma

Originally posted on emawonline.com

by Mason Voth (@TheRealMasonV)

Things feel a lot different heading into the start of Big 12 play than what the thought 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-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

The Wildcat offense experienced big-time struggles on Saturday. It was still a solid day for Deuce Vaughn, despite missing the third quarter with cramps. He ran for 81 yards, but no touchdown and was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time since October 23rd, 2021 against Texas Tech, a streak of eight games.

More alarming than Vaughn’s rushing streak coming to an end, Adrian Martinez threw for the most yards of his young K-State career, yet the panic meter has reached a higher level than it was at after the previous two weeks.

The “Mob” defense was still great on Saturday, forcing key takeaways which both came off the hands of Daniel Green. Ultimately, short fields doomed the defense that continues to fly around the field and make big plays. Now the task becomes trying to stop perennial Big 12 power, Oklahoma.

The Sooners have started their season 3-0, and are coming off a dominant win against a battered crew in the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Dillon Gabriel was electric for the Sooners, running for a 60+ yard touchdown and throwing for two. Eric Gray, the Sooner running back, ran for over 100 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns of his own. The offensive talent is still not a question for Oklahoma and might have improved with new offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby this season.

Defensively, Brent Venables’ squad has held opponents to just ten points per contest this season, albeit against three opponents that are a combined 3-8 this season. Oklahoma’s defense has also produced 13 sacks through 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 group of five school and followed it up with a road win in Norman next time out. The Wildcats have won three of the last five visits to Norman (2012, 2014, 2020).

Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM on FOX, it will be the first night game for the Wildcats in Norman since the Big 12 Championship season of 2012.

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