Oklahoma getting caught by Kansas State is an annual tradition for the Sooners, and it happened again Saturday night, with the visiting team pulling out a 41-34 upset in Norman. Running back Deuce Vaughn and quarterback Adrian Martinez combined for 264 yards on the ground, with Martinez adding another 234 in the air and accounting for all five of the Wildcats’ scores (four on the ground, one in the air).
It was the third time in four years the Wildcats beat the Sooners, but this one felt different for a variety of reasons.
The first reason was because of last weekend. The Sooners pistol whipped Nebraska, and K State lost to Tulane. Martinez, a former Cornhusker, had been awful in his first three starts. He had 454 yards of total offense and three TDs overall heading into Saturday. No. 9 accounted for 382 yards, including a handful of clutch third-down conversions, and almost doubled his season’s numbers in a night.
The next difference was obvious: Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams were busy in Corvallis leading USC past a tricky conference hurdle of their own. The Trojans trailed the Beavers for a majority of the night, and for the first time all season Williams looked human. They weren’t making their replacements at OU — Brent Venables and Dillon Gabriel — look like all that much of a downgrade.
USC still has yet to commit a turnover, and Williams conducted a clutch dive when his team needed it late in the fourth quarter, going 84 yards in 11 plays and hitting Jordan Addison from 21 yards out with 1:13 left to put USC ahead for good, 17-14. However, before that series he was 11 of 28 for 123 yards.
Gabriel completed OU’s loss with 330 yards and 4 touchdowns. Venables’ protection surrendered 509 yards to the Wildcats, however Riley’s offense mustered 357 yards complete on about 5 yards per play. If not for Oregon State QB Probability Nolan’s 4 interceptions (USC’s turnover ratio on the 12 months is now 14-0), the end result of this sport may’ve been very completely different. Just a few extra third-down conversations and a pair extra stops, and Oklahoma’s night time would possibly’ve had an alternate ending.
In a couple of years, Venables could have the protection the place he desires it, with sufficient leftover infrastructure to make the offense hum how he desires it. There’s a state of affairs the place he follows a Kirby Good blueprint to rivalry 12 months in and 12 months out — and that’s contingent on getting Georgia-type defensive expertise.
Oklahoms’s fan base isn’t accustomed to ready although, and from the unamused look on many Boomer followers within the attendance (and never cheering), it gained’t take lengthy to grouse. Be that as it might, they’re not completely different from some other group of entitled supporters. They have been simply fortunate as a result of one of many few coaches who issues in faculty soccer was main their program.
All the money and perk packages Riley obtained to go to Southern California have been for him to tug out video games like he did in opposition to Oregon State. The identical goes Dabo Swinney in opposition to Wake, and Nick Saban in Austin.
The perfect packages have premier expertise, in all probability a Heisman candidate and, most significantly, sufficient teaching to outlive a number of mind farts a season. It’s tougher than ever to get massive, fluid rosters of 18-, 19-, 20-year-olds to keep up focus each week. And even innocuous convention video games can characteristic a quarterback who’s had sufficient expertise to catch a sizzling streak on the blackjack desk and royally fuck up a season.
Oregon needed to rally to beat Washington State after smoking BYU. Granted Texas is banged up, however the workforce that went blow for blow with Alabama a couple of weeks in the past traded photographs with Texas Tech and misplaced. Arkansas was sitting within the prime 10 and primed to host Bama and School Gameday earlier than their kicker hit the highest of the goalpost, they usually fell to Texas A&M, 23-21.
If this chip shot-turned-heartbreak isn’t emblematic of how troublesome the straightforward issues have turn into in faculty soccer, I don’t know what’s.
Three prime 10 groups may’ve misplaced to Oregon State, Kansas State, and Wake Forest on Saturday, and one in all them did. Line up USC, Oklahoma, and Clemson. Now rank the coaches. Which one isn’t just like the others?