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Oklahoma Sooners Defense Bends But Refuses To Break In 31-30 Loss

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The outcome of each game hinges on a few crucial plays. Attacking the defense from all angles, the Kansas St. Wildcats put pressure on their opposition to come up with a game changing play. Unfortunately, the Oklahoma Sooners fell short on multiple opportunities as Bill Snyder pulled out a second win, this time 31-30, in as many trips.

"They are ridiculously well coached and efficient. There are only so many things you can do and Jake Waters is an incredible player and Tyler Lockett and the way they run the football," Mike Stoops said after the game. "It is tough match-up and you can see there is not a large discrepancy. Games are all going to be like this and we just did not make enough plays. We needed to make one more there at the end."

Holding the opposing offense to a punt on K-State's first possession, the Sooners appeared to be in the driver seat dictating they style of play. However, momentum quickly shifted as large gains dotted the drive chart for Jake Waters and company. "You've just got to know that you've got to limit those big plays. A lot of offenses thrive on those big plays," claimed Jordan Evans, "and if we're shutting things down back and forth it doesn't mean anything if you can't stop those big plays."

Big Plays Given Up

  • QB Jake Waters to FB Glenn Gronkowski for a 62 yard touchdown strike
  • Pass complete to Tyler Lockett for 38 yards
  • 53 yard rushing attempt by Waters
  • DeMarcus Robinson rushes for 38 yards

The grand total of those four plays? Nearly half of what Kansas St. gained during the entire 60 minutes of play at 191 yards.

In the first half, Oklahoma continuously stuffed the run while the secondary was regularly gashed. Attempting the ease the pressure of the secondary, a few changes were made at halftime that proved effective. Limiting the passing attack of Waters to less than 100 yards in the second half, it was the run defense that saw lapses. Against a well coached team like K-State, a full 60 minute performance was needed and it simply never came together for the Sooners.

Position Grades

Defensive Line - Heading into Saturday, the defensive line knew the number one priority was to contain a dual-threat quarterback in Jake Waters. Regardless of what came their way, this unit proved capable of handling the task. By the end of the first half, the Kansas St. offense mustered a mere 20 yards on the ground. Adjusting to limit the air raid, the defensive line suffered in the second half as they were gashed multiple times for 193 yards by the end of the game. Overall Grade: B

Linebackers - Knowing that Waters possesses the ability to throw the ball all over the field, the linebackers were asked to help in coverage while pushing plays toward the sideline. Dominique Alexander (6) and Jordan Evans (7) combined for 13 tackles along with two quarterback hurries and a sack. In my opinion, the LBs delivered on what they were being asked to do. Overall Grade: A-

Secondary - The secondary remained nearly nonexistent in the first half. Julian Wilson, playing with a bum ankle, found himself matched up against Tyler Lockett. Unable to keep with an elite caliber receiver in his position, Zack Sanchez suggested switching to Mike Stoops. The idea stuck as three K-State receivers/fullbacks recorded receptions for 225 yards. Needless to say, the second half improved greatly upon the first. Overall Grade: C+