Welcome back to another installment in our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! As of today, there are 55 days until the Oklahoma Sooners open to upcoming college football season. With that in mind, I want to revisit the last time OU recorded a shutout on the gridiron — a 55-0 rout over the Kansas State Wildcats in 2015.
Dating back to the 2013 season, this game still stands as Oklahoma’s lone shutout over its last 93 contests. For the majority of this span, scoring has been a non-issue for the Sooners, but consistently securing stops on the other side of the ball has proven to be quite the challenge more times than not. Fortunately, OU appears to be headed back in the right direction going into year two under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
That’s looking toward the future, but let’s take a look back to five years ago. One week after OU was upset by Texas in the Red River Showdown, matters were made worse on the Friday before the Sooners’ trip to Manhattan, Kansas as the team’s departing flight out of Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma, City was delayed for eight hours.
One positive working in the Sooners’ favor was that the kick-off time for this contest was set for 2:30 p.m. CT and not 11 in the morning. Still, it was far from an ideal circumstance, but Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma squad used this situation as an opportunity to band together against such unexpected adversity.
Right away, Baker Mayfield led OU down the field into pay dirt for a quick 7-0 advantage. Sterling Shepard flexed his big play ability on a couple 22-yard receptions, including the drive’s scoring play.
The closest Kansas State came to getting on the scoreboard was a drive early in the second quarter that reached Oklahoma’s 15-yard line. Bill Snyder’s Wildcats attempted a 32-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide right.
Overall, it’s hard to say which side of the ball was more impressive for the Sooners on this day. While Lincoln Riley’s offense was in total control, doing just about whatever it wanted, the defense was nearly flawless in the same respects. CB Zack Sanchez and LB Eric Striker set the tone from start to finish. The senior cornerback picked-off two interceptions, including one that he returned 38 yards for a score in the third, while OU’s pass rushing specialist led the team with 3.5 tackles-for-loss and constant pressure in the backfield.
By the end, Mayfield finished with 20-27 passing for 282 yards and five touchdowns. Dede Westbrook led all receivers with 85 yards and a score, and Joe Mixon led all rushers with 73 yards and a TD on 15 carries.
Out of K-State’s 13 offensive drives, five resulted in three-and-outs, three ended in INTs, and only two crossed the 50-yard line into Oklahoma territory. Going deeper, the Wildcats recorded a mere seven first downs, converted just three of 14 third downs, and were held to 110 total yards (65 rushing, 45 passing). Needless to say, OU’s dominance that day was complete and thorough. You can check out all the highlights from that impressive outing right here.
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