Oklahoma Sooners Football: Kansas State upsets OU (again), 41-34

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Oklahoma
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

KSU QB Adrian Martinez dazzles, while penalty-ridden Sooners come up short.

The Oklahoma Sooners suffered their first loss of the 2022 season – and the first of Brent Venables’ tenure – Saturday night, falling 41-34 to the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. It marked KSU’s third win over OU in the last four meetings between the teams.

OU saw the best of KSU quarterback Adrian Martinez, a dual-threat transfer from Nebraska who struggled throwing the football through the Wildcats’ first three games. Martinez had no such issues versus the Sooners, as he completed 21-of-34 pass attempts for 234 yards and a touchdown. He also scored four times on the ground, rushing for 148 yards on 21 attempts.

The Sooners did more than their fair share to bring about their own demise. OU was flagged 11 times for a total of 87 yards. Three of those penalties resulted in KSU first downs, while OU received a handful of pre-snap flags that set drives back once the offense reached Wildcat territory.

KSU moved the ball methodically against an OU defense that had played solid football in its first three games of the season. The Wildcats ran a total of 83 offensive plays to OU’s 73 and led in time of possession by nearly nine minutes. Forty-nine of K-State’s 83 plays were runs, which netted 275 yards. KSU running back Deuce Vaughn rushed 25 times for 116 yards.

OU quarterback Dillon Gabriel put together a pretty stat sheet. The transfer from Central Florida completed 26-of-39 pass attempts for 330 yards and four TDs. Gabriel also ran for 61 yards on seven carries. However, he misfired on a number of open looks that seemingly left points on the field when all was said and done.

OU RB Eric Gray played possibly his best game in a Sooners uniform. Gray carried the ball 16 times for 114 yards and also paced the Sooners in receptions with seven for 45 yards. Per usual, wide receiver Marvin Mims led the way in receiving yards with 87. Mims scored on one of his four catches.

Defensively, OU allowed Martinez to hit timely completions to receivers Phillip Brooks and Malik Knowles and tight end Ben Sinnott. The trio combined for 15 receptions, 188 yards and a touchdown.

The KSU offensive line also appeared to win the battle in the trenches. OU entered the game leading the nation in tackles for loss with 32 in three games, but they brought the Wildcats down behind the line of scrimmage just four times in the game. The Sooners also failed to sack Martinez in the game, owing in part to the elusive QB’s scrambling ability.

The defeat brings OU’s record to 3-1 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play, while KSU improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in conference games. The Sooners travel to Fort Worth next week for a game with the 3-0 TCU Horned Frogs, which beat crosstown rival SMU today, 42-34.