The Norman Transcript

September 24, 2012

Sooner response time

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State sent the Sooners spiraling down the polls on Sunday. They dropped 10 spots in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today coaches poll. The Sooners settled in at No. 16 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the coaches poll.

The Sooners will have an opportunity to rise or crumble in the coming weeks. Two of their next four games are against teams ranked in the top 12. Texas, which OU faces Oct. 13 in Dallas, is currently No. 12. Notre Dame, which comes to Owen Field Oct. 27, is No. 11.

Outmatched: Kansas State had a lot of success both running and throwing the ball out of empty sets early in the game. OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said he was to blame.

“That was probably the most disappointing part of it all is that we didn’t have a better game plan against their empty sets and really that’s my fault,” he said. “The way they structured it was a little bit different, but that is just careless, and we just didn’t execute against that set very well.”

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein rushed for 79 yards with all but two of those yards coming in the first half.

New coverage: Wide receiver Kenny Stills was held to a season-low 60 yards on six catches. Just one of those catches came in the second half.

“It was kind of the first time that I had seen bracket. Other teams weren’t doing it. They were kind of shutting me down and leaving Shep (Sterling Shepard) open on the other side,” Stills said. “It was a little bit different, but we had seen it because that is what our defense runs.”

Loud crowd: Kansas State linebacker Jarell Childs gave it up to OU’s fans on Saturday. The crowd of 85,276 was the eighth largest in Owen Field’s history.

“The crowd was crazy. I’ve never played in anything like that. It’s a hard stadium to play in,” he said. “They’re (Oklahoma) a fast team and a very physical team, so it was a good environment.”

The Wildcats’ victory was their first in Norman since 1997 and just their third at OU’s stadium since 1970.

Turnover problems: The Sooner defense failed to collect a turnover for the second time in three games on Saturday and have come up with just one this season. The offense committed three against Kansas State to run its season total to five.

OU is currently tied for 105th out of 120 FBS teams in turnover margin at minus 1.33 per game.

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