Quarterback Landry Jones:F
In so many ways, the Sooners' loss against No. 15 Kansas State begins and ends with redshirt-senior quarterback Landry Jones. Jones misfired early and often, going 28-for-43 for 298 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. K-State's Justin Tuggle forced Jones into a fumble around the Sooners' goal line that the 'Cats fell upon in the end zone for the game's first touchdown. Jones' interception was also costly as the Artesia, N.M. native threw one up for grabs off his back foot right to K-State safety Ty Zimmerman. That pick led to three KSU points. What's more? He also missed several routine touchdown opportunities in the red zone that led to OU settling for three instead of six points.
Co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell's play-calling and offensive game plan: A
Hush offensive play-calling critics. The game plan was fine. The Sooners simply did not execute. Whether it was Jones gifting K-State a touchdown with a fumble-recovery touchdown, Jones firing an interception off his back foot, redshirt-sophomore quarterback Blake Bell fumbling it away in a goal-to-go situation, OU did not get the job done. Rarely did the Sooners get much of a push with their offensive line and create a crease in the KSU defensive front seven. Just an absolute nightmare offensively in terms of execution.
Time of Possession Battle: F
Oklahoma knew coming in what the 'Cats wanted to do: Possess the football, chew the clock and shorten the game. The Sooners flat-out failed in this department. OU batted .250, winning just the first quarter's TOP battle (and the Sooners had the ball a whopping four more seconds). OU's offense did the defense no favors, converting just 4-of-10 third-down conversion opportunities. Also, Oklahoma rushed for an average of just 3.3 yards per carry. Conversely, K-State converted 7-of-14 third-down conversion tries, while racking up 213 rushing yards for a 4.8 yards-per-carry average. Offense or defense, OU never came up with the key third-down conversions or stops necessary to control the football game.
Is it time to say that Oklahoma's D-line simply is not up to par? In a game where physicality was the trigger word, the Sooners' front four was abused by Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein and company all night long. The telling statistic? Just six yards lost rushing the football for K-State. Zero sacks, a select few hurries and only one tackle-for-loss by the defensive line from senior Jamarkus McFarland. Against a team that everyone knew coming in was set to try and run it down Oklahoma's throat, the D-line was not up to the task. Anytime a defensive unit comes close to allowing two 100-yard rushers, the front four got whooped. Klein and junior running back John Hubert rushed for 130 and 79 yards, respectively.
Kansas State's Defense: A
Call it opportunistic, call it whatever you want. Bottom line: The Wildcats came into Owen Field and grabbed just the fourth win in Norman during the Stoops era largely because of the play of their defensive unit. Coaches preach about turnovers, and while the Sooners gave away some easy fumbles, defenders still have to be in the right spot to fall on the football. K-State accomplished just that. A sound, efficient performance by the Wildcats' defense. Linebacker Arthur Brown anchored the defense, compiling a team-high eight tackles. Senior linebacker Justin Tuggle was also big, forcing Jones' fumble off a sack that fellow defender Jarell Childs covered in the end zone for K-State's first seven points.