Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops says there's no such thing as 'Texas Hangover', but it took an early wake-up call to get the second-ranked Sooners going Saturday morning in Manhattan.
Jason White threw four touchdown passes, two in the third and fourth quarter to erase a 21-17 deficit, while Adrian Peterson and the Oklahoma defense did the rest as Sooners (6-0, 3-0) pulled out a 31-21 come-from-behind win over the upset-minded Wildcats (2-4, 0-3).
"Kansas State's a tough team," said Stoops. "I knew they'd be persistent. Say what you want about them, they haven't lost many games in this stadium."
The Wildcats showed early on that there were going to make it a game, stopping the Sooners on the first series of the game and then quickly taking a 7-0 lead when Darren Sproles capped an 11-play, 59-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run 5:35 seconds into the game.
Oklahoma responded two drives later when White finished a five-play, 46-yard drive with his first of two touchdown passes to Travis Wilson to tied the game at 7-7.
However, Kansas State marched right back down the field and took the lead again on their next drive when Dylan Meier hit Yamon Figurs for a 38-yard strike with 14:07 left in the half.
But the lead wouldn't last long, as White quickly directed the Sooners back down the field on an eight-play, 80-yard drive hitting Wilson in the back of the end zone with a 14-yard pass to tie the game at 14-14. Wilson led the Sooners with five catches for 88 yards.
The Sooners would then take the lead just before halftime, when Trey DiCarlo added a 26-yard field goal with 3:12 left in the second quarter.
White, who completed 20 of his 31 pass attempts for 256 yards, made his only mistake of the game early in the third quarter when a slant pass intended for Mark Clayton was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Kansas State linebacker Brandon Archer.
But just like every other time Kansas State had scored to take the lead, White and the Sooners came right back.
One the next drive, White picked up a crucial fourth down with a pass to Brandon Jones, and then he hit Clayton for a 15-yard touchdown that put the Sooners up for good at 24-21 with 5:25 left to go in the game.
"I think it shows a lot of character by the offense and mostly Jason," said Stoops on White leading the scoring drive on the next series after the interception return. "He realizes 'this is on me.' In fact, he said something to Coach (Chuck) Long on the phone right away. He said he wanted the ball right back and to put it in his hands, and we did. We went right down the field and scored. He had a lot of nice throws in that drive and a lot of nice throws throughout the second half. He responded well."
White would later hook up with Clayton again on a key third down play in the red zone for an eight-yard score to give the Sooners a 31-21 cushion with 7:06 left to go in the game.
And from that point on the Sooners relied on Adrian Peterson to run out the clock, and he did. The true freshman from Palestine, Texas reached the century mark for the sixth straight game with 130 yards rushing on 36 carries.
Along with White and the offense, a lot of credit has to go to the Oklahoma defense. After giving up 14 quick points, the defense was dominant shutting out the Wildcats for the last 44 minutes of the game.
"They had some early success in their no-back sets," said Stoops on Kansas State's surprise passing attack. "It took us a little while to settle down and get used to it and get our calls straight on what we wanted to do and get our guys positioned properly. We did really from the second quarter on, and then started making plays in the second half.
Rufus Alexander led the Sooners with nine tackles, but it was senior defensive end Dan Cody who was virtually unblockable in the last three quarters. Cody finished with four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
"Dan Cody, even when were weren't blitzing, really had a great day pressuring," said Stoops. "We tried to keep giving them different wrinkles with our pressure to force his (Meier) hand a little bit and not give him time to hold it.
In all, Oklahoma forced three turnovers and held the Wildcats to 247 yards of total offense. The Sooners also held Kansas State running back Darren Sproles, who was averaging 136.8 yards per game coming into Saturday, to 34 just yards on 13 carries.
"Really proud of the way we fought through a lot of adverse situations," said Stoops. "Not many things went our way, but we hung in there. Nobody every panicked and everybody was always focused. Hopefully, it builds more character and shows a degree of toughness, and that we can win different ways coming from behind."
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