Turnovers Power Sooners

For the first time all year the Soones opponent racked up better offensive numbers, but OU was still able to pull off more big plays on both sides of the ball to secure a 58-35 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats.

There is no way that anybody could say that Saturday's 58-35 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats was close to being perfect, but there were still some great moments and key performances for the Sooners on Saturday.

Travis Lewis may have been the player of the game as he racked up 15 tackles and two interceptions to help the defense stymie a KSU attack that looked like a well-oiled machine at times.

Lewis' interception on the Wildcats first drive of the game was huge because it kept KSU off the board. At the time it may have not appeared to be a game altering type of play, but the Sooners inability to keep the Cats out of the end zone in the first half was not yet revealed.

The Sooners are used to getting off to a fast start and this one was no different as they quickly put three scores on the board behind some strong plays on both sides of the ball, but when the Kansas State Wildcats knotted the game up at 28 there were plenty of frustrated Sooner fans asking what was wrong with the defense?

"I feel like we did a real good job coming back," KSU receiver Deon Murphy said. "We just need to finish and execute. We felt like as soon as we came out there (after tying it), we had this game in our hands."

Despite the early barrage of touchdown celebrations the Sooners were still not done putting up points and they would tack on three more scores – powered by three KSU turnovers - in the final 7:00 minutes of the second quarter to make it a 55-28 heading in to the break.

"Yeah it was crazy," Stoops said of all of the scoring in the first half. "It was good to see us get a punt return as Ryan (Broyles) had some room and made something happen with it. After it was tied our guys really responded and came up with some key turnovers. The offense clicked, moved the football and scored points. The end of the half we really had a flurry that really separated us."

"I think the first half was the best we have played all season," OU quarterback Sam Bradford added. "Everything seemed to go as we drew it up. It was a great first half."

If the floodgates for scoring were open in the first half of the game they definitely shut down firmly in the second half as the teams would only account for a total of 10 points. It was almost like watching two different teams play a completely different game. The Wildcats had some big offensive plays, but outside of a third quarter they were just not able to put any points up on the board to cut in to the big Sooner lead.

All-in-all the Sooners were able to run the ball better than Kansas State, but the Wildcats had their way with the OU defense. The difference in the game came ultimately came down KSU's inability to hold on to the football and it would be their five total turnovers that would power OU on to victory.

"I just felt that today, what occurred in the second half, particularly in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter we had the opportunity to make a run, and couldn't take advantage of it," KSU head coach Ron Prince relayed after the game.

"We had the ball down there a couple times and came away with no points and that was very damaging."

BY THE NUMBERS

29 - Linebacker Travis Lewis ended Kansas State's first drive of the game with an interception that he returned 27 yards, OU's longest interception return of the season until the redshirt freshman returned a fourth-quarter pick 29 yards.

23 - Oklahoma's third scoring drive of the game took just 23 seconds on two plays. The drive marked the fourth shortest of the year. The season's quickest was a one-play, six-second drive against Cincinnati.

20 - When inside the opponent's 20, OU's offense is close to automatic. On Saturday, OU was six-for-six in the red zone and is now 41-42 on the season.

6 - Sophomore Gerald McCoy recorded his sixth sack of the season in third quarter action.

3 - Saturday's game marked the third straight game for TE Jermaine Gresham to haul in a TD catch.

2 - OU had back-to-back TD drives of two plays each in the first quarter, covering 52 and 59 yards respectively. One quarter later, OU recorded a two-play scoring drive of 15 yards.

1:45 - Of its eight scoring first-half scoring drives, Oklahoma's longest lasted only 1 minute and 45 seconds.

1 - OU junior linebacker Mike Balogun began the game in the middle linebacker position, marking his first career start.


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