OU Survives Halloween Scare, Beats KSU

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Sooners were able to hold off the Kansas State Wildcats to secure a 42-30 victory on Halloween night....

To start, Saturday night looked like that video game offense the Sooners featured last season in their run to an appearance in the national championship game, just with a new face at quarterback.

Now the starter, filling in for injured quarterback Sam Bradford, redshirt freshman quarterback Landry Jones commanded the Sooners to touchdowns on their first three drives, all of which were capped off by touchdown passes in what appeared to be a rout from the get-go.

But it turned out that every single one of those touchdowns was crucial, as OU held on for a thrilling 42-30 Halloween victory over the Kansas State Wildcats.

"Compliments to Kansas state; it was a well played football game on both sides," said OU head coach Bob Stoops. "[It was] exciting overall our play through the whole day to come back in the second half, to answer back anytime they came up and got a touchdown."

And bouncing back from a fierce K-State comeback certainly wasn't expected after OU's early start.

OU opened the game up with a four-play, 60-yard drive that featured two runs and two passes, as the Sooners seized the 7-0 lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Broyles.

After a quick three-and-out and a good punt return by Broyles, the Sooners marched 35 yards in four plays for the 14-0 lead when sophomore wide receiver Dejuan Miller found green on the left side of the field for a 23-yard touchdown reception.

And following another K-State three-and-out, the Sooners put together a 14-play, 61-yard drive that lasted 4:34 on their way a 21-0 first quarter lead when Jones once again found Broyles, this time in the right corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown reception.

"He is just a playmaker," Jones said. "That's all you can define him as. You go out there and put it in his hands, and he's going to make something happen."

The Wildcats, though, cut the deficit to 21-6 when KSU senior running back Keithen Valentine ran in for the score from two yards out, although they failed to execute the extra point.

Then, the Sooners extended the lead again when junior running back DeMarco Murray's one-yard run finished off a 10-play, 78 yard drive with just less than six minutes left in the first half, but that was when the tide turned.

Kansas State added a 31-yard field goal with just more than a minute left in the first half, as OU had the 28-9 intermission lead.

The Wildcats further cut into the lead when they marched 80 yards on 11 plays on the first drive of the second half and Valentine scampered in from 14 yards out, and KSU completed the two-point conversion on a pass from junior quarterback Daniel Thomas to senior wide receiver Jeron Mastrud to make it 28-17.

That was when the K-State offense really started to click.

"I thought that we gave up some third downs, and they did a good job of converting," said OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "In spurts, I don't think that we tackled the way we are capable of tackling, and we didn't contain the quarterback at times on some pressure. I think that they did a good job and they never gave you a steady dose of one thing."

KSU really put the scare into the Sooners when Thomas scored on the quarterback keeper, and OU led 28-23 at the time.

Then came what was the biggest drive of the game at the time.

On what appeared to be a touchdown as Broyles caught a 28-yard pass, the Sooners were tacked with holding and unsportsmanlike penalties on the same play, leaving them with an improbable first-and-45 situation back on their own 37, which they somehow converted when Broyles made three people miss on third-and-24.

"Again, Ryan just makes a huge play making people miss and then getting [down the field] for the first down," Stoops said. "I thought he had a chance. I've seen him for quite a bit. As soon as he caught it, I said, ‘Make somebody miss.' I started yelling ‘Make him miss,' and sure enough he does."

Three plays later, the Sooners found themselves in a first-and-goal situation, which they ultimately capitalized on when Jones hit Murray for a 6-yard touchdown pass.

But on the ensuing kickoff, KSU's electric senior returner Brandon Banks exploded into the open field for a 98-yard touchdown, leaving OU up 35-30 with just more than 11 minutes left.

"We did a great job [against him] up until the one," Stoops said. "On the other ones, we held him inside the 20—I don't know—three or four times, so you fool yourself into thinking you're doing a good job, and you give it to him one too many times. That guy can go, so he has great speed."

OU responded, though, driving 11 plays for 68 yards in just less than five minutes for yet another 12-point lead, as Murray ran in for the 3-yard score.

And that was ultimately the final nail in the coffin, propelling the Sooners to a 5-3 record, including a 3-1 mark in the Big 12 and consecutive wins for only the second time this season.

OU outgained the Wildcats in total yardage in the win 458 to 364 and had 23 first downs to 20 for K-State.

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