Kansas State shocks No. 3 Oklahoma 38-35 behind Skyler Thompson's aerial attack
Lightning struck twice for Kansas State.
One year after shocking Oklahoma at home, the four-touchdown underdog Wildcats went on the road and stunned the No. 3-ranked Sooners 38-35.
Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said he didn't even know until Friday if he'd have enough players available at all position groups to play the game after the team had been affected by COVID-19.
“You find out a lot about a person and about a team from a challenge and adversity, and this team responded," Thompson said. “I had no doubt going into this game that we were going to have a chance to win just by the way that we handled the last two weeks, the way we practiced, the way we came together and corrected our mistakes.”
Kansas State trailed 28-7 early in the third quarter before its offense found life. The comeback began as Skyler Thompson found holes in the Oklahoma secondary. Three long passes by the senior quarterback set up three touchdown runs by Thompson.
A 38-yard run by Deuce Vaughn tied the score at 35 midway through the fourth quarter. After a stop by their defense, the Wildcats then got a 50-yard field goal by Blake Lynch for the deciding points.
Thompson finished with 334 yards passing along with his touchdown runs.
“We just made critical errors that gave them a chance,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. "Give Chris (Klieman) and Kansas State a lot of credit. When we made errors, he made us pay.”
The win offset an impressive performance by Oklahoma freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler, who threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns, but struggled in the fourth quarter.
“He’s a young guy in his second start," Riley said. "We’re going to continue to build on it and he’s going to continue to get better and get coached better as well.”
Rattler’s 53-yard pass to Drake Stoops led to Seth McGowan’s 5-yard touchdown run and gave the Sooners a 35-14 lead late in the third quarter.
“We knew when we were down 21 we were just like, we’re going to get our chance, we’re going to get our shot," Vaughn said. “We’re going to see how good we are at battling adversity. That’s exactly what we did. When things started to turn our way, we were like we can’t get too high. We never got too low. We stayed even-keeled.”
Kansas State's Jahron McPherson intercepted Rattler in the final minute to help close out the win.
“For me, I dream about this all the time,” McPherson said. "For me, I was just so happy and happy for my team. I do everything for my team. I was just happy for all of us.”
Oklahoma had a regular-season loss each of the four times it has reached the College Football Playoff. The Sooners hope they can bounce back again.
“We’re very disappointed, but the resolve is very strong," Riley said. "We know how to respond to a loss around here, and we’ll do it, and it’s going to take every single one of us.”
Contributing: Associated Press