Oklahoma suffered a devastating home loss to the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday Brent Venables his first defeat as head coach. Penalties, missed tackles and poor execution plagued the Sooners all night. But the story of the game was Wildcat Quarterback Adrian Martinezand the Sooners must find a mobile quarterback answer in a hurry.
Martinez, one of the most experienced quarterbacks in college football history, looked the same against the Sooners. He dodged the bag whenever he wanted and found yards on the ground or receivers breaking free in the field. Its mobility killed Oklahoma.
“They just played better up front, especially their offense against our defense,” Venables said after the game. He had over 100 yards in rushing and threw for over 230 yards. Deuce Vaughn, the Big 12’s leading rusher, had over 100 yards. Again we were really bad in third place. It was just a horrible tackle, missed fits from the start. We just looked really badly prepared. And that in turn starts with us as coaches.”
The Kansas State transfer signal caller threw for 234 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 148 yards and four touchdowns with just 21 carries. Saturday’s outing was the second-fastest yardage Martinez had in a game during his five-year collegiate career.
Martinez was a thorn in Oklahoma’s side all night and embodied who Kansas State is as a team. He didn’t just beat the Sooners by yards, he just played smart football. Oklahoma couldn’t come close to turnovers, and Martinez drew pass interference and face mask penalties across the field.
“We did a terrible job locking him up,” Venables said. “You have a certain technique you use against a quarterback like that. We did a really bad job locking him up. And then they blocked us under pressure. They blocked us the hell. Your designed quarterback running game…we got run through.”
Once again, Oklahoma really struggled against a mobile quarterback. At this point, it seems like a story as old as time. With a brand new defensive staff along with formations and plans, Oklahoma’s rear unit looked like night and day in the first three competitions compared to last season. And then they ran to the state of Kansas.
If the Sooners don’t clean up after Martinez’s performance, it could be a long season. The Oklahoma roster is full of playful quarterbacks who love to run.
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Kansas Jalon Daniels already has 320 yards on the ground, while TCU’s two quarterbacks are known for their speed and athleticism. Not to mention, Spencer Sanders, who was a Big 12 first team quarterback last year, could very easily be the fastest signal caller on Oklahoma’s schedule. It doesn’t get any easier for the Sooners.
The most noticeable problem seemed to be the lack of pressure in Kansas State’s backfield. Oklahoma was constantly being pushed off the line, allowing the Wildcats to rush 5.6 yards per carry. The most worrying part is that it’s painfully clear that the Wildcats didn’t have to do anything special. They just stuck to their script.
Kansas State owned the ball possession time by over ten minutes and controlled the ball for 35:04 of the game. Oklahoma’s 11 penalties didn’t help at all, and the Wildcats continued to play clean. Controlling the line of scrimmage and time in possession is Kansas State’s recipe for winning games, and they’ve executed it.
When the Sooners defense finally seemed able to move off the field, the Wildcats always found a way to increase possession. No game was more crucial than Martinez’s escape from nearly 20 yards to win the game third and very long.
“In a game like tonight, you’re playing with fire,” Venables said. “And it got us. At the end of the game there, 3rd and 16th, if we make a game and have to go off the field, we’re busted. We had a designed spy, we shouldn’t be there. Obviously it was a bad call and a bust and it broke our backs at the most critical time. I’m really, really disappointed with our lack of ability to create a pass rush. They blocked us.”
With the slew of talented quarterbacks under center in the near future, the Sooners have a lot of work to do. From that point forward, containing the run outside the pocket will be crucial to defining Oklahoma’s season. The answer will be seen.
“It was disappointing to see, but we got what we deserved,” Linebacker said Danny Stutman said. “That’s how we played, but we have to do better.
“I already know how we will deal with it in the future. We already talked in the dressing room. This is just a little kink in the road like I said before. we will answer I know we do. That’s not our way. That’s just a small step. We will get through this and we will be exactly what I know we are. That’s all I can say.”