BY JACKSON SCHNEIDER
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State had its chances, but was unable to come out on top against #4 ranked Oklahoma Saturday. The Sooners held off K-State 37-31.
Wildcats' quarterback Skylar Thompson made an unexpected return to the field Saturday, having not played since the first quarter of K-State's second game of the season against Southern Illinois. His return clearly uplifted the Wildcat offense, leading them to 420 yards of total offense and a career-high 29 completions.
"Just having him on the field, in the huddle, the leader that he is, the player that he is, we were super ecstatic whenever we got the news that he was playing today," said running back Deuce Vaughn. "He's a leader of men. He's our guy."
The Wildcat offense did its best to keep pace with the high-powered Sooner offense, but K-State's defense just couldn't ever seem to get a stop when it needed to.
"Give their offense credit. When we blitzed they would crack our extra player that was responsible for the flat. We just couldn't rally," said Kansas State Head Coach Chris Klieman post game. "We didn't tackle exceptionally well on defense, but Oklahoma is a really good offensive team that can make some plays and make people miss. It's something we have to improve on."
Despite trailing by as many as 17, Kansas State would keep fighting. A touchdown brought the wildcats back within 10, but they would attempt an onside kick to catch the Sooners off guard.
The kick was recovered by Kansas State, but then reviewed, and confirmed to be K-State's ball. Then, Oklahoma challenged that same play a second time, where the officials then confirmed that K-State kicker Ty Zentner's foot touched the ball twice in one kicking motion, making it illegal touching and giving OU the ball back.
The development puzzled many fans and members of the media, and Chris Klieman shared his frustrations as well in the postgame press conference.
"I really don't know. I'm frustrated like a lot of K-Staters out there," said Klieman. "Didn't get a great explanation but they reviewed it and then they didn't see anything. Everything was clean, then they challenged it, another review. I didn't know you could review a review. Evidently you can. I don't know what that was, but must have had some really good evidence that I didn't see."
Kansas State would again rally, scoring a late touchdown on a 93-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Malik Knowles, getting the Wildcats to within six points in the final two minutes of the game, but they would again come up empty on the onside kick to end the game.
The Wildcats fall to 3-2 on the season and 0-2 in Big 12 play, and will head into a bye week before hosting Iowa State on October 16th.