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Sooners implode in fourth quarter, fall 38-35 to Wildcats

NORMAN, Okla. — For the second year in a row, the Sooners have been stunned by the Kansas State Wildcats. After jumping up 35-14 with just less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter, they saw the visitors rattle off 24 unanswered points over the final 17-plus minutes in an absolutely shocking 38-35 decision.

First, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson connected with a long pass play, and powered in from two yards out to start the rally. Then, he added his fourth rushing score of the afternoon on the following drive, a 4-yard TD, drawing the Wildcats to back within one score. Vaughn would tie it up on his 38-yard touchdown run with 8:17 left.

With 4:32 to go, kicker Blake Lynch gave the Wildcats their first lead with his 50-yard blast. With two final chances to take back the lead and win it, the Sooners went three-and-out, and quarterback Spencer Rattler threw a game-sealing interception.

It’s almost the exact opposite of how things transpired last year, as the Sooners were the ones who fought back from three scores down, but weren’t able to finish it off. This time around, though, the Wildcats erase the lead, and finish with one of their own.

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For a large portion of this one, it certainly didn’t look like that would be the case. Rattler, who didn’t have an incompletion outside of his two picks until midway through the third quarter, fired several jaw-dropping throws. On one of those, he slid out of the pocket to his right and fired a strike to Drake Stoops for a 32-yard touchdown and 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

The hookup, by the way, served as the first of Stoops’ Sooners career. And that his father and legendary former head coach Bob Stoops was on hand—high above in the suite section of the stadium—to witness the career milestone made the play only that much sweeter for the sophomore receiver.

Earlier, Rattler weaved his way out of the pocket as well and found wide receiver Marvin Mims wide open in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown and early 7-0 lead in the first.

That particular delivery capped off a lengthy 11-play, 83-yard drive midway through the first. And it was the final piece of a perfect 6-for-6, 57-yard sequence for Rattler.

The two would hook up again in the final minute of the first half. That’s when Rattler found Mims for a 9-yard score, making it 21-7 at intermission.

The Sooners got back to work, but it took a little bit. Midway through the third, Rattler connected with H-back Jeremiah Hall for a 21-yard touchdown.

Then, it went back-and-forth. Moments after Thompson struck with a deep pass to running back Deuce Vaughn, he powered in for a 1-yard touchdown run, and it was 28-14.

The Sooners responded with a five-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 5-yard Seth McGowan touchdown run. That restored their three-score lead before everything fell apart.

Now they’ll be searching for answers heading into next week’s contest against Iowa State in Ames. Instead of talking about the College Football Playoff, they’ll be talking about how they can right the ship to possibly keep their Big 12 Championship streak alive as the leaves fall off.

Kickoff for next week’s tilt is at either 11 a.m. CT or 6:30 p.m. CT. It’ll be announced Sunday.

Final stats:

Passing: OU – Spencer Rattler (30-of-41, 387, 4 TD, 3 INT); KSU – Skylar Thompson (18-of-25, 334, 1 TD)

Rushing: OU – 35-130-1; KSU – 26-66; Leading rusher: OU – Seth McGowan (13-73-1); KSU – Deuce Vaughn (8-45)

Receiving: OU – 30-387-4; KSU – 18-334-1; Leading receiver: OU – Drake Stoops (3-93); KSU – Deuce Vaughn (4-129)

Total yards: OU – 517; KSU – 400

First downs: OU – 28; KSU – 10

Penalties: OU – 10-75; KSU – 13-108

Turnovers: OU – 4; KSU – 0

Time of possession: OU – 32:08; KSU – 27:52

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