|No. 4 Sooners try to avoid another K-State upset|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 24 October 2008 09:42|
``They've beat Texas the past two years,'' quarterback Sam Bradford said, summing up the Sooners' main cause for concern in Saturday's game in Manhattan, Kan.
The Wildcats (4-3, 1-2 Big 12) have been giant killers against the Big 12 South's other premier team the past two seasons, pulling off a 41-21 upset of the No. 7 Longhorns last season and knocking a fourth-ranked Texas team out of the national title picture a year earlier with a 45-42 win in Manhattan.
Both losses helped knock the Longhorns out of the picture for the Big 12 title, won by the Sooners the past two seasons.
Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1) would suffer a similar fate with a loss at the school where coach Bob Stoops and defensive coordinator Brent Venables cut their teeth.
lped Bill Snyder build a national contender out of a perennial doormat, the Wildcats have some similar traits under Ron Prince in the way they pull off their biggest wins.
``You look at the last few years, they've had success playing Texas. A couple years ago up there, they blocked a couple punts, they got after the quarterback pretty good. Last year down in Austin, they ran back a punt and a kickoff return,'' Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said.
``They're making scores in a nontraditional way.''
K-State leads the nation with seven blocked kicks this season - four punts, two extra points and a field goal - and the Wildcats have converted the blocked punts into four of their five special-teams touchdowns.
For an Oklahoma team that has already allowed two kickoff returns for touchdowns and had freshman kicker Jimmy Stevens missed two field goals last week, special teams are an area that has received extra attention from Stoops this week.
The Sooners have also been fine-tuning their approach on defense after the loss of middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds to a season-ending knee injury.
e spread as frequently as other opponents.
``We go into every game expecting to be able to put up points,'' K-State quarterback Josh Freeman said. ``Honestly, we know that they have a good team, but it's going to be about our execution. That's really going to be the game for us.''
Against a K-State defense that shut out Colorado in the second half last week, Oklahoma will try to duplicate its unprecedented offensive performance from last week. Bradford threw for a school-record 468 yards and the running game awakened for 206 yards after being held to less than 50 twice in a three-game span.
The Sooners are also bidding for their third straight road win after losing two of three Big 12 road games last season.
``We know that going on the road in the Big 12 is not easy. It's something that we struggled with last year,'' Bradford said. ``I feel like we have played a lot better on the road this year, but it's something we can't let up on.
``We need to go out and we need to play well.''