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Oklahoma Sooners

Game Primer: OU vs. Kansas State

8 Oklahoma

OklahomaK-State

Kansas State

Saturday, Oct. 27 / 2:30 p.m. CT / Owen Field

OPENING KICK

• No. 8/8 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) plays its fifth of seven home games this season when it hosts Kansas State (3-4, 1-3) today as part of homecoming weekend.

• OU (11) and K-State (two) have combined for 13 Big 12 championships in the league’s first 22 years (they shared the 2012 crown).

• Oklahoma’s 75 all-time wins against Kansas State are tied for its second most among all opponents (87 vs. Oklahoma State; also 75 vs. Iowa State and Kansas). OU has won nine of the last 11 matchups vs. K-State and 12 of the last 15.

• OU has won 28 of its last 30 games against Big 12 opponents dating back to the 2015 season. Seventeen of those 28 victories have been by at least 15 points, and eight by at least 30 points.

• Oklahoma is 25-5-2 overall and 8-1 at home as the No. 8 team in the AP poll. The Sooners’ only home loss as the No. 8 team came in 2012 when No. 5 Notre Dame won 30-13 in Norman. Current OU outside linebackers coach Bob Diaco was the Fighting Irish’s defensive coordinator in that contest. Against unranked opponents, the Sooners are 15-0-1 (6-0 at home) as the AP’s No. 8 squad.

• The Sooners are coming off a 52-27 win at TCU on Saturday, an outcome that extended their true road game winning streak to a nation-leading 18 contests. Kyler Murray threw for four touchdowns while Kennedy Brooks (168, 1 TD) and Trey Sermon (110, 2 TDs) each ran for more than 100 yards. OU outgained the Horned Frogs by 261 yards, and TCU’s 275 yards and 12 first downs were the fewest allowed by the Sooners in 10 games.

• Kansas State outscored Oklahoma State 28-6 after halftime in a 31-12 home win in its last game two weeks ago. The Wildcats racked up 291 rushing yards and held a 37:52-22:08 time-of-possession advantage. Running back Alex Barnes rushed 34 times for 181 yards (5.3 average) and four touchdowns while also catching three passes for 51 yards.

Bookie & Kenneth Murray

FOR THE FANS

• Approximately two hours before each home game, head coach Lincoln Riley and the Sooners will disembark the team buses immediately west of the intersection of Lindsey Street and Jenkins Avenue for the “Walk of Champions.” A pep rally, conducted by OU Spirit, will be held 15 minutes prior to the team’s arrival. This week’s pep rally will take place at approximately noon with the team arriving at approximately 12:15 p.m. Fans are encouraged to cheer on the team upon arrival and watch as Coach Riley and the squad walk the final yards west along Lindsey Street to their locker room.

• Sooner Fan Fest will be held in the Rhyne Hall parking lot directly east of McCasland Field House. It opens at 10:30 a.m. off Jenkins Avenue and concludes at 2 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Boomer and Sooner, and have their photos taken with the Sooner Schooner, the mascots and members of the OU spirit squads at the OU Marketing trailer. Other elements at Fan Fest this week include a GoVision jumbotron showing other games across the country, a photo booth, an inflatable football toss and autograph sessions with OU great Roy Williams (11-noon) and the OU wrestling team (11:30-12:30). Food will be available from the following food trucks: Amore, Midway Deli and That Pie Truck. Jersey Mike’s will also hand out sample-size food. And the Sooner Radio Network (flagship 107.7 The Franchise) will be broadcasting live from Fan Fest from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. with Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson, Chris Plank, Ted Lehman and Rufus Alexander.

FIVE KEY STORYLINES

• Oklahoma owns a 75-19-4 (.786) all-time record and a 12-5 (.706) Big 12-era mark against Kansas State, the highest winning percentages by a Wildcats’ opponent among current Big 12 programs. In fact, no other current Big 12 program has a winning record against K-State since the league began in 1996.

• The road team has won six of the last seven meetings in the OU-Kansas State series. The lone time the home team won in the last seven years was in 2016 when the Sooners posted a 38-17 victory.

• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma leads the conference with its 548.5 yards of offense per game, which is 51.0 more yards per outing than the team with the second-best average (Texas Tech; 497.5). Making OU’s offensive performance more impressive is the fact the Sooners have already faced the league’s top three teams in total defense (Iowa State 346.2, Texas 362.2 and TCU 363.5). Saturday’s game will feature the Big 12’s top two rushing offenses in league action, with OU averaging 220.5 yards per game and Kansas State 202.0. The Sooners’ 5.9 yards per rush is a full yard more than the team with the next best average (K-State; 4.9).

• Oklahoma ranks 128th out of 130 FBS teams with just 60.6 offensive plays per game, but it ranks seventh nationally with its 526.3 yards per contest. That’s because the Sooners lead the nation with a staggering 8.7 yards per play, a figure that would set an FBS single-season record (the current record is 8.58 by Hawaii in 2006). The OU single-season record of 8.3 yards per play was set last year, and the program’s second-best figure is 7.6 in 1971. Alabama ranks second this year with its 8.3 yards per play, while Memphis and Mississippi are tied for third at 7.7. OU also leads the nation by gaining at least 10 yards on 31.8 percent of its plays (135 of 424). Alabama ranks second at 29.6 percent.

• Through seven games this season, quarterback Kyler Murray has a better passing efficiency rating (224.9), more total touchdowns (30), more yards per pass attempt (12.4), more yards per completion (17.2) and more rushing yards per game (61.1) than Baker Mayfield, Sam Bradford and Jason White did through seven games the years they won their Heisman Trophies while at OU.

SCOUTING KANSAS STATE

• Kansas enters Saturday’s game 3-4 overall and 1-3 in Big 12 play. The Wildcats are coming off an open week after picking up a 31-12 win over Oklahoma State two weeks ago. Prior to that win, KSU had lost its first three Big 12 games (35-6 at West Virginia, 19-14 vs. Texas and 37-34 at Baylor.

• K-State ranks last in the Big 12 in scoring offense (23.3 ppg) and passing offense (164.7 ypg), ninth in total offense (356.3 ypg) and third in rushing offense (191.6 ypg). On the other side of the ball, it ranks fifth in scoring defense (25.0 ppg) and passing defense (233.1 ypg), seventh in total defense (406.1 ypg) and ninth in rushing defense (173.0 ypg).

• Quarterback Skylar Thompson has completed 55.3 percent of his passes for 880 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions, and has rushed 73 times for 305 yards (4.2 per carry) and three TDs. Running back Alex Barnes leads the Big 12 by averaging 112.6 rushing yards per game, totaling 788 yards and nine scores on 138 carries (5.7 average). Isaiah Zuber leads the Wildcats with 478 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 39 catches (12.3 average), and Dalton Schoen has 291 yards and two scores on 16 receptions (18.2 average).

• The K-State defense has 10 takeaways, including eight interceptions, and has recorded 11 sacks. Opponents, meanwhile, have five interceptions, six fumble recoveries and 23 sacks. The Wildcats are led by cornerback Duke Shelley’s three interceptions and nine pass breakups, and defensive end Reggie Walker’s 5.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss.

• Kansas State is under the direction of Bill Snyder, who is in the 10th year of his second stint as head coach of the Wildcats. He has led KSU to 76 victories and eight straight bowl games in that span. In his 27th overall year as K-State’s head coach, he owns a 213-114-1 record.

KYLER FOR HEISMAN

• Kyler Murray, who is looking to become OU’s seventh Heisman Trophy winner and second straight, ranks second nationally in yards per pass attempt (12.4), yards per completion (17.2), passing efficiency rating (224.9) and points responsible for per game (25.7), third in passing touchdowns per game (3.6), fourth in completion percentage (.711) and fifth in total offense per game (343.6 yards; didn’t play in second half vs. Florida Atlantic, OU only ran 40 plays vs. Army). He is the only player averaging at least 250.0 passing yards (282.4) and at least 50.0 rushing yards (61.1) per game.

• Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in every game this year, and at least three in each of the last six outings. He has 14 TD passes over the last three games.

• In Big 12 play, Murray owns healthy statistical leads in total offense at 390.5 yards per game (next most is 306.5 by Baylor’s Charlie Brewer), passing yards at 326.5 per contest (next most is 309.3 by Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman) and passing efficiency rating with his 239.8 mark (next best is 166.0 by West Virginia’s Will Grier).

• A 5-10, 195-pounder from Allen, Texas, Murray is looking to become OU’s fourth Heisman Trophy finalist in the last three years (Baker Mayfield in 2016 and ’17 and Dede Westbrook in 2016), and its second straight winner (Mayfield). He has accounted for 30 touchdowns (25 passing, five rushing) and just four turnovers. He ranks second the team with 428 rushing yards (6.5 per carry) and is tied for the lead with five rushing TDs.

• No school has ever produced back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners who were quarterbacks.

Kyler Murray

HOORAY FOR “HOLLYWOOD” 

• Marquise Brown, who hails from Hollywood, Fla., was one of the country’s most explosive receivers last year, and 2018 is no different. Brown ranks ninth nationally in receiving yards per game (102.3) this season, and among players averaging at least 5.0 receptions per game he leads the nation with his 18.8 yards per catch. He is also tied for eighth nationally with his 1.0 receiving touchdowns per game (seven TDs in seven games).

• Brown ranks first nationally this season with his seven catches of at least 40 yards, his five receptions of at least 50 yards, his three grabs of at least 60 yards and his two catches of at least 70 yards. His long receiving plays this season have gone for 77 yards (TD), 75 yards (TD), 65 yards (TD), 58 yards (TD), 50 yards (TD), 48 yards and 40 yards (TD).

• Since the start of the 2017 season, Brown leads the nation with his 12 catches of at least 50 yards. The next highest total among active players is eight. The 12 grabs for Brown have gone for 87, 84, 77, 77, 75, 66, 65, 58, 56, 52, 50 and 50 yards. Nine of those 12 receptions have resulted in a TD.

SILENCE OF THE LAMB

• While Marquise Brown has turned heads with his home-run-play ability, sophomore CeeDee Lamb has quietly put together one of the best two-year starts to a career by an OU receiver. The 6-2, 189-pounder from Richmond, Texas, has started 19 of his 21 games and has amassed 76 receptions for 1,322 yards (17.4 average) and 14 touchdowns.

• An ESPN freshman All-American last year when he caught 46 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 contests (13 starts), Lamb is on pace to demolish those numbers this season. Through seven games, he has 30 catches for 514 yards and seven TDs. He has four career 100-yard receiving games, including two this year. The highlight of this season was a seven-catch, 146-yard performance against UCLA in OU’s second game.

OU’S 1-2 LINEBACKING PUNCH

• No duo in the country averages more tackles per game than Oklahoma sophomore Kenneth Murray and redshirt senior Curtis Bolton. Both linebackers, Murray ranks 10th nationally (first in the Big 12) with his 12.1 tackles per outing, while Bolton is tied for for 11th nationally (second in Big 12) with 11.6.

• Over the last four games, Murray has an astounding 66 tackles (16.5 average) while Bolton has 59 (14.8).

• Murray has 85 tackles on the year, which is seven more than his total last season (78) when he started all 14 games, earned freshman All-America honors and was co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. Over the last six games, he is averaging 14.2 tackles.

• Amazingly, Bolton’s 81 tackles are 65 more than he had in his career (16) entering the year. Playing primarily on special teams and battling injuries prior to this season, his six career starts have all come in 2018.

HERE’S THE KICKER

• Senior kicker/punter Austin Seibert ranks second in OU career scoring with 424 points and needs 26 points to tie kicker Michael Hunnicutt (2011-14) for the school record of 450. He is in fifth place in all-time Big 12 scoring and needs nine points to tie Oklahoma State kicker Ben Grogan (2013-16) for fourth place. Seibert needs 27 points to tie the Big 12 career scoring record of 451, held by Baylor’s Aaron Jones (2010-13) and TCU’s Jaden Oberkrom (2012-15).

• In Saturday’s win at TCU, Seibert was 7 for 7 on PATs, extending his streak of makes to 138 dating back to 2016. He broke the school record of 134 straight conversions that was held by Uwe von Schamann (1976-78).

• With his 424 points, Seibert ranks 15th in FBS history among kickers. He needs nine points to move into the top 10. The record is 494 points by Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez (2013-16).

• Seibert ranks first at OU and second in the Big 12 in career extra points made (268), and needs six to tie the conference record of 274 held by Baylor’s Jones.

• For the third straight season, Seibert is handling OU’s placekicking, punting and kickoff duties. He is one of just three players nationally this season to lead his team in each (San Jose State’s Bryce Crawford and Rice’s Jack Fox).

• Seibert also ranks second at OU in career field goals made (52) and PAT percentage (.985; 268-272), fourth in career field goal percentage (.765; 52-68) and fifth in career punting average (41.9).

Seibert

EXTRA POINTS

• Thirty-six of Oklahoma’s 44 offensive touchdown drives (82 percent) have taken less than three minutes of game clock. That excludes the overtime TD drive vs. Army that took two plays.

• OU opponents have run 533 plays this season to the Sooners’ 424. That’s an average of 15.6 more per game. Despite that, OU has outgained its foes by 882 yards on the year (8.7 yards per play to 5.3).

• Oklahoma has scored at least 30 points in 29 of its last 31 games (29 and 28 in the other two). It has won 28 of those 31 contests. OU’s 28-3 record since Oct. 1, 2016, is the nation’s third best (Alabama is 30-2 and Clemson 29-3).

• In Big 12 play, the Sooners lead the league in rushing defense (113.2 yards per game) and rank second in yards per carry allowed (3.4). On the season, OU is tied for third in the league in yards per play allowed (5.3).

• Kennedy Brooks’ 168 rushing yards (on 18 carries for a 9.3 average) at TCU on Saturday marked the highest total by an OU freshman since Samaje Perine for an FBS-record 427 yards against Kansas late in the 2014 season.

• Redshirt junior receiver Lee Morris has 12 career catches and eight have gone for touchdowns (67 percent). Six of his 10 receptions this year, including each of the last three, have resulted in a score.

• OU has scored at least 50 points 18 times since the start of the 2015 season, most in the nation.

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