Skylar Thompson was in a scary situation.
The Kansas State quarterback had just scrambled out of bounds for a short gain on the Wildcats’ second play from scrimmage against Oklahoma, and he couldn’t slow down as he approached a throng of OU players watching the game from the Sooners’ sideline. His momentum carried him into the lowered shoulder of defensive tackle Dillon Faamatau, and the ensuing collision jarred the ball loose and sent Thompson to the ground for a few uneasy moments.
Oklahoma players surrounded Thompson as an assistant coach helped him to his feet, then K-State offensive lineman Abdul Beecham barged in to help his teammate. Some words and shoves were exchanged. No one was injured and no flags were thrown.
It’s impossible to tell exactly what happened in the scrum, but Thompson thought the Sooners deserved a penalty.
“I got smoked by a guy that wasn’t even playing,” Thompson said. “Then I was on the ground and I was getting kicked and I couldn’t get up. It was something I had never experienced before. I was surprised they didn’t call a flag.”
Faamatau certainly could have been penalized for unnecessary roughness. Though it’s arguable he was simply protecting himself, he also could have braced for impact rather than lowering his right shoulder into Thompson’s chest.
After watching replays of the collision, K-State coach Bill Snyder said he was proud of the way his players handled the situation.
“That’s what officials are for,” Snyder said. “You want your guys to be there for each other. I don’t know that there was anything dramatic that happened over there. I looked at the television copy. I did not feel like anybody was swinging at anyone. I’m sure there were some words that were said. I don’t fault Abdul, because that was his teammate.”
It took a few seconds for Thompson to rise to his feet and return to the game.
“There was a lot of people around me and stuff going on,” Thompson said. “One of their coaches did lift me up and help me out, but there was a lot of stuff going on. (Beecham) was trying to help me, but it was a skirmish over there. I got hit and I got stuck underneath their bleacher and I had guys all over me.”
“Their offensive line was sitting there and I felt like someone kicked me in the back of the head while I was down there. If that is how they want to be, it’s whatever. I’m just surprised they didn’t call a flag.”
Thompson said he held no ill will against Oklahoma players. He returned to the game and completed 13 of 21 passes for 108 yards, while also adding 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The Sooners won 51-14, but there were some heated moments early on. K-State safety Eli Walker hit Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon hard while he was being tackled by DaQuan Patton on the Sooners’ opening series and that led to trash talk. On the next play, OU offensive lineman Bobby Evans was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for shoving K-State players.
The game remained chippy throughout the first half.
“I felt a lot of it came from them getting mad, because we were dominating them,’’ OU offensive lineman Ben Powers told reporters after the game. “It was a very physical game.”
“It was definitely pretty chippy out there,” K-State defensive back Walter Neil said. “A lot of guys on their team, I know. It was just competitiveness.”
Still, K-State players thought they handled the Thompson situation well.
If anything like that happens again this season, don’t expect the Wildcats to do anything differently.
“We are not going to be stupid players who go over there and get in a fight and get kicked out of the game,” K-State right tackle Dalton Risner said. “We realize the situation, but at the same time we are over there helping Skylar and protecting our teammate.”