Adrian Martinez leads Kansas State to 41-34 upset over No. 6 Oklahoma
For the third time in four seasons, Kansas State has knocked off Oklahoma.
This time, the combination of Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn was too much for the No. 6 Sooners to handle as the Wildcats pulled off a 41-34 upset in Norman.
Martinez, a much-maligned but super talented transfer from Nebraska, just would not let his team lose.
K-State had a seven-point lead with 2:39 to play, but faced a third-and-16 from its own 41. With a stop, Oklahoma would get the ball back with plenty of time and have a chance to tie the game.
Instead, Martinez made an unbelievable play. He broke the pocket and accelerated for a 55-yard run all the way to the Oklahoma 4-yard line.
ARE YOU KIDDING, MARTINEZ!? 🤯
This run was UNREAL 🔥🔥
cc: @KStateFB pic.twitter.com/iL04sHPm3f
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 25, 2022
Two plays later, Martinez plunged into the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the night, ultimately capping off a massive upset in the Big 12.
Martinez finished with 148 yards in the win, but he did more than just run the ball. He entered the game with just 304 passing yards in K-State’s three games, but he came out throwing in this one to balance out the electric rushing tandem he has formed with Vaughn.
With Martinez finally showing himself as a threat in the passing game, the ground attack was able to thrive. While Vaughn rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries, Martinez was the star of the show.
Kansas State jumped out to early 14-0 lead
On the heels of an ugly home loss to Tulane, Kansas State was sharp from the opening kickoff. Martinez, who had 234 yards and a touchdown through the air, scored twice on the ground in the first quarter to open up a 14-0 lead for the Wildcats.
Later in the first half, though, Oklahoma’s big-play offense got going and tied the score at 14-14.
As the second quarter progressed, Kansas State regained control and took a 24-17 lead into the break. Oklahoma had to play catch-up the rest of the way.
The Sooners cut the deficit to 24-20 in the third and were within seven points at three other times in the second half, but they just could not get over the hump.
Dillon Gabriel threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns for Oklahoma, but also missed multiple open receivers, including a few potential touchdowns. The Sooners were also doomed by several self-inflicted wounds, including 11 penalties.
But the biggest issue for the Sooners was the inability to handle Martinez. The fifth-year senior lost so many close games at Nebraska, but he finally came through in the clutch on a big stage. He just did it in a different uniform and added to the recent trend of Kansas State being a major thorn in Oklahoma’s side.
What's next for Oklahoma, Kansas State?
The loss is the first for Brent Venables as OU’s head coach and it very much fell on the back of his defense.
The Sooners dropped to 3-1 with the loss, which should serve as a bit of a wake-up call after three easy victories over UTEP, Kent State and Nebraska to start the season.
Next on the schedule is a trip to face 3-0 TCU next weekend before the Red River Rivalry game with Texas on Oct. 8.
Kansas State, meanwhile, improved to 3-1 with the win. Saturday night's effort was an impressive way to rebound after such an underwhelming performance in the 17-10 loss to Tulane. Texas Tech, fresh off an upset over Texas, visits K-State in Manhattan next weekend.