Stoops sets win record at Oklahoma

David Smale, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Oklahoma has won the seventh-most games in college football history (837) and nobody has won more as the Sooners' coach than Bob Stoops, who won his 158th on Saturday.
The Sooners defeated Kansas State 41-31 to keep their faint Big 12 title hopes alive on a cold, blustery senior day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Stoops (158-39-0) passed Barry Switzer (157-29-4 from 1973-88) as the Sooners improved to 9-2, 6-2 in the Big 12.
"It was a hard-fought game," Stoops said. "They've really turned it on in the second half of the year. I knew it would be a difficult game. They always play hard and play physical.
"I don't look at anything at all individually. I'm supported by a great administration that has been here for all 15 years. I've had great assistant coaches who've had a hand in it. I work with great young men every day. We've had a good group here for a period of time. But I don't have time to look at (the record). It's something that, down the road, I'll look back."
It was Stoops' ninth win in 11 tries against his former mentor, Bill Snyder.
"(Snyder) is a really special coach and person to me," Stoops said. "Coming here has always been different for me, having spent seven years here. I loved every minute of it."
Snyder was proud of his former pupil, but he wished it hadn't happened against his team.
"This was a collective loss," he said. "Oklahoma played very well. They were the better team and played better and coached better. They did everything better than we did today. That's not the way we've come through the last half of the season, but that's the way we played today."
The temperature at kickoff was 25 degrees, with winds that gusted to 20 mph. Both teams took the wind into account, especially Kansas State in the second quarter.
The Wildcats (6-5, 4-4) ran just eight offensive plays in the second quarter with the wind at their backs. The eight plays -- seven passes -- netted 234 yards and three touchdowns, after they had gained just 37 yards in the first quarter.
All three touchdowns were to junior wide receiver Tyler Lockett (48, 30 and 90 yards), who tied a school record for touchdowns in a game. Lockett also set school records with 278 receiving yards and 440 all-purpose yards.
"They challenged us to throw the ball and our receivers stepped up big," KSU quarterback Jake Waters said. "Tyler just proved he's one of the best in the nation, so that made me look a lot better too. You've got to give a lot of credit to Tyler."
The Sooners, meanwhile, dominated on the ground in the 38-point second quarter. They gained 160 yards on 19 carries, with two touchdowns. Michael Hunnicutt's 30-yard field goal with 2 seconds left gave OU a 24-21 halftime lead.
Senior running back Brennan Clay finished with a career-high 200 yards on 31 carries, scoring twice.
"It started up front with those guys mashing," Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight said. "Today we came out on that first drive and started hitting on all cylinders. We hit a few shots early to keep them off their toes. Then we ran the read game and that messed with them. That balance early in the game is what opened them up."
Knight also said the wind wasn't a factor: "The wind didn't bother me too much. We practiced on Thursday in the same weather, but a lot windier. So I was ready for it."
The pace slowed considerably in the second half, with the teams trading field goals. Hunnicutt's 37-yarder tied a school record for field goals in a season; he has 21. Oklahoma used 9:49 of the clock against the wind in the third quarter, limiting Kansas State to eight plays.
The fourth quarter was all Oklahoma. A punt in the first minute of the quarter pinned K-State on its 3-yard line. After three plays gained no yards, Mark Krause's punt traveled 30 yards. Jalen Saunders returned it 30 yards and the Sooners scored on a 3-yard run by Clay on the next play.
On the next drive, Kansas State was moving in Oklahoma territory, but freshman defensive back Zack Sanchez made his first career interception and raced 74 yards for the touchdown.
"It was a major, major play in the ballgame," Snyder said. "That had an impact on the ballgame. But you just can't take one element and say that was it; that was (more) major."
Waters scored K-State's final points on a 1-yard plunge with 6:10 remaining.
NOTES: Kansas State set total and game-average records in attendance for the season. The 52,773 in attendance Saturday brought the total to 423,095 -- an average of 52,887 -- which passed records from 2002 and 1999 respectively. The average represents 105.8 percent of capacity, second in the country to Oregon. ... Oklahoma stands 9-2 against Kansas State under Stoops, including 5-0 in Manhattan. Stoops is 10-0 as a head coach in the state of Kansas (5-0 also at Kansas). ... Oklahoma has won 10 straight games against opponents that defeated the Sooners the previous season. The Sooners have won 41 straight games they have led at halftime.

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