OU puts its perfect record against ranked foes in Norman on the line against No. 15 Kansas State
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Saturday, September 22, 2012
9/22/12 at 10:24 PM
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NORMAN - Collin Klein is a Heisman Trophy candidate. Bill Snyder is a magician again. Their Kansas State Wildcats, sixth in the preseason Big 12 Conference poll, are suddenly ranked 15th in the nation. Saturday night they're playing at No. 6 Oklahoma.
Yep. This definitely qualifies as a big game at Owen Field.
And that's an ominous sign for the Wildcats.
"We have a different mentality. We have a different mindset. There's something about playing ranked teams and teams that are just as good as us," OU linebacker Corey Nelson said. "We build this fire, this thirst to want to be better than them. With that hunger and fire and thirst, it allows us to play at a higher level."
It has been like this since Nelson was an 8-year-old peewee. Since Oct. 23, 1999, the first time the Bob Stoops-coached Sooners hosted a ranked opponent.
That night, Texas A&M came to Norman with a 5-1 record and No. 10 ranking. The Aggies had just waxed Kansas behind Randy McCown's 362 passing yards.
Against the Sooners, McCown threw for 131. He completed nine passes. He left the game with a separated shoulder.
OU's quarterback had no such trouble. Josh Heupel rang up 372 yards and accounted for six touchdowns. His offense scored on its first six possessions. It was 34-6 at the half, and 51-6 at game's end.
Nobody suspected it at the time, but one of college football's all-time periods of homefield dominance had set in.
Fourteen ranked teams have played Stoops' Sooners at Owen Field. Fourteen have gone down, many of them hard. The average margin of defeat: 43-16.
Those 14 games encompass 840 minutes of football. Over those 840 minutes, OU has trailed three times.
No. 1 Nebraska led 14-0 in 2000, then the Sooners ripped off 31 unanswered points to seize control by the opening moments of the second half. In 2007, No. 11 Missouri led 7-0 early and then 24-23 after three quarters. OU scored 18 straight points to open the fourth and coasted home.
OU has dashed national championship dreams like Nebraska's in 2000 and Texas Tech's in 2008. They have wrecked BCS aspirations like Oklahoma State's in 2009 and Colorado's in 2002. They have laid waste to Heisman campaigns.
Seneca Wallace was generating that kind of buzz when he brought Iowa State to Norman in '02. He left town with four completions and three interceptions, his awards season in the rubble of the 49-3 final score.
Graham Harrell was considered the Heisman favorite when his No. 2 Texas Tech Red Raiders walked out on Owen Field in '08. By the time he headed to the locker room at the half, a 42-7 deficit on the scoreboard, he had practically dropped out of contention.
Now comes Klein, who has zipped past the likes of Matt Barkley and Landry Jones in some Heisman polls. His Wildcats became an "it" team after hammering Miami two weeks ago.
The Sooners haven't played since beating Florida A&M Sept. 8. That's plenty of time for them to feel "it."
"I just think hearing stuff about them in the media, we want to go out there with no doubts in our minds," left tackle Lane Johnson said, "go out and fire on all cylinders."
"Yes, it is different," wide receiver Trey Metoyer said of Saturday's raised stakes. "The intensity in practice has been rolling."
"Intensity, adrenaline, all of that," said defensive lineman David King. "One of our team goals is we wanna win every game out there on Owen Field. When another team comes in and threatens that, you want to stop them."
For 13 years, the most serious threats to OU's home field have been flicked aside with startling ease. The Sooners don't anticipate that changing.
"You've got to take it personally," defensive end R.J. Washington said. "You see them run down the other side of the ramp and they're talking. You might see somebody spitting on your logo. Or they'll just do something. You're like, 'For real? That's how you wanna treat my house?'
"It'd be like if somebody came in, just walked in your house, snatched up your remote, took your drink from you and started changing the channel. It's like, 'Man, gimme back my remote!' "
NO. 15 KANSAS STATE AT NO. 6 OU
6:50 p.m. Saturday Owen Field, Norman
TV: KOKI-5/23 Radio: KMOD fm97.5, KTBZ am1430
Perfection in Norman
The No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats attempt to make history Saturday night in Norman. No ranked team has beaten the Bob Stoops-coached Oklahoma Sooners at Owen Field. OU is 14-for-14 in such games, and has won many of them by halftime.
Sept. 11, 2010
No. 10 OU 47, No. 17 Florida State 17
Halftime: OU 34, FSU 7
Landry Jones throws for 380 yards and four touchdowns to make it a bittersweet day for Bob Stoops, coaching against his brother and FSU defensive coordinator Mark.
Nov. 28, 2009
OU 27, No. 11 Oklahoma State 0
Halftime: OU 10, OSU 0
The Sooners dash OSU's BCS dreams as DeMarco Murray scores twice and Ryan Broyles piles up 312 all-purpose yards.
Nov. 22, 2008
No. 5 OU 65, No. 2 Texas Tech 21
Halftime: OU 42, Tech 7
The frenzied Owen Field crowd goes bananas as OU blitzes the national champion hopeful with a 35-7 second quarter.
Oct. 18, 2008
No. 4 OU 45, No. 16 Kansas 31
Halftime: OU 24, KU 17
Bradford hits a new career high with 468 yards and the Sooners bounce back a week after bowing to Texas.
Sept. 27, 2008
No. 2 OU 35, No. 24 TCU 10
Halftime: OU 28, TCU 3
Manny Johnson is on the receiving end for 206 of Sam Bradford's career-high 411 yards, breaking Mark Clayton's school record.
Oct. 13, 2007
No. 6 OU 41, No. 11 Missouri 31
Halftime: OU 17, Mizzou 10
Chris Brown scores 3 TDs and the Sooners reel off 18 straight points after trailing 24-23 entering the fourth quarter.
Nov. 1, 2003
No. 1 OU 52, No. 14 Oklahoma State 9
Halftime: OU 24, OSU 3
Renaldo Works rushes for 103 yards, but the star is an OU defense that keeps the Cowboys out of the end zone.
Oct. 18, 2003
No. 1 OU 34, No. 24 Missouri 13
Halftime: OU 31, Mizzou 10
Antonio Perkins' NCAA-record seventh punt return for a TD salts the game away before halftime.
Nov. 23, 2002
No. 4 OU 60, No. 24 Texas Tech 15
Halftime: OU 25, Tech 0
Quentin Griffin goes for 207 while the OU defense sacks Kliff Kingsbury six times, intercepts him twice and keeps him nearly 200 yards under his average.
Nov. 2, 2002
No. 2 OU 27, No. 13 Colorado 11
Halftime: OU 20, Colorado 3
Griffin rushes for 128 yards as the Sooners score their first win over the Buffaloes in 14 years.
Oct. 19, 2002
No. 2 OU 49, No. 9 Iowa State 3
Halftime: OU 35, ISU 0
Cyclones QB Seneca Wallace comes to Norman a Heisman Trophy candidate, leaves 4-of-22 with 3 interceptions.
Sept. 29, 2001
No. 3 OU 38, No. 11 Kansas State 37
Halftime: OU 28, K-State 14
OU tears open a 35-14 lead before stemming a furious rally engineered by K-State QB Ell Roberson.
Oct. 28, 2000
No. 3 OU 31, No. 1 Nebraska 14
Halftime: OU 24, Nebraska 14
The Sooners erase a 14-0 first-quarter deficit and take over the No. 1 ranking en route to a national championship.
Oct. 23, 1999
OU 51, No. 13 Texas A&M 6
Halftime score: OU 34, A&M 6
Josh Heupel throws for 372 yards and accounts for six touchdowns as the Aggies suffer their worst loss in 98 years.
- Guerin Emig, World Sports Writer
Original Print Headline: Ranked foes see dreams crushed at Owen Field
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World file