Skylar Thompson's highly-anticipated return not enough as No. 4 Oklahoma outlasts Kansas State

Arne Green
Topeka Capital-Journal
Kansas State junior wide reciever Malik Knowles (4) makes a catch early in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Oklahoma at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

MANHATTAN — The good news for Kansas State was the much-anticipated return of quarterback Skylar Thompson.

The bad news for the Wildcats, it wasn't enough.

While K-State clearly looked more fluid on offense with Thompson, who had missed the previous two games with a knee injury, No. 4-ranked Oklahoma and Spencer Rattler were even better and pulled away in the second half for a 37-31 victory Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Oklahoma improved to 5-0, 2-0 in the Big 12 and ended a two-game losing streak to K-State. It was the second straight loss for the Wildcats (3-2, 0-2), who now have an open week before playing host to Iowa State on Oct. 16.

K-State outgained Oklahoma, 420 yards to 392, with Thompson throwing for 320.

K-State made it interesting when Malik Knowles returned a kickoff 93 yards with 1:20 left to trim the OU lead to six before the Sooners recovered the ensuing onside kick to ice it.

The Sooners scored on their first two possessions of the second half to go up 27-10 and K-State never cut the lead to single digits until Knowles' kickoff return. OU, which had just 41 yards rushing in the first half, more than doubled that in the third quarter, which in turn opened up the passing attack even more for Rattler, who was 11 of 12 in the first half for 100 yards.

Oklahoma finished with 392 yards total offense, including 131 on the ground.

Rattler was 22 of 25 passing for 243 yards and two touchdowns, and Kennedy Brooks led the Sooners with 91 rushing yards.

Thompson finished 29 of 41 passing for 320 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was running back Deuce Vaughn with 10 catches for 104 yards.

Vaughn also had 51 yards rushing on 15 attempts.

The big news in the first half for Kansas State was the return of Thompson, the super-senior quarterback who had missed the previous two games with a knee injury.

Thompson looked confident throwing the ball after a pair of early overthrows, completing 18 of 24 passes for 149 yards in the half, though a fumble by Jacardia Wright on the game's first possession cost the Wildcats points.

K-State used a 63-yard drive that took nearly nine minutes to tie the game at 10 on Taiten Winkel's 30-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the half, but that was enough time for OU to answer with a 27-yard Gabe Brkic field goal to lead 13-10 at intermission.