Published January 30, 2017
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma and Kansas State want to move past last year's game for much different reasons.
Kansas State would like to erase the memory of a 55-0 loss at home. That day, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield threw five touchdown passes in the first half, with the Sooners rolling to a 35-0 lead. The Sooners eventually outgained the Wildcats 568 yards to 110.
''We just didn't show up for the ball game,'' Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. ''Every game is a different ball game. I'm not focused on last year, and I don't think our players are focused on last year. It all has to do with our preparation this year.''
Oklahoma's players have said repeatedly that Kansas State is much better now. The 19th-ranked Sooners (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) went out of their way to downplay last year's result.
''We practiced really well,'' Oklahoma linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo said of last year's preparation. ''We respect coach Snyder. He's a really good coach, so we tried to be very detailed in our practice. It was a good win for us, but they're a good team.''
A repeat of that lopsided score is unlikely. For one, Kansas State (3-2, 1-1) leads the Big 12 in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense. For another, Oklahoma's defense has struggled a bit. In its two Big 12 victories, the Sooners have given up 46 points to TCU and 40 to Texas.
Some things to watch Saturday:
WILLIS' WAY: Kansas State DE Jordan Willis leads the Big 12 with 6.0 sacks.
''Jordan Willis comes to mind as having been a pretty decent pass rusher,'' Snyder said. ''He has made improvement in that area and has been responsible for a couple of turnovers. He just reacted quicker to certain things that have allowed his pass rush to become better.''
THE OTHER WESTBROOK: Russell Westbrook isn't the only big-time playmaker in Oklahoma with that last name. Dede Westbrook has caught 17 passes for 390 yards and five touchdowns the past two games for the Sooners. All five scores have covered at least 40 yards.
HE'S BACK: Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine got off to a slow start this season, but the 235-pound bruiser is back to doing his usual damage. He ran for 214 yards and two touchdowns last week against Texas.
Perine had a few dings early in the season that prevented him from being his best, but he's fine now.
''He's special, and he's going to keep getting touches,'' Mayfield said. ''He's stronger, and it looks like he's fully healthy. He has that mentality that he'll run you over. That's good to see.''
SHAKE AND BAKE: Mayfield has found his rhythm again after a few subpar games in September by his standards. He lit Texas up for 390 yards and three touchdowns. The junior, who entered the season high on many Heisman watch lists, is starting to play at that level again. He ranks second in the Big 12 in passing efficiency.
He's also doing more damage on the ground lately. After rushing for four yards and no touchdowns through the first three games, he rushed for a combined 75 yards and three touchdowns in wins over TCU and Texas.
IN A RUT: Kansas State, despite scoring 44 points against Texas Tech last week, ranks seventh in the Big 12 in scoring offense and last in total offense and passing offense. Oklahoma's primary defensive weakness is its young secondary, and Kansas State might not have the tools to exploit it.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter (at)CliffBruntAP .