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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Bill Snyder didn't feel as if it was complicated to prepare for Oklahoma's offense.
He knew that the No. 22 Sooners would build a run-heavy attack around quarterback Trevor Knight, who was pressed into service in place of the injured Blake Bell. Snyder simply hoped his team would be ready to stop the rushing attack.
So much for that.
Brennan Clay ran for a career-high 200 yards and two scores, and Oklahoma piled up 301 yards on the ground in a 41-31 victory on Saturday that ended the Wildcats' four-game winning streak.
"We didn't see anything that we haven't seen before," Snyder said. "We weren't as well prepared for it and we didn't play as well. We got in some bad situations."
Tyler Lockett had 12 catches for a school-record 278 yards and three touchdowns for Kansas State (6-5, 4-4 Big 12). Lockett also had 440 all-purpose yards, another school record.
"They challenged us to throw the ball and our receivers stepped up big," said Jake Waters, who threw for 348 yards and accounted for four TDs. "Tyler 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."
It was the 158th victory at Oklahoma for coach Bob Stoops, moving him past Barry Switzer for the most in school history. It also came against his former mentor — he served as a defensive assistant under Snyder from 1989-95, when he was turning the program around.
"I loved my time here. I loved working with Coach Snyder and I still have a lot of friends here who are still on the coaching staff," Stoops said. "I wish these guys all the luck in the world."
Knight threw for 171 yards and accounted for two TDs for the Sooners (9-2, 6-2), but he also hurt Kansas State with his legs. He ran for 82 yards.
"We were concerned about him," Snyder said. "He threw the ball well today. Just the zone read play, which is the thing that did as much damage to us as anything, is something he has been very good at. We've seen it a lot and he was going to run it. We just didn't defend it very well."
The Sooners struck first when Knight hit Sterling Shepard from 12 yards out on third-and-goal in the first quarter, but that was about the last pass that Oklahoma called in the first half.
At one point, Stoops called for runs on 17 of 18 plays, including all 14 on a 98-yard TD drive. Clay and Knight did most of the work, with Knight fooling defensive end Ryan Mueller on a fake handoff and running untouched the final 8 yards for a 14-0 lead.
"They had a great game plan coming in for us," defensive end Ryan Mueller said. "They ran it all over us. It was definitely frustrating, especially being on the defensive line. Just got to roll with the punches and keep chomping away and hopefully something good will happen."
While the Sooners were pounding the ball, Kansas State abandoned the run.
Waters and Lockett took advantage of blown coverage to hook up for the first time for a 48-yard scoring strike early in the second quarter. When the Wildcats got the ball back, Waters found his favorite target with a perfectly thrown 30-yard TD pass in the corner of the end zone.
Oklahoma answered on the ground with Clay scooting to his right, sticking his foot in the turf and turning up field, racing past the secondary for a 69-yard touchdown run.
It took all of one play — a 90-yard pitch-and-catch from Waters to Lockett — for the Wildcats to make it 21-all. The TD catch also allowed Lockett to match the school record for a single game.
Michael Hunnicutt's field goal in the final seconds gave Oklahoma a 24-21 halftime lead.
As entertaining as the first half was for offensive savants, the third quarter turned into a sluggish affair. Both teams muddled their way to field goals on time-consuming drives.
The Sooners finally seized control when they pinned Kansas State at the 3-yard line. The Wildcats went three-and-out, and Mark Krause's punt into the wind went nowhere. Jalen Saunders caught it on the run and returned it to the 3, where Clay ran it in on the next play.
Oklahoma put the game out of reach moments later, when Zack Sanchez picked off Waters and returned it up the sideline for a touchdown. The Sooners' sideline erupted as he crossed the goal line to make it 41-24 with just over 11 minutes left in the game.
Waters added a TD run for Kansas State in the closing minutes for the final margin.
"This was a collective loss," Snyder 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 come through the last half of the season, but that's the way we played today."