(8) Oklahoma 41, (2) Kansas State 31 -- Final

Friday, October 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma (6-0) at Kansas St. (6-1)
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Football's a lot tougher when you pick on somebody your own size. Just ask Kansas State, now an embarrassing 1-18 in the Bill Snyder era against Top 10 teams.

No. 8 Oklahoma, with Josh Heupel hitting 29-of-37 for 374 yards and two touchdowns, bolted to a 17-point halftime lead Saturday and then held on for a 41-31 victory over the second-ranked Wildcats.

Kansas State (6-1, 2-1 Big 12), often criticized for a soft non-conference schedule, had flattened its first six opponents, which included Ball State, North Texas and Louisiana Tech, by a combined 308-61. The Wildcats hoped a victory over Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0) would solidify their ranking and set up a 1-2 showdown with Nebraska on Nov. 11.

Instead, it's Oklahoma which has vaulted into the national championship picture. The Sooners, who crushed No. 25 Texas 63-14 last week, are off next week before playing host to Nebraska on Oct. 28.

Coached by Bob Stoops and three other former Kansas State assistants, the Sooners beat Kansas State with one big play after another, shocking and silencing the KSU Stadium record crowd of 53,011.

The crowd came to life in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter when Jonathan Beasley's 69-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Morgan was followed less than two minutes later by Terence Newman's 16-yard touchdown return of a blocked punt, making it 38-31 with 10:31 to play.

But the Sooners drove down for Tim Duncan's 40-yard field goal with 3:27 to play.

J.T. Thatcher broke a 93-yard kickoff return to set up the go-ahead touchdown in the first quarter for Oklahoma, which had lost five in a row to Kansas State.

Then on third and 26 in the third, Heupel threw a short completion to Antwone Savage, who eluded five tacklers and sailed 74 yards as Oklahoma took a 38-14 lead over a Kansas State team that had won 35 of 36 regular-season games and 25 in a row at home.

Heupel, who owns 21 Oklahoma and Big 12 passing records, set up another TD with a 31-yard completion to Andre Woolfolk and still another with a 34-yard strike to Josh Norman.

Beasley hit 14-of-36 for 211 passes and one touchdown and rushed for two more TDs. But he was intercepted twice and clearly came out second-best in a battle between two of the nation's top quarterbacks.

Beasley's 15-yard touchdown run put Kansas State on top 7-3 in the first quarter but Thatcher's 93-yard return of the ensuing kickoff set up Seth Littrell's 2-yard touchdown run. A few minutes later, Curtis Fagan took a short pass from Heupel and turned it into a 15-yard touchdown play and a 17-7 Oklahoma lead.

Beasley's 2-yard TD run made it 17-14 with 9:31 left in the first half, then Heupel capped an 8-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard run on fourth down.

With about three minutes left in the half, Quentin Griffin, who scored a school-record six touchdowns against Texas, broke three tackles on a 17-yard run that put the Sooners on top 31-14.

Savage's 74-yard scoring play made it 38-14 and appeared to give the Sooners a comfortable lead. But Jamie Rheem's 38-yard field goal with about four minutes left in the third period was followed by the two quick Kansas State touchdowns that made it a 7-point game with 10:31 left.

Quarter 1st2nd 3rd4thFinal
Kansas St.7731431

Game Notes
-- OU's first touchdown followed a 94 yard kick return by J.T. Thatcher
-- Kansas State had previously only given up nine total first quarter points this season. Oklahoma has scored 17 first quarter points.

TeamScore TimeSummaryRunning Score
Oklahoma7:48 1stTim Duncan 39 yd FGOU 3-0
Kansas State4:15 1stJohnathon Beasley 15 yd run(kick good)KSU 7-3
Oklahoma3:54 1stSeth Littrell 1 yd run(kick good)OU 10-7
Oklahoma:56 1stCurtis Fagan 15 yd rec from Josh Heupel(kick good)OU 17-7
Kansas St.9:32 2ndBeasley 4 yd run(kick good)OU 17-14
Oklahoma5:24 2ndHeupel 1 yd run(kick good)OU 24-14
Oklahoma3:18 2ndQQuentin Griffin 17 yd run(kick good)OU 31-14
Oklahoma9:30 3rdQAntwone Savage 74 yd rec from Heupel(kick good)OU 38-14
Kansas St.4:57 3rdQJaime Rheem 38 yd FGOU 38-17
Kansas St.12:39 4thQQuincy Morgan 69 yd rec from Beasley(kick good)OU 38-24
Kansas St.10:06 4thQTerrence Newman 17 yd block punt ret(kick good)OU 38-31
Oklahoma3:27 4thQDuncan 24 yd FGOU 41-31


RUSHING_Oklahoma, Griffin 19-23, Savage 1-13, Norman 1-11, Littrell 4-6, Fletcher 1-(minus 5), Heupel 9-(minus 35), team 1-(minus 2). Kansas St., Allen 9-60, Beasley 15-39, Scobey 6-33, Morgan 2-9, Cartwright 1-3.

PASSING_Oklahoma, Heupel 29-37-0-374, Works 0-1-1-0. Kansas St., Beasley 14-36-2-211.

RECEIVING_Oklahoma Savage 7-116, Norman 6-93, Griffin 6-46, Fagan 4-53, Woolfolk 3-52, Smith 3-14. Kansas St., Morgan 5-123, Allen 3-25, Lockett 3-25, Lazetich 1-27, Wesley 1-22, Meier 1-(minus 11).