Kyler Murray lead No. 8 Oklahoma past Kansas State, 51-14
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma is starting to look like a complete team.
Kyler Murray passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to help No. 8 Oklahoma beat Kansas State 51-14 on Saturday. The Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) rolled up a season-high 702 total yards and only punted once, and that was in the fourth quarter after Murray was done for the day.
But the defense did its job, too, putting together its second consecutive solid performance under interim defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill. Oklahoma held the Wildcats (3-5, 1-4) to 245 yards, a season low for an opponent, a week after holding TCU to 275 yards.
“For them to have some success after some of the changes — to have that success makes a difference, and it continues to breed confidence,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “So the key is, as the success comes, the work ethic has got to continue to rise. Ruffin’s done a great job. It’s not an easy role to step into.”
Kansas State’s Alex Barnes, who entered the game as the Big 12′s leading rusher, was limited to 28 yards on 13 carries. He rushed for 250 yards against Baylor and 181 against Oklahoma State in his previous two games.
“He’s been tremendous against everybody, so that’s, of all the stats in the game, that’s one of the ones that I know I’m most proud of,” Riley said.
Linebacker Kenneth Murray said the defensive improvement has stemmed from keeping things simple and players holding each other accountable.
“At the end of the day, it’s about us,” he said. “It’s about us playing for each other, and I think that’s the biggest thing that we’ve built on these last few weeks, is just playing for the brother next to you, not trying to let the brother down next to you. I think our brotherhood right now is at an all-time high.”
As for the Oklahoma offense, it purred as usual. The Sooners scored at least 45 points for the fourth consecutive game. CeeDee Lamb caught four passes for a career-high 160 yards and two touchdowns, and Kennedy Brooks ran for 94 yards and two scores.
The Sooners gained 209 yards in the first quarter and took a 17-0 lead. Murray threw two touchdown passes in the period, including an 82-yard connection with Lamb.
Murray ran for a 9-yard touchdown in the second quarter to push the lead to 31-7, and the Sooners were ahead 34-7 at the break. Murray completed 17 of 22 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 37 yards and another score in the first half.
Skylar Thompson passed for 108 yards and ran for 54 for Kansas State. Two weeks after a dominant performance against Oklahoma State, the Wildcats regressed.
“I’ll have to reinvest some time and try and find out if the ship has ever been in this condition before,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “I’m not sure that it has.”
Kansas State: The Wildcats ran for 319 yards against Baylor and 291 yards against Oklahoma State in their previous two games. They found the going tough against the Sooners, a bit of a surprise against a Sooner team that had struggled at times against the run this season. Kansas State gained just 137 yards rushing on 32 carries.
Oklahoma: The Sooners won time of possession for the second straight week, and for just the third time this season. They ran for 322 yards on 39 carries, a good sign for a team that lost star running back Rodney Anderson in the second game of the season.
The Sooners might not move up much in the next poll, but they helped perception with a second consecutive dominant performance.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook stood on Oklahoma’s sideline during Saturday’s game.
Westbrook was the NBA’s MVP in 2016-17 and has averaged a triple-double the past two years. He attended Oklahoma’s game against UCLA earlier this season, but he wore UCLA gear because he went to college there.
“I did see him,” Kyler Murray said. “I did see him on the other sideline when we played UCLA, so it’s nice that he came to show love.”
Lamb caught a touchdown pass for the seventh straight game. He has nine touchdown receptions in that span. For the season, he has 34 receptions for 674 yards.
Kansas State plays at TCU on Saturday.
Oklahoma plays at Texas Tech on Saturday.
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