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OU football: 3 takeaways from Oklahoma's 38-35 loss to Kansas State

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Spencer Rattler

Redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler throws the ball during the Sooners’ game against Kansas State on Sept. 26.

No. 3 Oklahoma (1-1) lost to Kansas State (1-1), 38-35, on Saturday. In their first Big 12 matchup of the season, The Sooners lost to the Wildcats for the second season in a row.

Here are three takeaways from OU’s loss:

Spencer Rattler struggles

Rattler racked up big yards, with 387 yards and four touchdowns, but made mistakes throughout the game, throwing three interceptions and fumbling once (recovered). These mistakes led to 14 points for the Wildcats.

The true freshman’s first interception was deflected at the line of scrimmage early in the first quarter, and the second came on a forced pass down the field intended for freshman Marvin Mims. Rattler made his third and final interception when they needed him most, on the final possession of the game.

Rattler hasn’t looked like a freshman much this season, showing poise and composure on virtually every play. But Kansas State was able to force him to make mistakes. Rattler forced multiple passes down the stretch.

The eye test suggests that OU played a lot better than Kansas State did, but turnovers were able to keep Kansas State in this game. 

Defense struggles with big plays

Just as OU looked to be putting the game to bed, the Wildcats were able to stay in it with a couple long gains in the second half.

On back-to-back drives, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson threw two passes over 77 yards, both leading to goal line touchdowns. At one point in the third quarter, walk-on senior linebacker Bryan Mead was caught covering a receiver on the outside.

Kansas State scored 31 of its 38 points in the second half, completely switching the momentum. Thompson is not known for his passing ability, yet he threw for 334 yards on just 25 attempts.

Offensive line struggles

Down the stretch, Rattler had no time to throw, and was facing pressure on virtually every play. Kansas State had six tackles for loss and three sacks.

Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has praised the offensive line and the depth at the position prior to the season, but they’ve looked nowhere near years’ past.

OU averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in the running game, which didn’t help get its passing game going in the second half.

Kickoff for the Sooners vs. Iowa State is slated for Oct. 3.

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