Manhattan, Kan. — Oklahoma has made a habit of squandering early leads much of this season.
The Sooners went the other way Saturday night.
Rodney Anderson ran 22 yards for the go-ahead score with 7 seconds left, Baker Mayfield threw for 410 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, and the nation’s ninth-ranked team overcame a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat Kansas State 42-35 and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Anderson finished with 147 yards rushing and also caught a TD pass for the Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12), who shredded the overmatched defense of the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3) over the final 30 minutes.
“Our guys at halftime had a great look in their eye. They were determined to come out and play a lot better,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said. “But the mentality really went to another level there in the locker room at halftime. They were really ready to play.”
Kansas State sophomore Alex Delton’s first career touchdown pass with 2:25 left it tied at 35, but Mayfield and Anderson calmly went to work. The Heisman Trophy candidate hit a series of throws downfield before Anderson took a carry around the left side for the decisive score.
“As a leadership group, we took care of it and handled it,” Mayfield said. “That’s a huge win for us, considering we haven’t played well in the second half most of the season.”
Making his second career start, Delton finished with 161 yards rushing and three TDs while going 12 of 14 for 144 yards through the air. Alex Barnes added 108 yards and a touchdown on just six carries.
It was the Sooners’ nation-leading 14th consecutive true road victory, and it extended their run of dominance in Manhattan. They haven’t lost to the Wildcats in their home stadium since 1996.
“I’m tired of coming into the locker room under such circumstances,” said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, whose team has lost three straight to the Sooners. “We’ve lost far too many games. You have to play complete games in this conference. One half won’t do it.”
It was Kansas State that was rolling early, though, with Barnes taking a handoff up the middle on the game’s second play for a 75-yard TD run. The Sooners needed a couple minutes for Mayfield to provide the answer, but his touchdown toss to tight end Mark Andrews was his highlight of the half.
Mayfield threw a pick in the end zone on the Sooners’ ensuing possession, just his second of the season. Then he was inexplicably split wide as Oklahoma went to the Wildcat set in short-yardage spots.
Kansas State stuffed Trey Sermon and Dimitri Flowers for no gain on consecutive plays to force one turnover on downs, then dumped Flowers for a loss at the goal line to force a field goal.
Delton’s two touchdown runs staked Kansas State to a 21-10 lead at the break.
“It was still important for us to play that last 30 minutes,” Snyder said.
Indeed, whatever momentum the Wildcats took into the locker room stayed there, because Mayfield and the Sooners got going in the second half. They tromped 80 yards for a touchdown on their first possession, 69 yards for a field goal on their second and 93 yards for another touchdown on their third.
The 2-point conversion gave them a 28-21 lead with 14:19 left, their first of the game.
It took a snap over punter Austin Seibert’s head midway through the fourth quarter for the Wildcats to draw even, which they did on Delton’s third TD run. But Mayfield’s 66-yard pitch-and-catch to Marquise Brown set up a go-ahead TD toss to Anderson with 5:16 to go.
Kansas State drove downfield to tie it at 35 on Delton’s first career TD pass, but it came with 2:25 still on the clock. And that was enough time for Oklahoma to score one more time.
“You’re trying to turn the tide and start the season over,” Kansas State defensive tackle Will Geary said. “When they score like that, it just takes away all your spirit.”
(At) No. 1 Alabama 45, Tennessee 7: Bo Scarbrough had two fourth-down touchdown runs and the Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) improved to 11-0 in the traditional Third Saturday in October game under coach Nick Saban while dealing another blow to the slumping Volunteers (3-4, 0-4) and embattled coach Butch Jones.
Alabama outgained Tennessee 604-108 in total yards even with reserves manning the offensive backfield most of the second half.
Scarbrough’s two 1-yard scores came with defensive linemen Da’Ron Payne and Quinnen Williams as lead blockers.
(At) No. 4 TCU 43, Kansas 0: Kenny Hill matched his career high with five touchdown passes, KaVontae Turpin returned a punt 90 yards for a score after going backward to the 3 and the TCU defense dominated overmatched Kansas.
The Jayhawks (1-6, 0-4) had 21 yards total offense while tying an 81-year-old NCAA record with their 44th straight loss in a true road game.
With severe weather approaching, both coaches agreed to a running clock from the 12:49 mark of the fourth quarter with TCU leading by final margin.
John Diarse had a 67-yard catch-and-run touchdown for a 24-0 lead in the second quarter and finished with 130 yards on four receptions as the Horned Frogs (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) improved to 19-0 at home as a top 10 team under coach Gary Patterson.
(At) No. 8 Miami 27, Syracuse 19: Malik Rosier threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns, and Travis Homer’s 33-yard touchdown run with 2:48 left helped Miami extended its winning streak to 11 games.
It was the third consecutive down-to-the-end game for Miami (6-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which is off to its best league start since joining the ACC in 2004.
Miami’s defense intercepted Syracuse’s Eric Dungey four times, all in the first half.
No. 10 Oklahoma State 13, (at) Texas 10 (OT): Oklahoma State’s Ramon Richards intercepted a Sam Ehlinger pass in the end zone in overtime and Matt Ammendola kicked a field goal to qin it for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) scored the winning points on a 34-yard field goal by Ammendola on the first possession of OT. He missed a 29-yard attempt in the fourth quarter.
Texas (3-4, 2-2) had a first down on the Oklahoma State 12 after a pass interference penalty against A.J. Green.
Oklahoma State quarterback Masons Rudolph passed for 282 yards, but he failed to reach 300 for the first time in eight games.
Nevertheless, the Cowboys beat Texas for the fifth straight time in Austin, the most ever by a Longhorn opponent.
(At) No. 14 Virginia Tech 59, North Carolina 7: Josh Jackson (Saline) threw three touchdown passes and Virginia Tech scored on fumble, interception and punt returns.
Jackson passed for 132 yards and the Hokies (6-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated in sending the Tar Heels (1-7, 0-5) to their fifth straight loss.
Virginia Tech scored twice on defense, getting the first score of the game on defensive tackle Ricky Walker’s 12-yard fumble return.
The Hokies added Greg Stroman’s 91-yard punt return for a touchdown — his second punt return for a score this season — and defensive back Reggie Floyd’s 69-yard interception return for a score.
(At) No. 15 Washington State 28, Colorado 0: Faced with driving rain, winds and low temperatures, the Air Raid offense of Washington State converted to a ground game.
The Cougars rushed for 194 yards and quarterback Luke Falk threw for three touchdowns.
Jamal Morrow rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown for Washington State (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12), which rebounded from a 34-point loss at California that coach Mike Leach called the worst game the Cougars have played in his six years there.
Phillip Lindsay rushed for 98 yards for Colorado (4-4, 1-4), which was coming off its first Pac-12 win. Lindsay came in needing just five yards to top 1,000 for the season.
No. 16 South Florida 34, (at) Tulane 28: Quinton Flowers passed for two touchdowns, ran for 138 yards and another score, and No. 16 South Florida extended the nation’s longest active winning streak to 12 games.
South Florida (7-0, 4-0 American) also scored at least 30 points in a game for a modern-era record 24th straight time, but needed to hold on after Tulane nearly clawed back from a 27-point hole.
Jonathan Banks passed for two touchdowns for Tulane, and Dontrell Hilliard’s tackle-slipping, 16-yard touchdown run made it a one-possession game with 2:45 left. But the Green Wave (3-4, 1-2) failed to recover an onside kick and could not stop Darius Tice’s run on third down, allowing the Bulls to run out the clock and drop Tulane to its first home loss this season.
USF had never before opened a season with seven straight victories.
No. 20 Central Florida 31, (at) Navy 21: Adrian Killins ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, McKenzie Milton passed for 233 yards and Central Florida earned its first 6-0 start in school history.
It was tied in the third quarter before Killins bolted down the right sideline for a 79-yard touchdown run to put the Knights ahead for good.
Central Florida (6-0, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) became bowl eligible, matched its win total of last year and improved to 6-0 for the first time in the 39-year history of the program.
The Midshipmen (5-2, 3-2) kept it close, but their chances of pulling off an upset dwindled after quarterback Zach Abey was forced from the game in the third quarter. Abey was dazed from a hit to the helmet at the end of a run and had to be helped off the field.
Abey, the key figure in Navy’s triple option, carried 25 times for 126 yards and a touchdown — his school-record eighth straight 100-yard game. He also threw a touchdown pass.
No. 21 Auburn 52, (at) Arkansas 20: Kamryn Pettway rushed for 90 yards and three touchdowns for Auburn.
The rushing yards are the most for Pettway since he gained 128 in a win last month over Mercer, and the Tigers (6-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) rushed for 345 yards overall. They outgained the Razorbacks 629-334 and have outscored their SEC West counterpart 108-23 over the last two seasons.
The Razorbacks have lost seven of their last nine games dating to last season and are 27-31 overall under fifth-year coach Bret Bielema, 10-26 in the SEC.
No. 23 West Virginia 38, (at) Baylor 36: Will Grier threw for 375 yards and five touchdowns for West Virginia (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), which led 38-13 after three quarters and held off a fourth-quarter comeback by Baylor (0-7, 0-4).
David sills caught three of the West Virginia scoring passes.
No. 24 LSU 40, (at) Mississippi 24: Derrius Guice ran for a season-high 276 yards and a touchdown to lead LSU (6-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), which has won three straight games. Danny Etling threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns and coach Ed Orgeron won in his return as a head coach to Oxford.
Orgeron was the Ole Miss coach for three years from 2005-07.
The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Guice ran for 126 yards in the first half, which was already good enough for his season high. It was the biggest reason the Tigers had a 13-6 by halftime and the junior was far from finished.
Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3) came into the game with the SEC’s most prolific passing offense, but struggled for pretty much the entire night against LSU’s defense.