A week after losing to rival Texas, No. 20 Oklahoma is out on a mission this week on the road against Kansas State. Baker Mayfield has thrown five touchdowns to lead the Sooners to a 35-0 halftime lead on the Wildcats.
Mayfield has completed 17 of 20 pass attempts for 230 yards while notching his five touchdown passes without an interception. More impressively, Mayfield has been spreading the football around with eight different Sooners catching a pass in the first half. Sterling Shepard leads the way with 72 receiving yards and two touchdowns, with three others picking up a touchdown reception as well. Oklahoma has not used much of the running game, leaving Samaje Perine with 50 rushing yards in the first half.
Kansas State has not helped itself much, with a pair of turnovers and just 80 yards of offense at the half (Oklahoma’s offense has gone for 317 yards). Both turnovers were interceptions thrown by Joe Hubener for Kansas State. Hubener has just four completions on 12 attempts, as Kansas State is really struggling to sustain drives against the motivated Sooners.
Kansas State may have had no problems putting away South Dakota on Saturday, winning 34-0, but there was some negative news to come out of the game. Starting quarterback Jesse Ertz limped off the field just two snaps into the game. The knee injury forced Ertz to miss the rest of the game, and it appears he will miss an undetermined amount of playing time in the coming weeks as well.
“Jesse is going to be out for quite some time,” Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder on the Big 12 coaches conference call Monday. Snyder did not say just how long his quarterback may be out, and suggested the Wildcats have little choice but to move on. The veteran head coach did suggest Ertz will remain an active team member while unable to play.
“We will miss him. We feel badly about the loss and he will be there. He has been a wonderful individual for us, very representative of our value system, of our team and really developing as a leader. I am quite confident he will stay invested in what we are doing and will be very helpful to all of his teammates. We will move on.”
Ertz was replaced by junior Joe Hubener, who came in relief to complete nine of his 18 passing attempts for 147 yards and a touchdown. Hubener also rushed for 38 yards in Kansas State’s season-opening victory. Hubener will get the start for Kansas State this weekend when the Wildcats hit the road to play at UTSA. Per The Wichita Eagle, this will be the first time Ertz, a former walk-on, has ever started a football game, including high school.