November 19, 2013
By Mark Janssen
Mention Kansas State versus Oklahoma in football and most fans remember, or at least heard of, the Homecoming on Oct. 25, 1969, at KSU Stadium.
Kansas State 59, Oklahoma 21.
It was after the game that K-State sports information director Dev Nelson called the 59-21 upset of the Sooners into ABC television, but the network returned a call to make sure it wasn't a prank.
"I remember sitting in front of my locker after the game and the media asked how it felt to beat Oklahoma for the first time in 35 years," said quarterback Lynn Dickey. "I didn't mean to be a jerk, but I just said, 'What does 35 years ago have to do with me?'"
That game of 1969, however, had a lot to do with Dickey as he completed 28-of-42 passes for 320 yards, and hurled scoring passes to Charlie Collins, Jerry Lawson and Bob Long.
While just 0-33-1 in the previous 34 games against their Big 8 cousins to the south, Dickey said the Wildcats went into the game prepared to win.
"Vince (Gibson) said a lot of hype things that went in one ear and out the other, but all week long he stressed that '...you guys are better than they are.' As I watched film all week I didn't see anything that scared me," said the former K-State quarterback. "For what they had on defense, it was apparent to me that we had too much talent on offense. I could see how we could do this, or that, and they couldn't stop us."
Dickey and his K-State teammates did "this and that" all afternoon in the 38-point victory for the No. 18 Wildcats against the No. 11-ranked Sooners.
Leading 28-14 at the half, Dickey blitzed the Sooners for 21 unanswered points in the third stanza, which included a 26-yard pass to unheralded Bob Long.
"We were going north and Bob got jammed at the line and pushed out of his route. He was supposed to go 15 yards and run a square-in, but he was pushed outside so he continued to run up the field," reflected Dickey. "Steve Zable (OU's defensive end) was coming right at m - I mean he had a clear shot at me - so the tendency for a quarterback is to short-arm the pass so your hand doesn't hit the helmet of the guy coming at you. When you short-arm a pass it usually rises and that's exactly what happened.
"I threw where Bob was supposed to be, but it was a riser and hit Bob in dead stride down the field," laughed Dickey. "It would have been three feet over his head had he run the planned route."
Defensively, K-State held eventual Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens to 105 yards on 29 carries.
While admitting 1969 was a "fun game," Dickey quickly adds that the 19-14 game the next year on Oct. 24 was "...even more gratifying because we came from behind and beat them on their own field."
"We knew coach (Chuck) Fairbanks would have a bad taste in his mouth because he thought we had run up the score the year before even though I didn't play in the last 10 minutes of the game," said Dickey.
With OU leading, 14-13, heading into the final three minutes of the game, Dickey called for all of his receivers to go down field and turn in.
"They blitzed for the first time all day and Henry Hawthorne hesitated and busted down the field and just shot by the safety instead of curling in," said Dickey of his 28-yard game-winning TD pass. "To beat them in their backyard was more fun to me."
K-State won the second half, 12-0, and the game, 19-14, with Dickey passing for 384 yards and Hawthorne being the target of six passes for 138 yards and two scores. The Cats totaled 463 yards and limited OU to just 276.
ANOTHER MEMORABLE DAY FOR DICKEY: While it was in a 41-38 loss to Missouri the week after the win over OU in 1969, the game against the Tigers also ranks as one of Dickey's favorites.
"We were down at the half, 21-6, and we're expecting the wrath of God to come from Vince, but he walked in the middle of us and all he said was, 'You guys talk this over,' and he and the other coaches walked out of the room."
When Gibson came back in the room to lead the team back onto the field, Dickey said, "He had that look. It was a cold day and you could see the steam coming out of his nostrils. We knew if something good didn't happen that our Sunday of wind sprints would be hell."
As Dickey defined it, K-State came out of the half "shooting real bullets," which included a trick play.
After Dickey had passed 37 yards to Charlie Collins for a score, K-State lined up to kickoff. As Max Areguin approached the ball, he suddenly stopped and knelt down to tie his shoe. As he did that, Bob Scott came in from the other side and executed a successful on-side kick. On the next play, Dickey passed 39 yards to Collins and the score was slashed to 21-20.
"Bam ... bam!" Dickey said of the quick scores.
The Tigers, however, would win the game, 41-38, despite 25-of-49 passing for 404 yards by Dickey.