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Oct. 2—Skylar Thompson returned to Kansas State's starting lineup Saturday.
Despite the coaching staff downplaying Thompson's availability all week leading into the game, the sixth-year senior signal-caller was in uniform and took the field with the first-team offense on the opening drive of Saturday's game versus No. 6 Oklahoma — as the adoring crowd at Bill Snyder Family Stadium erupted in jubilation.
Head coach Chris Klieman said during his weekly press conference Tuesday that Thompson was "not likely" to play against the Sooners. Two days later, offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham deemed Thompson "highly unlikely" to suit up.
Those predictions — or gamesmanship, perhaps? — didn't hold true Saturday.
It marks Thompson's first game since Sept. 11, when he injured his leg in the first quarter of the team's victory over Southern Illinois. Sophomore Will Howard came on in relief and started K-State's next two contests: versus Nevada and at Oklahoma State.
Prior to his injury, Thompson had completed 66.7% (12 of 18) of his passes for 240 yards, though he had tossed two interceptions and no touchdowns this fall. He was more effective on the ground, however, carrying 11 times for 33 yards and a pair of scores.
Thompson hopes to lead K-State to an upset over a top-10 Oklahoma squad for the third straight season. If the Wildcats do so, they would become only the third Big 12 school to beat the Sooners in three consecutive meetings since the inception of the league, joining Texas A&M (1996-98) and Texas (1997-99).
The last team to beat Oklahoma in three straight seasons in which the Sooners were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the matchup was Miami, which accomplished the feat in 1985 (OU was No. 3), 1986 (OU was No. 1) and 1987 (OU was again No. 1).
A K-State win Saturday would put Thompson alongside former Texas A&M quarterback Branndon Stewart, who topped Oklahoma in 1996, 1997 and 1998.