In many ways, it was difficult for Morgan Burns to watch replays of Kansas State’s 31-30 victory at Oklahoma.
In other ways, it was fun.
The hard part was watching himself get beaten (badly and continually) by Oklahoma receiver Sterling Shepard. It was obvious the Sooners identified Burns and safety Dylan Schellenberg as weak links on K-State’s defense. Wherever they lined up, Shepard followed. Trevor Knight challenged them all afternoon, hitting Shepard for 15 completions that went for 197 yards and a touchdown.
“I felt like I lost 10 years off my life in that game,” Burns said. “That’s how stressful it was.”
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The fun part was watching himself “hold my ground” on a trick play in the second half, a wide-receiver pass, and come up with a game-altering interception in the end zone. Without that pick, the Wildcats likely don’t go on to win.
“We just had to keep playing,” Burns, a Trinity Academy product, said. “It is very important when they have a big play or a big drive that we forget about it and keep playing because the next play in the game has to be played. You’ve got to keep rowing the boat and keep going play until the end of the game.”
Burns would do well in a Foot Locker commercial with that short memory.
Of course, he will need to play better if he wants opposing offensive coordinators to stop targeting him.
That means more interceptions and fewer blown assignments, like the 47-yard touchdown pass Burns surrendered while he focused on stopping the run.
“It was a lack of discipline,” Burns explained. “The quarterback was riding up, holding the ball. I thought he was going to hand it off and run. They caught me looking at the run. Total lack of discipline on my part.”
Teammates said the respected Burns for owning up to his mistakes afterward, but they were more impressed that he made up for his mistakes during the game.
One of the main reasons Burns stayed back on his interception was the touchdown Shepard beat him on. He wasn’t going to sneak up on the run again, no matter what was happening in the backfield.
“I had to stay mentally tough and grind until the very end,” Burns said. “That was crucial for our team to play through adversity.”
It was anything but a highlight day for Burns, but he did come through with a highlight play. Now he hopes his short memory kicks in again while he prepares for Texas.