Most remember Kansas State's last trip to Boone Pickens Stadium as the day Byron Pringle led the Wildcats to a wild 45-40 victory over Oklahoma State by improbably catching three long touchdown passes and also scoring on special teams.
No doubt it was a banner game for the former K-State receiver who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, but it was also a memorable afternoon for Skylar Thompson.
He was a redshirt freshman back then, and nobody knew much about him or his playing style. It was his first road start. But he showed impressive poise and gave everyone in attendance a preview of his potential. The young K-State quarterback completed 10 of 13 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 93 yards and a score.
"He was firing on all cylinders," senior K-State tight end Blaise Gammon said. "Everything was just clicking that game, especially for him. He had the passing game going so well that it opened up the running game. it was just a fun game to be in and a fun setting to be in. We were really controlling the game with what we were doing on offense."
Fast forward two years, as Thompson prepares to return to Oklahoma State as a more confident and seasoned passer, and it remains his top statistical game in a K-State uniform.
"It was a lot of fun," Thompson said. "It was truly a game that I will remember forever."
An even bigger game could be in store for Thompson when K-State faces Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Saturday. Thompson has evolved into a more efficient passer under new coach Chris Klieman, as he has completed 67.9% of his passes for 486 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions this season.
The Cowboys are also susceptible against the pass. Opponents have burned them for 956.8 yards and 10 touchdowns through the air.
Throw in Thompson's familiarity with Stillwater, and it's easy to see why he says the Cowboys are one of his favorite opponents to play in the Big 12. This has the makings of another memorable showing for K-State's quarterback.
"It definitely brings some confidence," Thompson said, "just the fact that I know what I am getting myself into in terms of the atmosphere and how loud it is going to be and having success down there before. I think anytime you go back and go to a place where you have done well and we have won before and experienced that, it definitely pays off in my favor."
Nothing is guaranteed, of course.
K-State takes even more pride in running the ball and controlling clock under Klieman than it did under former coach Bill Snyder, so Thompson may not get as many opportunities to throw deep as he did two years ago.
Back then, he led the Wildcats to a touchdown on their opening drive with a series of impressive runs. But he spent the rest of the afternoon lofting passes to Pringle, who got open deep twice on post routes and once on a well-executed rub route from former teammate Isaiah Zuber.
K-State used play-action fakes on all three of Thompson's touchdown throws, and Oklahoma State didn't know how to respond.
Pringle was the star, but Thompson made a good impression that could lead to even more this week.
"We scored a touchdown pass on the same play call three different times to Byron Pringle," senior K-State left tackle Scott Frantz said. "We kept calling it and we kept scoring. That was a fun game. Hopefully we can have the same type of end result this week."