There's not a whole lot that you can say about Oklahoma's defensive performance on Saturday, other than they did what they were supposed to do. The Sooners limited the Jayhawks to just 216 total yards, and one score. To put that in perspective, Kansas had 378 yards on nine punts. Yeah, it was that kind of day for KU.
A key factor in the defensive performance was putting pressure on the quarterback and no one was better on that Saturday afternoon than Charles Tapper. Halloween may have come and gone on Saturday but there's a good chance that KU quarterback Ryan Willis will continue to have chilling thoughts about #91 pouncing on him.
No one really expected the Jayhawks to be a threat to the Sooners and Oklahoma's defense made sure that was the case. Dominique Alexander led the way with 11 total tackles but it was the OU defenders were making plays in the Kansas backfield that really set the tone. Seven different Oklahoma defenders recorded tackles behind the line of scrimmage, led by Charles Tapper's three sacks, the last of which resulted in a forced fumble.
Kansas had 35 rushing yards on 36 attempts and was never really able to get their offense going against an Oklahoma defensive that dominated the line of scrimmage. The lone Jayhawk touchdown came off a short field that was the result of a fumbled punt by Sterling Shepard. It closed the gap to 21-7 but the Sooners ultimately won in blowout fashion with a final score of 62-7.
The key focus for Oklahoma's defense on Saturday was to stay focused, be in position, and make plays. That's pretty much what they did in a performance where they really weren't expected to be challenged. Now the key will be to keep that same focus through the month of November as the final month of the season will determine who will eventually win the conference championship.
Last month I asked Bob Stoops what it would take to get him on video dancing with Baker Mayfield. He told me that he thought it would require a championship of some sorts. Turns out all he really needed was just a Yoda mask and a win on Halloween.
What winning big on Halloween looks like! Who wouldn't want to play for this guy? pic.twitter.com/vRcFqJqB55— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) October 31, 2015
Defensive Line - Tapper's three sacks were a team high, but Matt Dimon and Charles Walker also got to the quarterback. Oklahoma won the line of scrimmage all afternoon, allowing the defensive line to be disruptive in the backfield for most of the game. Overall Grade: A+
Linebackers - Frank Shannon recorded nine tackles, which was most among this group and second on the team, and Eric Striker was his typical self in the fact that he was flushing the quarterback out of the pocket all day. Overall Grade: A
Secondary - Ah, something to criticize. Dakota Austin made a huge gamble and lost. He broke on the ball but wasn't able to snag it. The result was a Kansas touchdown and a blown opportunity for a shutout. He did record five tackles though and Jordan Thomas had four. Ahmad Thomas and Steven Parker combined for seven tackles. Overall Grade: B+
Special Teams: Austin Seibert missed his first field goal attempt on the day and Sterling Shepard's fumble on a punt return put Kansas in position to score. While it was a solid day for most of the Oklahoma football team it was a sub-par performance for the special teams.