After allowing the most yards in FBS history for a team that won the game last week in Lubbock, Oklahoma needed to find a way to refocus its defense. Against a Kansas team winless in conference play, they managed to do just that while also keeping their offensive numbers going strong.
Oklahoma’s defense started the game strong, holding Kansas to punts on its first two drives. After OU’s offense managed -3 yards on its first drive, Dede Westbrook took things into his own hands after he took a punt return 71 yards for a touchdown to start the scoring. Kansas answered, using a sixteen-play drive to march 69 yards before ultimately settling for a field goal to bring the score to 7-3.
Unfortunately for Kansas, they would not score again.
Equally unfortunately for Kansas, Oklahoma was not done scoring.
The OU defense finally figured out how to make the pieces fit together after allowing Kansas to move down the field for a field goal. Oklahoma actually turned the ball over in its own territory on the drive following Kansas’ loan points, but the defense rose to the occasion on the very next play when Jordan Thomas intercepted Montell Cozart near the goal line.
The rest of the game saw only one Kansas drive with more than five plays, and that drive had only eight. As mentioned above, all such drives ended without points for the Jayhawks, who simply could not match Oklahoma’s skill today. Cozart finished 22/36 with 120 yards and two interceptions, the second coming at the hands of Jordan Evans and returned 33 yards for an Oklahoma touchdown. The Sooners defense was also dominant in the ground game. Kansas ran the ball 28 times for only 49 yards.
Meanwhile, an offense that struggled to find its way early eventually moved through the Kansas defense without much of a struggle. Oklahoma’s first three drives featured two punts (one following a 3 play, -3 yard drive) and a fumble. After those early mistakes, OU would go on to score touchdowns on six straight possessions.
Baker Mayfield threw four touchdowns, with one each going to Dede Westbrook, Geno Lewis, Mark Andrews, and Dimitri Flowers. Westbrook finished as the game’s leading receiver, totaling 105 yards on five catches. Nine different Sooners recorded a carry, being led first by Joe Mixon (nine carries, 74 yards), and then Abdul Adams (13 carries, 91 yards). Mixon recorded a running touchdown, as did freshman Devin Montgomery.
Oklahoma was able to take advantage of opportunities to allow young players to play for much of the second half, and while some drop off is expected, the offense continued to move the ball and the defense put pressure on Cozart frequently. With this win under its belt, Oklahoma moves into sole possession of first place in the Big 12, and they were able to resolve some of their issues and also give experience to young players along the way.