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Oklahoma Sooners Football: OU bounces back with 52-42 win over Kansas

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Dillon Gabriel’s return sparks an offensive explosion for the Sooners.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners snapped a three-game skid Saturday, fending off the Kansas Jayhawks, 52-42. The win raised OU’s overall record to 4-3 and 1-3 in Big 12 play.

Quarterback Dillon Gabriel returned to the lineup after missing most the previous two games with a concussion. A week after the Sooners were blanked in a 49-0 loss to the Texas Longhorns, the Hawaiian field general showed his value to the by leading the OU offense to 701 total yards. Gabriel completed 29-of-42 pass attempts for 403 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also fumbled twice.

Gabriel spread the ball around to his receiving corps, with star receiver Marvin Mims securing nine receptions for 106 yards. Tight end Brayden Willis had five receptions for 102 yards and a score. Mims and Willis combined for 22 target in the contest.

OU also pounded the Jayhawks on the ground, rushing for a total of 298 yards and five TDs. Running back Eric Gray topped the century mark, running for 176 yards and two TDs on 20 attempts. Freshman Jovantae Barnes toted the rock 21 times for 69 yards and a pair of TDs.

First-year head coach Brent Venables saw his defense put together a solid performance despite allowing 42 points. OU picked off KU QB Jason Bean twice. Bean did have some success on the day, though, completing 16-of-27 pass attempts for 265 yards and four TDs. He added 41 yards on 10 carries. RB Devin Neal paced KU on the ground with 84 yards and a score on 12 attempts.

Kansas TE Mason Fairchild had six receptions for 106 yards and found the end zone twice. Lawrence Arnold caught five passes for 113 yards and two TDs.

Hampered by an injury for weeks, Key Lawrence got the start at safety for OU and made an immediate impact. He tallied six tackles and two pass breakups. Linebackers David Ugwoegbu, DaShaun White and Danny Stutsman combined to make 23 tackles, including 4.5 for loss. White also snared one of OU’s INTs.

After seven consecutive games, the Sooners have an open date next week. They travel to to play the Iowa State Cyclones on Oct. 29.