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Sooners Rock The Hawks: OU Improves To 7-1 With Win Over Kansas

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LAWRENCE, Kansas -

Bob Stoops stressed improvement in his weekly press conference on Monday, and that’s exactly what we saw out of the Sooners on Saturday as they ruined KU’s homecoming and beat the winless Jayhawks 62-7 in Lawrence.

10/31/15: Instant Analysis: OU Drops Kansas In Lawrence

Baker Mayfield and the offense wasted no time showcasing the improvement that Stoops spoke of. The first Sooners’ play from scrimmage featured a 41-yard pass from Mayfield to Sterling Shepard that brought OU into KU territory. A Seibert missed field goal halted a stellar opening drive for the Sooners, but they didn’t let that small mishap define their afternoon.

On OU’s next drive, offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley dialed up a perfect play call to open the scoring flood gates. Mayfield took the snap and faked a handoff to Semaje Perine, and the play action froze the defense long enough to free up Joe Mixon across the middle of the field. Mayfield lofted a perfect pass and the freshman running back scampered untouched into the endzone for a 68-yard touchdown.

The momentum was in the hands of the Sooners, and they were rolling.

Oklahoma scored on its next two drives on Mayfield touchdown passes to Durron Neal (11 yards) and Shepard (four yards) to extend its lead to 21. That marked three touchdown passes for the OU quarterback in the first quarter while quickly eliminating any hope the Jayhawks would be able to pull off the upset.

Mike Stoops’ defense came to play on Saturday as well, and looked to be locked in early. The Sooners shut out KU in the first quarter, but allowed Kansas to get on the board at the start of the second frame on a Ryan Willis touchdown pass to receiver Tyler Patrick. The Jayhawks only had to drive 29 yards for that score after recovering Shepard’s botched punt return which set them up with great field position.

OU’s offense was unfazed by the sudden spark from the Jayhawks, and the Sooners responded with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that featured a fourth down conversion and ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Perine. OU led by 21 with 5:54 left in the first half but wasn’t done bringing the heat.

Seibert tacked on a 46-yard field goal on the next Sooners’ possession, then OU scored again on a two-yard touchdown run by Perine on its last drive before halftime to make the score 38-7. That final touchdown was set up by a two long receptions by Shepard, who had a phenomenal first half—totaling 174 receiving yards on 10 catches.

Bob Stoops opted to let Mayfield and Shepard remain in the game for the first possession of the second half, and the first unit really benefited from the decision. The Sooners drove 67 yards on eight plays to extend their lead to 45-7. OU showcased some trickery on the score, with offensive lineman Sam Grant catching the 1-yard toss from Mayfield.

Even when some of the OU reserves entered the game, the Sooners continued to deliver gut punches to the Jayhawks’ struggling defense. Backup quarterback Trevor Knight added fuel to the fire with a rushing touchdown to extend the Sooners’ lead to 45 points with still a quarter and a half remaining in the game.

A Nick Hodgson hit a 32-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, and then a touchdown pass from Knight to his brother Connor Knight wrap up the OU scoring plays.

Mayfield finished with 383 yards passing and four touchdowns, with 183 of those yards going to Shepard. Receiver Dede Westbrook also had a big game through the air with six receptions for 83 yards.

Perine rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns while Mixon contributed 116 total yards and one receiving score. The OU offense has scored 23 touchdowns in its last three games.

Defensive end Charles Tapper was the MVP of the OU defense with his three sacks and two forced fumbles. OU held the KU offense to only 216 yards and 15 first downs.

The Sooners are the first team to have 20 plus sacks and 10 plus interceptions in one calendar month since Florida State in 1997.

OU will host Iowa State next Saturday with kickoff set for 6 p.m.

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