OU Football: Sooners Wallop The Wildcats Behind Westbrook's Big Day
For the first time in its last three home matchups with Kansas State, No. 19 Oklahoma was able to take care of business against the Wildcats, beating Bill Snyder’s boys 38-17 inside of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
“It’s a good win, I feel like we’re starting to play a little more consistently and that’s what we’ve been after,” Head Coach Bob Stoops said. “Still can be better and we’ll keep pushing for that, but again I thought it was a good, solid win.”
Despite a minor injury to star running back Samaje Perine in the first quarter, the Sooners’ offense racked up 510 total yards on the Kansas State defense, a group that came into the game ranked No. 17 in the nation and first in the Big 12.
A big chunk of OU’s success came compliments of the Sooners’ other star running back, Joe Mixon. The redshirt sophomore was a force in every aspect of the game, and helped give the Sooners an early 14-0 lead after taking a shovel pass from Baker Mayfield and hurdling a K-State defender on his way to the endzone.
A man of many skills, Mixon got the job done through the air as well. After taking a handoff in the second quarter, Mixon was able to freeze the KSU defense before slinging a beautiful pass to a wide-open Dede Westbrook for a 26-yard touchdown that put the Sooners up 21-7.
“Joe [Mixon] was sensational running the football, making a good defense miss him on a number of occasions and get extra yards.” Stoops said. “[He] ran tough in a lot of instances, caught the ball well, had a big kickoff return, then goes and throws a touchdown pass.”
Along with Mixon, who finished with 88 rushing yards and 34 receiving yards, Mayfield had a tremendous afternoon leading the OU offense. The quarterback connected with Perine for a 25-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game to get things going, while he was a steady force the rest of the way for the Sooners, finishing with 346 yards passing and four touchdowns.
Mayfield continued his dynamic chemistry with his favorite receiver Westbrook, who totaled 184 yards and three touchdown catches on the game, with his final score coming from 88 yards out to seal the OU victory.
“Dede’s doing a lot for us, similar to what [Sterling] Shep was doing for us last year but in a different way,” offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley said. “Shep’s were more over the middle the short stuff, where when Dede gets one-on-one he can win down the field.”
While the offense was thriving, the Oklahoma defense was doing just enough to get the job done. The Sooners held Kansas State to only 335 yards of total offense and set the tone early in the game with a three-and-out on KSU’s first possession.
“I just feel like they were more aggressive than us, and just hats off to their defensive coordinator,” KSU running back Charles Jones said. “They sent a lot of blitzes and we didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities that we had.”
Safety Steven Parker led the Sooners in tackles with eight while Jordan Thomas added seven of his own. Both Matt Romar and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo each recorded a sack as well.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “There’s some things we can improve on, but we’re getting better. We’re starting to build a little more consistency in what we’re doing, but we still have a ways to go.”
As for a Perine injury update, Coach Stoops said Perine only had a slight pulled muscle and could’ve played if he felt they needed him.
Oklahoma has now won three straight games after starting 1-2, and will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.