Sooners Overcome Sluggish Start To Beat Kansas
Corey DeMoss, News9.com
LAWRENCE, Kansas – One week after a dominant win over rival Texas, the Oklahoma Sooners got off to a much slower start before taking over in a 47-17 victory over Kansas Saturday.
The Sooners looked lethargic on both sides of the ball to start the game. Quarterback Landry Jones missed his first four passes, and finished the first quarter 6-of-15. The defense also gave up 138 rushing yards in the quarter, including a 56-yard touchdown on what originally appeared to be a broken play.
A fumble deep in OU territory early in the second quarter led to a Kansas field goal, which tied the game at 10. But the Sooners responded with touchdowns on two consecutive possessions, including a record-breaking catch by Ryan Broyles.
Jones and Broyles connected on a 57-yard touchdown, which gave Broyles two different records. He set a new NCAA record for most receptions in a career, and a Big 12 conference record for most touchdown catches in a career.
Kansas put together another scoring drive to cut the lead back to one possession, but OU kicked a field goal on the final play of the first half to go into the locker room with a 27-17 lead. From that point forward, the Jayhawks never sniffed the end zone again.
The OU defense held Kansas in check for the rest of the game, and the Jayhawks only recorded one first down in the entire second half. Kansas had to punt a total of seven times in the half.
With the defense forcing so many three-and-outs, the OU offense spent much more time on the field. The Sooners began moving the ball much more consistently, but continued to have problems in the red zone. In their first six trips inside the 20-yard line, they scored just two touchdowns.
Despite Kansas' offensive struggles, it was still a two-possession game early in the fourth quarter. But the Sooners put the game away with another long touchdown to Broyles, this time a 43-yarder for a 40-17 lead. Dominique Whaley added another touchdown late in the game to finish the scoring.
Broyles finished the game with 13 catches for a school-record 217 yards, his third record of the night. Kenny Stills suffered a non-contact injury early in the night, but managed to come back and finish with 74 yards.
Whaley continued to be the Sooners' workhorse in the backfield, with 30 carries for 165 yards. But after Whaley's fumble in the second quarter, Roy Finch began getting his first extended action of the season. He gained 58 yards on only six carries, and scored his first touchdown of the year.
After the Jayhawks gained 138 yards on their first 13 carries of the night, they gained just six on their final 25 rushes. After being outgained 147-134 in the first quarter, the Sooners outgained Kansas 476-105 the rest of the night.
This marked the second time the Sooners have started slow after a big win the week before. They beat Florida State – ranked No. 5 in the nation at the time – on the road, and then struggled to stop Missouri's passing attack early in their next game.
Kansas now has lost its last four games, and in that span allowed a total of 228 points. The Sooners will move on to face another struggling team, Texas Tech, at 7 p.m. next Saturday. The Red Raiders have lost their last two games, and their only conference win came against Kansas.