Oklahoma finished off its 34-19 victory yesterday against the lowly Kansas Jayhawks playing like a team that had decided not to pack it in on the season.
A win may be a win and all that jazz, but that’s about the best that can be said for this performance.
Of the more than 120 schools participating in FBS-level football, approximately 92 would have knocked off the team that took the field against the Jayhawks. Luckily for OU, KU wasn’t one of them. The Sooners did very little well, while KU managed to do everything worse.
For the first 20 minutes of the game, the Sooners appeared to be making a statement of solidarity with their peers at Grambling State. OU’s offense couldn’t put together sustained drives. Meanwhile, KU gashed the Oklahoma defense repeatedly in the beginning, chewing up significant chunks of yardage every time the Jayhawks ran the ball. They hit pay dirt twice in their first three possessions, combining to rush for nearly 120 yards on the scoring drives.
Trailing 13-0 early in the second quarter, OU had the look of a team that would just as soon be anywhere other than Lawrence.
What changed to spark OU’s 34-6 run to close out the game? Maybe the Sooners snapped out of a post-Texas funk. More likely: Kansas is just a bad team with a brutally incompetent head coach.
KU’s receivers posed no threat to the Sooner D – and won’t to any other, for that matter – and the Jayhawks couldn’t protect quarterback Jake Heaps, who threw for all of 16 yards on the day. Moreover, Charlie Weis’ decision to burn freshman quarterback Montell Cozart’s redshirt and rotate him in quickly ruined the Jayhawks’ offensive rhythm in the first half.
Ultimately, Oklahoma won this game because it had better players. Yet, the Sooners’ execution in all three phases enabled possibly the worst AQ conference team in the country to hang around for four quarters.
It does go down as a win to run in the record books. It doesn’t bode well for OU’s five remaining contests.
*I would love to know what the coaching staff is seeing out of the quarterback position in practice. Blake Bell made two or three nice throws on the day and ran the ball effectively on occasion. He also held onto the ball too long in the pocket, missed reads and showed no accuracy down the field.
I understand that Bell built up some goodwill with the win at Notre Dame and some big moments against TCU. However, if Trevor Knight presumably lost his starting spot because he was making too many mistakes, it would seem we’ve reached that same point with Bell.
*Defensive tackle Torrea Peterson’s suspension comes at an awfully inopportune time. I have no clue what kind of academic issues he’s dealing with, but with OU lacking any functional depth in the middle of the defensive line, that poses a giant problem for Bob Stoops.
*Have we seen the last of Keith Ford this year? Freshmen running backs don’t normally come back if the coaches don't trust their ball security.
I hope that’s not the case now. Ford runs with more authority than any other tailback on the roster.
*Bell missing a wide open Aaron Ripkowski on OU’s fourth-down play in the second half didn’t shock me. That Ripkowski was sent on a pass pattern did.
*The execution in the no-huddle offense has grown increasingly sloppy. Watching the players trying to get signals from the sidelines is excruciating.
*Maybe he was struggling with the wind, but Jed Barnett's punting was severely lacking.
*With Texas Tech on deck, the loss of Julian Wilson in the secondary would loom pretty large.
*Is it possible that OU will be a home underdog against the Red Raiders?