What can you say besides take the win and move on? I’m not sure that you can draw many conclusions about this game due to Kansas' talent level. To be fair, KU is playing better football lately, as witnessed by its first half versus Oklahoma State and a near win at TCU. In fact, I thought the Jayhawks' run defense and physicality were better than most of the Big 12 is showing this year.
OU sits alone at the top of the Big 12 with four games ahead. Hopefully, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo will come back for Iowa State, but you can imagine Bob Stoops could possibly rest him and others for the three-game deciding run against Baylor, West Virginia and OSU. Still, a short week and a road game at Ames have led ambushes before.
Dede Westbrook (again)
On a night when he had over 100 yards receiving again and an awesome red zone catch, a punt return touchdown and had a kickoff return TD called back, perhaps the most amazing play by Westbrook was a run in the second quarter.
Mayfield lateraled to Westbrook on third and forever. Westbrook looked to pass, but no one was open. Instead, he just started running, accelerating past some KU defenders and bouncing off a KU player as he sprinted for a huge first down.
Baker had a slow start, overthrowing some wide receivers a couple of times. Once he got going in the second quarter, he did a great job distributing the ball to a number of WRs and making a beautiful deep throw to Westbrook. No turnovers was just as important.
For the most part, it was an improved effort.
OU played a lot of kids. In the second half while subbing in even more players off the bench, OU shut down KU and forced a number of three and outs.
The defense seemed more physical and more engaged, with more gang tackling and flying to the football. At this point, I’ll take any signs of improvement.
In the second game after completing his suspension, Lampkin did a good job at nose guard backing up Jordan Wade. He flashed some view of his ceiling with two incredible tackles for loss.
He flashed some of his pass rushing skills in the second half. Makes you wonder why he cannot sub in at times to help Obo be more effective in the fourth Quarter.
Mann played quite a bit at DE and looks to have some game there.
(Speaking of which, OU has moved Dwayne Orso back to DE for now. I wonder if Coach Thibodeaux can resurrect his career there.)
DeBerry made some plays, but to me, it looks like he should move inside in the spring.
The first quarter was pretty bad on both sides of the ball. OU gave up a five-minute drive to KU with several pickups on third downs.
And OU was not clicking on offense. Joe MIxon's injury and Westbrook's fumble were ugly. In addition, OU’s mass substitutions on defense forced a timeout to be used. It just looked disorganized at times.
Injury to Joe Mixon
OU has been crippled by injuries, but Mixon, Mayfield, Westbrook and the offensive line have kept things together. The thought of losing Mixon was horrifying.