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Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Game Preview: Oklahoma Sooners-Kansas Jayhawks

Charlie Weis

Kansas (1-5, 0-3 Big 12) at No. 9 Oklahoma (4-1, 2-1 Big 12)
Oct. 20, 6 p.m.
Owen Field (Norman, Okla.)
TV: FOX Sports
Line: OU -35

103rd Meeting: OU leads 69-27-6, including 7 straight

GAME OUTLOOK

Charlie Weis’ inaugural season at Kansas has started out with a win over South Dakota State, an FCS Division school, and losses to Rice, TCU, Northern Illinois, Kansas State and Oklahoma State… Except for the K-State game, the Jayhawks have kept the losses close, losing by a combined 27 points to four opponents.

Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist is KU’s starting quarterback… He has completed 88 of 178 passes (49.4%) for 1,088 yards with 3 TDs and 7 INTs… Weis may use two QBs as Michael Cummings came off the bench and engineered two TD drives in the fourth quarter versus OSU last week…  Daymond Patterson, his top receiver, has 19 grabs for 160 yards but no TDs, but he is questionable (concussion) for Saturday… The 'Hawks rank 49th nationally in running the ball with 179.3 yards per game and 9 total TDs… James Sims, Taylor Cox and Tony Pierson each have rushed for more than 300 yards… KU’s offense is 84th overall with 377.7 yards per game and 109th in scoring offense with 19 points per game.

The defense is ranked 91st in total yards (433.7 per game) and 77th in scoring defense (28 per game)… Linebacker Ben Heeney and safety Bradley McDougald lead the team with 50 tackles each…McDougald and cornerback Tyler Patmon each have 2 interceptions… Heeney and end Toben Opurum each have 4 tackles for loss…. The Jayhawks average only one sack per game.

Ron Doherty pulls double duty as punter and placekicker… He averages 40.5 yards per punt, but has hit only 5 of 10 field goals and 11 of 12 PATs… Tre’ Parmelee leads the team in kickoffs with a 22.9 yard average, and KU has averaged 10 yard per punt return.

The Sooners are back in the championship saddle after awesome performances the last two weeks… The offense is ranked 9th nationally in scoring, 21st in rushing yards and 32nd in passing yards… Damien Williams’ presence gives the Sooners a running attack to balance the passing game, which will be vital the rest of the way… Williams and fullback Trey Millard have stepped up as receiving weapons to a great receiving corps…  Jalen Saunders’ becoming eligible is another weapon for that corps… The front wall has been solid in protecting Landry Jones, allowing only one sack in two games after yielding 8 in the first three games.

Casey Walker’s presence at defensive tackle has improved the defensive line by plugging gaps, which is important in stopping the run mentality… He was missed the first two games… Against Texas Tech and Texas, the Sooners have given up 3 yards per carry… The starting secondary has combined for 92 tackles & 6 INTs… Linebackers Tom Wort and Corey Nelson have 19 tackles each, and Wort leads the team with 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage… Jaydan Bird, Aaron Franklin and Frank Shannon have been tremendous in backing up Wort and Nelson…. Bird scored the Sooners’ first safety of the year (with Tony Jefferson’s assist) when he tackled Texas’ Joe Bergeron behind the goal line.

Special teams continues to be solid for the Sooners… Tress Way averages 42.5 yards per kick… Michael Hunnicutt has connected on 25 of 27 PATs and 7 of 8 field goals, all 7 after missing the first versus UTEP… Justin Brown averages 16.3 per punt return, and OU averages 26.6 yards per kickoff return, led by Brennan Clay’s 29.7 average.

The Sooners cannot afford to take Kansas lightly and look ahead to Notre Dame next week… The Jayhawks have been contenders in each of their losses, but could not finish off their opponents… They held a 24-13 lead over Rice in the third quarter, before losing 25-24… KU trailed TCU, 10-6, at halftime, but couldn’t muster a point in the second half… The Hawks held a 23-13 lead early in the fourth quarter against North Illinois, before dropping a 30-23 decision… KU trailed Kansas State 21-14 through the first half but lost 56-16… Kansas scored 14 unanswered second-half points to overcome a 20-0 deficit to Oklahoma State.

Look for the Sooners to continue to click on all cylinders versus the Jayhawks and for the substitutes to see some action again… Stop the run and do not underestimate the pass… Execute on offense and this could be a rout.

ETC.

*OU owns a 35-12-2 series lead in Norman.  

*This week is homecoming—OU is 73-20-4 (77.3%) versus homecoming opponents; Kansas has been a homecoming foe 22 times and OU leads 15-6-1.

*OU holds a 78-18-8 overall record in the game following Texas; 29-3-3 when the opponent was Kansas.

*Stoops is 7-0 versus the Jayhawks, which is the current win streak in the series.

*Stoops is 13-0 the week after Texas with an average score of 39.8-14.5.

*OU is 12-3 on October 20th.

*KU is 6-9-2 on October 20th.

*OU and KU have met on October 20th five times; OU leads 4-1.

*Charlie Weis never played college football.