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Kansas falls to Oklahoma, 55-40

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

If we learned anything on Saturday night, it’s that Oklahoma doesn’t have a championship defense, and the Big 12 likely won’t do well in the College Football Playoff this year - if they make it at all.

Kansas piled up 524 yards of total offense as they hung with Oklahoma for 3+ quarters behind the electric running of RB Pooka Williams, who rushed for 252 yards on just 15 carries, a 16.8 average. Pooka added 18 yards on three receptions, and also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass.

The Game

Oklahoma turned it over on its first possession of the game, and Kansas struck first on a 23-yard run by Pooka Williams, and would take a 10-7 lead into the second quarter. The Jayhawk offense would stall out in the second quarter, however, and Oklahoma would take advantage, with Kyler Murray hitting Carson Meier for 20 yards and Kennedy Brooks running it in from 7 yards out. The Sooners led 21-10 at halftime.

The Sooners would turn it over again to open the second half, and after a Khalil Herbert 3-yard TD, suddenly it looked like we had a game on our hands. However, the Sooners would score two more times before KU could find the end zone again, and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown gave OU a 48-24 lead with just 12 minutes to play.

Pooka magic wasn’t don’t yet, though. KU kept it interesting late, and had a couple of great play calls on two-point conversions, but it just wasn’t enough as Oklahoma held on for the 55-40 victory.

The Stats

Kansas had 36 rushing attempts to just 28 passing attempts, which is probably about right for the Jayhawks. That’s a 56/44 run/pass split; I’d like to see it closer to 60/40, but here we are.

Peyton Bender was surprisingly efficient, although he still averaged just 6.3 yards per pass.

As a team, Kansas averaged 9.7 yards per rush.

KU won the turnover battle 2-0, but probably needed at least two more turnovers in order to seriously threaten to win the game.

Up Next

Kansas will close the 2018 campaign with a home game against Texas on Black Friday. Get up early for the 11 AM kick.

Bonus Up Next

KU is expected to announce the hiring of Les Miles within the next 24-48 hours.