Kansas definitely did not get screwed in Norman this past weekend. The Jayhawks were much more competitive than anyone thought they were going to be, but Oklahoma never punted, and KU lost by 15. Kansas just flat got beat.
However, for once, it wasn’t the offense’s fault! Kansas ran 64 plays for 524 yards, a 7.7 yards per play average, BY FAR their best effort of 2018. Unfortunately, on the other side, Oklahoma ran 72 plays for 566 yards, a 7.8 yards per play average. This, despite KU winning the turnover battle 2-0. Yikes.
Kansas had a nearly ideal 56/44 run/pass balance. I say nearly ideal, because although Peyton Bender was efficient, Kansas averaged 9.7 yards per rush. Seems like KU could have benefited from a little bit more of a run-heavy offense.
Kansas was a decent 6-12 (50.0%) on third downs, but OU was amazing at 9-10 (90.0%). (OU converted their only fourth down attempt.) The Kansas defense couldn’t slow down the Sooners, and couldn’t get off the field on third down.
Pooka. Damn, dude. You da man.
Pooka’s highlights from the Oklahoma game. The dude is unreal. pic.twitter.com/j5CM9A1W2u— Jayhawk Video (@JayhawkVideo) November 20, 2018
Suffice it to say, Pooka turned heads on a national level Saturday night.
Kansas punted twice in the game, and that turned out to be the difference. One was on the first drive of the game; KU crossed midfield and faced 4th-and-10 from the OU 43-yard line. David Beaty refused to embrace the underdog role and punted it away, gaining a whopping 29 yards of field position.
The second KU punt came in the third quarter, with the Jayhawks trailing by 9 facing 4th-and-4 at their own 39-yard line. Probably a makeable distance for Pooka Williams, who was averaging 13.7 yards per carry at that point.
Three years after blocking me on Twitter for this tweet complaining about punting against Oklahoma, David Beaty once again literally punted away any chance his team had at the upset. (I learned a valuable lesson and no longer directly “@” anyone anymore. Well, except for idiotic national sportswriters.)
Whoa, that defense. Although to be fair, no one has really slowed Oklahoma down very much at all this year. As mentioned already, the Sooners never punted, and had they not turned it over, probably would have scored 69 points (nice) instead of 55.
Peyton Bender started his fifth game in a row and while we did see some Carter Stanley, Bender was the only QB to throw a pass or be credited with a rush attempt. Bender finished 19-27 for 167 yards and no TDs, but most importantly, no INTs.
Carter Stanley got a couple of snaps in, handed the ball off a couple of times on read-option plays, and completed a pass for a 2-point conversion.
Pooka Williams. Wow. Pooka accounted for 252 rushing yards on just 15 carries, at 16.8 YPC, with 2 TDs. He also was 1-1 passing for 9 yards and a TD, and added 18 yards on three receptions.
Khalil Herbert had a respectable 64 yards on 15 carries (4.3 YPC) with 2 TDs.
Dom Williams added 32 yards on 4 carries.
Jeremiah Booker hauled in 5 passes for 68 yards and a TD.
Steven Sims picked up 49 yards on 6 receptions.
Joe Dineen may have turned some scouts heads with 14 tackles, including some impressive ones in the open field.
Mike Lee added 9 tackles and recovered a fumble.
Shakial Taylor had 3 tackles and an INT.
Gabriel Rui nailed his only field goal attempt, a 45 yarder, and was 3-3 on extra points.
Kyle Thompson hit two punts, a 29-yarder and a 46-yarder.