The outcome was mostly what were expecting, if not a little better—Kansas covered the 32-point spread—but the way it happened was not exactly predictable.
The Jayhawks struck first, giving Oklahoma its first deficit of the season after a 22-yard touchdown throw from Carter Stanley to Daylon Charlot in the first quarter. The Sooners answered on the next drive to tie it at 7-7, and that’s when things started to fall apart.
First, James Sosinski dropped an easy short pass on fourth and two that would have given the Jayhawks a first down inside the OU 40 yard line. Mike Lee dropped a would-be pick six after the Sooners took over on downs, and then a questionable late hit call on Lee kept OU moving forward on a touchdown drive.
The defense was solid in the first half, though, and a combination of pressure and penalties against the Sooner led to an OU third and goal from midfield and then having to punt on what had been first and goal from the seven. The Sooners added another touchdown late in the half after pinning Kansas on its own two yard line and then never looked back.
Still, the defense didn’t make life easy on the Sooners, despite the final numbers, and held OU to under 600 yards of total offense for the first time all year. An interception by Najee Stevens-McKenzie in the fourth quarter was also the first takeaway since the first week of the season.
Pooka Williams was the highlight of the offense, picking up where he left off last year against Oklahoma and having his best day on the ground of the season tallying 137 yards and six yards per carry.
The same could not be said of the passing game for most of the day. Stanley started out hot, racking up 63 yards on the first-quarter touchdown drive. The air game was grounded for most of the second and third quarters before the Jayhawks got back to throwing it downfield in the fourth quarter. A pair of late touchdown passes from Stanley to Stephon Robinson Jr. (for 39 and 24 yards) salvaged the stat line and helped the Jayhawks cover the spread. Robinson finished with six catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, while Stanley was 18-28 for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
But penalties were costly (the Jayhawks had nine for 83 yards) and KU couldn’t capitalize on opportunities in the first half to keep it close.
The Jayhawks now get a bye week before likely running into similar problems against Texas.