By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The first Bowl Championship Series standings of the season were announced Sunday night. Oklahoma came in at No. 15 following the 35-19 victory over Kansas.
The good news for the Sooners is they should have ample opportunity to move up. Their next two games are against teams in the top 10.
Texas Tech, which OU faces Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Owen Field, is No. 10. The Sooners face No. 8 Baylor Nov. 7 in Waco, Texas.
Oklahoma State rounded out the Big 12 Conference’s contingent in the initial BCS standings at No. 19.
As far as the polls go, OU climbed three spots to No. 15 in the latest AP Top 25. It made a six-spot climb in the USA Today coaches poll, which is one-third of the BCS standings formula, to No. 12.
The other human poll in the BCS standings — the Harris poll — had the Sooners at No. 14 Sunday.
Right in the face: OU had a couple tide-turning plays in the win over Kansas. None were bigger than Matt Dimon’s blocked punt in the second quarter that turned into a safety for OU.
Dimon, however, said he was in the right place at the right time.
“It’s a funny play because it hit me right in the face mask. I didn’t block it with my hand. I actually had the skid mark on my helmet from where it hit,” he said. “I thought it was a good momentum changer. I thought we got a lot of energy from it. I just thought it was a good play and it helped the team and we were struggling and we got a little energy in the second quarter of it, I felt like.”
Missed it: OU had a chance to put the game away midway through the third quarter. It had fourth-and-2 at the Kansas 29 yard line. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel called a play-action pass. Quarterback Blake Bell had Trey Millard open early in the play in the flat, but waited too long to throw. Tight end Aaron Ripkowski was all alone in the middle field, but Bell failed to find him, too.
The end result was an interception as Bell tried to hit wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
“I could have probably stuck with Trey a little bit in the flat there. He got open late,” Bell said. “I got back to my read and got out of the pocket. Me and Shep were on different pages there. I kept thinking he could keep coming. I don’t know if he stopped or not.”
Settling in: The win over Kansas left a lot to be desired. OU continued to struggle throwing the ball. Bell was an inefficient 15-for-25 for 131 yards. He did throw two touchdown passes against the fourth-down interception.
Nonetheless, Bell’s teammates thought the passing game progressed following the Texas loss.
“We definitely have areas that we need to improve in, but I feel like he was throwing the ball around pretty well today and he seemed comfortable,” Shepard said. “As long as we keep getting open for him, it’s just going to make him even more comfortable as we go on.”
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