LAWRENCE, Kan. —
Defensively, OU gave up 201 yards. It would seem like a great afternoon except it allowed 136 yards in the first quarter. The real improvement the Sooners made throughout the game was figuring Kansas (2-4, 0-3) had as much interest in throwing the ball as a 5-year-old has in eating his vegetables. Jayhawk quarterback Jake Heaps was just 5 for 13 for 16 yards. He had a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmay Mundine to give his team a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Kansas wanted to feed the ball to running backs James Sims and Darrian Miller as much as possible. Sims finished with 129 yard and Miller added 67.
“It’s the best we’ve had in a while and running against a good defense too,” Kansas coach Charlie Weis said. “Going in, we had to try to control the ball.”
How good OU’s defense is is debatable. Through seven games, it’s allowed 1,006 yards. After Saturday, foes are averaging 4.3 yards per carry.
But OU coach Bob Stoops was adamant the problems halting the run are more mental than physical.
“When we got in position, we were in good shape. Some of the inside runs, we’ve just gotta keep getting it so our backers … I’m not … at times we’re over pursuing, getting too wide and we need to stay tight in some of those plays,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “When it happened, we knew exactly what happened. Then they settled down, and were where they needed to be, and we played them well.”
The Sooners dominated the second half in the sense that Kansas never seriously threatened to win the game.
Bell hit Shepard, who had a team-high seven receptions for a 82 yards, for a 10-yard touchdown pass on OU’s opening drive of the third quarter. From that point on OU maintained at least an eight-point lead, and the absolute disaster of a loss was no longer a possibility.