OU football: Previewing Oklahoma’s secondary ahead of spring practice

Kansas running back Pooka Williams Jr. (1) is tackled by Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis (4) during the first half of a game in Lawrence, Kansas last season.

Oklahoma

• High point: With 6:18 in the third quarter OU finally looked like its old self. The Sooners scored at will and, finally, took a big lead.

Jalen Hurts used play-action to running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who picked up a key block in the backfield as wide-open Trey Sermon broke free for a 15-yard TD catch. The Sooners led 35-7 after the score was just 14-7 with under a minute in the first half.

For all the Sooner miscues to that point — including six penalties for 64 yards — a real rout was on.

• Low point: OU’s first-half drive in which it nearly faced third-and-goal from midfield is best described as dysfunctional.

The Sooners needed to reach into their bag of trick plays — including a reverse pass from Nick Basquine to Jalen Hurts — to threaten a score. They knocked on the end zone’s front step, but were backed up when another trick play failed.

CeeDee Lamb lost 20 yards on a reverse and as he fell to the ground, tried to pitch it to Hurts. A fumble would have spelled disaster.

Instead, Hurts held on. But OU’s sloppy start was encapsulated on that series.

Kansas

• High point: The Jayhawks’ opening drive stalled, but their defense returned the favor against OU’s high-powered offense to start the game.

KU receiver Daylon Charlot caught a perfect throw from Carter Stanley against press coverage, giving the Jayhawks a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

More than 30-point underdogs, KU players were supposed to lay down from the start. Instead they threw the first punch.

• Low point: Trailing just 14-7 near the end of the first half, the Jayhawks mismanaged the clock badly. They called two defensive timeouts on OU’s second-to-last possession of the half, stopping the clock under two minutes.

When OU punted from midfield on third-and-48, KU didn’t put anyone back to return it. Then the Jayhawks went three-and-out.

The Sooners got the ball back, and with extra time courtesy of the Jayhawk timeouts, scored and went up 21-7 before getting the ball to start the second half.

OU 2019 schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Houston — W 49-31

Sept. 7 vs. South Dakota — W 70-14

Sept. 14 at UCLA — W 48-14

Sept. 28 vs. Texas Tech — W 55-16

Oct. 5 at Kansas — W 45-20

Oct. 12 vs. Texas

Oct. 19 vs. West Virginia

Oct. 26 at Kansas State

Nov. 9 vs. Iowa State

Nov. 16 at Baylor

Nov. 23 vs. TCU

Nov. 30 at Oklahoma State

— Tyler Palmateer

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