Jayhawks have no answers for Sooners in blowout

Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook (11) runs for a touchdown as Kansas defensive end Cameron Rosser (46) misses a tackle during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct.29, 2016.

— The high-octane, score-at-will Oklahoma football offense lived up to its hype Saturday night at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. However, the Sooners’ homecoming foe, ever-overmatched Kansas, couldn’t expose OU’s biggest weakness, its defense.

Oklahoma scored six of its eight touchdowns on offense, while the Jayhawks never crossed the goal line in any way, shape or form, and OU rolled, 56-3, to remain unbeaten in Big 12 play.

While the Sooners’ first four conference foes burned them for 40.5 points a game, Kansas junior quarterback Montell Cozart and the offense only ventured into Oklahoma territory on three of KU’s 15 possessions and posted just 170 yards of total offense. What’s more, on the lone occasion the Jayhawks put together an impressive drive, the visitors settled for a 23-yard Matt Wyman field goal after moving 69 yards.

“They got it going from there,” Kansas head coach David Beaty said on one of his several references to the first quarter, when his team only trailed 7-3. “Their guys had a little bit to do with that. Dede Westbrook (OU senior receiver and returner) is fantastic. He’s as good as advertised and he’s even better when you’re looking at him down on that sideline.”

Although Kansas (1-7 overall, 0-5 Big 12) only trailed by four entering the second quarter, it didn’t take long for one of the conference’s powerhouse programs to unleash its dominance. The Sooners (6-2, 5-0) did as they pleased, offensively.

Receiver extraordinaire Westbrook didn’t complete a trick-play pass attempt, but roasted KU for a 71-yard punt return touchdown, as well as 105 receiving yards and another TD, plus 24 rushing yards as the 86,301 in attendance watched the scoreboard regularly light up with fresh new numbers under the name Oklahoma throughout the second and third quarters.

Junior OU quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns before sitting out the final quarter-plus. Running back Joe Mixon, who missed some snaps in the first half after suffering a big hit from KU safety Tevin Shaw, returned to the game in time to contribute 74 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards and a touchdown.

“They were really good,” Kansas senior cornerback Brandon Stewart said of the Sooners’ skill players, “but I also feel like we didn’t execute our game plan to the fullest. We came out fast but they beat us when it matters. I wouldn’t say they were unstoppable, but they were a really good offense.”

The game plan, Stewart explained, called for the Jayhawks winning more individual plays.

“It was just man versus man. Most of the time they beat us one-on-one,” Stewart said. “We just didn’t win our matchups. And the scoreboard showed it.”

Unlike Oklahoma, which put up 267 rushing yards and 271 passing yards, nothing worked for Kansas.

Sixteen of Cozart’s 20 completions on the night went for single-digit or negative yardage, leading to a 120-yard outing on 36 pass attempts. The Oklahoma defense even became the first team to sack Cozart this season, pulling it off three times.

And, as tends to be the case for the turnover-prone KU offense (now 27 turnovers lost on the season), its QB gave away some possessions. The Sooners twice picked off Cozart — the most significant coming one play after KU defensive tackle Daniel Wise recovered a fumble forced by safety Mike Lee in the first quarter. Cozart wanted to answer quickly with what had the potential to be a go-ahead touchdown throw in the first quarter. Instead, Jordan Thomas, who abandoned his man, Steven Sims Jr. (five receptions, 35 yards), intercepted an under-thrown ball for tight end Ben Johnson that didn’t quite make it to the goal line.

“We was just trying to get things going,” Cozart said. “Our first couple of drives we got out to a fast start, you know, a couple of plays that we wish we could have back and it’d be a different ball game.”

Kansas punted nine times and only picked up 11 first downs against a Sooners defense that many around Norman had maligned.

Said Beaty: “From our standpoint… I’m not sure we matched up great up front,” the second-year coach offered, before adding OU defends the run well (KU running backs Ke’aun Kinner and Taylor Martin combined for 19 carries and 38 yards). “You’ve got to get to the edge and their edge players made good plays.”

Still, KU’s touchdown-less, three-point night had to be pretty disappointing considering the numbers OU had allowed of late, right?

“Yeah, I mean…” a frustrated Beaty said before deciding not to elaborate.

The Jayhawks travel next to West Virginia (6-1, 3-1).

Comments

Michael Lorraine

Apparently Stanley has moved up to the number 2 position on the depth chart. Would have liked to see him get more pt in a game that was over early in the 3rd quarter.

1 year ago

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Clarence Haynes

KU play calling befuddles me and more than negated the effort of the defense. Mayfield and company eventually wore down any effectiveness that the KU defense had.

1 year ago

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Joe Baker

I'm looking at this team as glass half full. They are consistent year in and year out. Great job guys, keep up the work. Let's not settle for anything less.

I'm still waiting for the day when KU beats OU in my lifetime. I'm really doubting that day will come.

Stoops has to make a statement by running up the score after the Houston embarrassment.

Rock Chalk!

1 year ago

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Michael Lorraine

I know the feeling Joe. I wasn't sure if I would ever live to see KU beat Nebraska. Hopefully it will happen before realignment sends us our separate ways.

1 year ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

Okay let's get one thing straight here KU was never going to win this game and Montell Cozart is who he is as a quarterback. He's too quick to run with the ball misses wide open receivers whether it's over throwing them or looking at them wide open in the flat is still continuing to run or trying to force the ball into three man coverage.

David Beaty is not the coach for this team his ridiculous decision to go for it on 4th and 4 at Midfield instead of punting is what killed any momentum or any hope of this team having a chance to at least be competitive who does that? OU has a high-powered offense against an overwhelmed defense at midfield and Oklahoma is receiving the ball to begin the second half. Beaty's decision to Roll Out Cozart to the short side of the field straight to the sideline with no open receiver was just the catalyst to the loss.

KU could have gone into the locker room and half feeling halfway decent knowing that the defense only let the offense scored two touchdowns while the Special Teams gave up a punt return. But instead OU marched down the field and under a minute scores a touchdown KU has no momentum defense is feeling down, and has to come out for the second half having to give the ball right back to you again.

Fire Beaty keep him on as the head cheerleader and Lead recruiter he does a great job recruiting and keeping things positive overall for the program but as an X and O guy he's deplorable. He has no clue and things will be just as bad next year with maybe MAYBE another win. KU won't win a game because of Beaty theyll win in spite of his lousy coaching and play calling.

1 year ago

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Jay Scott

Thank goodness they went into the visitor locker rooms at Norman and not those doggone newly renovated ones in Lawrence....aaarrrggg...

1 year ago

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Michael Lorraine

Enough with the fire Beaty nonsense. Why do so many fans think the solution to everything is fire our head coach.

1 year ago

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Jay Scott

Beaty made some wacky decisions. So what.... OU is 40 points better either way.

Firing Beaty won't accomplish anything unless Bill Cowher or Art Briles want to come to Lawrence. This thing has to play out. Things can only improve. Hoops season starts next week.

1 year ago

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