Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Saturday, October 18, 2008
Halftime: Oklahoma 24, Kansas 17


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

NORMAN, Okla. -- So much for any post-Texas hangover for Oklahoma's offense.

The Sooners' defense has lived up to the new order in this season's Big 12. Namely, it doesn't matter how many yards a defense may allow as long as it can deliver a timely big play.

The Sooners produced two -- a pair of interceptions by Lendy Holmes -- that ultimately was the difference in Oklahoma's 24-17 halftime lead over Kansas.

The Sooners' balanced attack erupted for 419 yards, but look like they will need a lot more to put away the pesky Jayhawks.

But as effective as Oklahoma played, Kansas coach Mark Mangino probably left feeling fortunate. The Jayhawks have withstood a huge offensive haymaker and are still down by only seven points at the break.

Sam Bradford's strong passing is a given for Oklahoma as he's already completed 26 of 36 passes for 313 yards. But the Sooners' running game appears to be back after piling up 106 rushing yards after producing less than 50 in two of OU's last three game.

Particularly noteworthy was the hard inside running of DeMarco Murray, who piled up 61 yards after struggling most of the season.

The Sooners torched Kansas on short, quick passes as they took advantage of their receivers' speed against Kansas' slower secondary. And they were able to beat them inside by blasting them off the line of scrimmage between the tackles. Outside plays, however, were a different story.

It helped Oklahoma wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias to set school records for a half with 10 catches for 178 receiving yards. Bradford's big half spurred the Sooners to five possessions of at least 64 yards during the half. Dezmon Briscoe set a Kansas record for one half with 193 yards on nine receptions.

Reesing was nearly as effective, passing for 220 yards. The two teams combined for 701 yards of total offense, 548 passing yards and 37 first downs.

One other notable highlight came after Oklahoma inserted more starters on the kickoff team and kickoff team coverage. The strategy backfired late in the first half when linebacker Travis Lewis was shaken in a collision with Kansas running back Jocques Crawford. Both players needed assistance to leave the field and Lewis' availability in the second half is questionable.