Saturday, October 20, 2012
Instant analysis: Oklahoma 52, Kansas 7
By Brandon Chatmon
Oklahoma hammered Kansas 52-7 at Owen Field on Saturday night to set up a top-10 battle with Notre Dame next weekend. The Sooners improved to 5-1 overall, 3-1 in the Big 12. The undefeated Fighting Irish will enter the game at 7-0 with wins over Michigan, Michigan State and Stanford.
How the game was won: With the arm of Landry Jones. The Jayhawks came out with a game plan to stop Damien Williams and OU’s running game. That left plenty of opportunities for Jones, who took advantage from the start. He found six different receivers in the win, continuing the trend of spreading the ball around after tending to try to force it during the Sooners' first three games. It’s important for Jones to continue the trend for the remainder of the season.
Turning point: When Jones found Kenny Stills with a beautiful 44-yard touchdown pass on a post route. The late first-quarter score was an early sign that Jones was on point Saturday. He was 9-of-11 for 140 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter. When OU starts quickly, especially at home, the Sooners are tough to beat.
Stat of the game: The Sooners scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions, starting with Blake Bell’s 1-yard touchdown run with 12:29 left in the second quarter and ending with Trey Millard’s 25-yard touchdown catch. The Sooners were dominant on Saturday, playing the way you’d expect a BCS title hopeful to play against an overmatched opponent at home.
Player of the game: Jones. He finished 20-of-29 for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The Jayhawks challenged him to beat them with his arm, and he did.
Unsung hero of the game: Tony Jefferson. The junior safety was all over the field and had eight first-quarter tackles. He consistently made plays around the line of scrimmage. Jefferson continues to be one of the Big 12’s best defenders. He will be crucial when Notre Dame comes to town.
Record performance: For the first time in OU history, the Sooners returned a kickoff for a touchdown and a punt for a touchdown in the same game. Justin Brown returned a punt 90 yards for a score, and Roy Finch returned the second half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. The two 90-plus yards plays were also a first in OU history.
What it means: In conjunction with Notre Dame’s 17-14 win over BYU, the Sooners win sets up a huge top-10 battle in Norman next weekend. OU can gain momentum and firmly secure itself in the BCS landscape with a win, while the Fighting Irish could make their case as the nation’s top team with a road win at Owen Field.