LAWRENCE, Kansas — Here’s the Sellout Crowd’s rapid reaction to Oklahoma’s 38-33 loss to Kansas on Saturday.
Sooners sabotage their dream season
Guerin Emig: How does Kansas beat Oklahoma at football for the first time since 1997? Let us count the ways…
The Sooners came up short with an out-of-sorts passing game with the exception of Drake Stoops’ 39-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter and Dillon Gabriel’s final-drive desperation heave to Brenen Thompson. Fitting that the game ended on Gabriel’s incomplete Hail Mary from the KU 23-yard line.
OU showed a serious lack of discipline. That stung during a season’s worth of missed tackles in the first half, and on harmful penalties that carried over to a 15-yard bench penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Mix in a fumbled kickoff return by Marcus Stripling and a pick-6 on OU’s first series…
Mix in injuries to defensive anchor Danny Stutsman in the first half and 146-yard rusher Tawee Walker in the third quarter, the targeting ejection of safety Reggie Pearson and a generally lousy start that saw Kansas shoot to a 14-0 lead…
And the Sooners were left to wonder all that went wrong in Lawrence.
The “what” was layered — no more unbeaten season, a longer road to the Big 12 Championship game, the likely end of both OU’s College Football Playoff aspirations and Gabriel’s Heisman Trophy candidacy.
The “why” was simpler. The Sooners hurt themselves, badly, over a weather-delayed four and a half hours at Kansas’ Memorial Stadium.
Sooners had the momentum … then they fumbled it
Eli Lederman: OU had the momentum it needed to pull away and turn one eye toward next weekend’s Bedlam bout in Stillwater just before halftime Saturday.
From there, the Sooners did everything they could to give it away.
Unfazed by a 58-minute, second-quarter weather delay, OU found the end zone and drew level not even four real-time minutes after the resumption. Dillon Gabriel’s nine-yard rushing touchdown 1:42 later had the Sooners up 21-14 with 4:23 to go before the break.
Moving the ball well and up a score with a talent advantage on a cold, wet day, OU had the platform to cruise to win No. 8. Instead, the Sooners followed with a parade of errors to produce yet another OU nail-biter.
There was the decision to run out the clock with three timeouts and 50 seconds to go before halftime. There was the uninspiring jet sweep Jeff Lebby dialed up on third down on the initial offensive series after halftime. Savion Byrd’s unnecessary roughness penalty didn’t help; neither did Jalil Farooq’s fumble as the Sooners ran their top pass catcher out of the backfield.
The three personal fouls OU committed to grant Kansas 45 yards on the Jayhawk’s seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter was the worst of the bunch.
Devin Neal’s late rushing score was the dagger in Kansas’ first win over the Sooners since 1997. Don’t lose sight of the error-laden showing OU delivered to get there.
Quit messing around; give the ball to Tawee
Jenni Carlson: What Tawee Walker did to get suspended a week ago has not been made public, but whatever it was, if it happens again, I might allow it if I was Brent Venables.
Walker is clearly the Sooners’ best tailback, and I’m not entirely sure what Jeff Lebby or DeMarco Murray or whomever is doing starting anyone else much less giving them a bunch of early carries. Yes, Gavin Sawchuk was good late in last week’s game, but Walker has been consistently the best tailback in crimson.
The decision not to give him the ball early stalled the OU offense and gave Kansas a chance to build a lead. Then in the second half after Walker had gotten going, the Sooners went back to lining up receivers in the backfield. It cost them dearly; Jalil Farooq fumbled on a run, Kansas recovered and the Jayhawks scored one play later to take a late third-quarter lead.
The only thing that slowed down Walker? An apparent ankle injury in the second half.
OU needs to quit messing around, and give the ball to Walker.
Living on the edge catches up to Sooners
Ed Murray: The only thing colder than the Lawrence weather (37 degrees at kickoff) was the OU start. The Sooners missed tackles on the opening kickoff. Surrendered 40 yards on KU’s opening drive matching the combined yardage on opening drives in the first 7 games. A Pick-6 on OU’s 3rd offensive play. A failed fourth-down try at the Kansas 20 followed by missed tackles after missed tackles on the Jayhawks’ ensuing 79-yard drive to a 14-0 lead less than one minute into the second quarter.
And just when the Sooners grabbed a little momentum, a one-hour weather delay.
OU weathered that delay, thanks in huge part to Tawee Walker. Suspended from last week’s game, Walker made amends by running for 97 first-half yards and a score as OU ran it on 31 of 39 first-half plays for a 4-point lead.
But the Sooners lost star linebacker Danny Stutsman on the 2nd to last play of the half and the Kansas offense showed more explosion after intermission. OU helped the Jayhawks with two fumbles, four personal fouls — three on one KU touchdown drive including targeting at the goal line, a horrible punt, and an offense with just one good drive for a quarter and a half.
In the end, the OU passing game was nonexistent, too many physical and mental errors, and the Sooners couldn’t stop Kansas on an 80-yard drive with under two minutes to play, giving up several explosive plays including one on fourth down. The Sooners had 49 seconds to drive the field a ‘la Texas. The Sooners reached the Kansas 23 but that’s where the undefeated season ended.