LAWRENCE, KS – Oklahoma defeated Kansas here on Saturday, 41-3, in a pedestrian game that was marked by an onslaught of dumb. The dumb began, well, at the beginning, when Kansas refused to shake Baker Mayfield and the other Sooner captains’ hands. The dumb continued throughout the game, as Kansas took repeated cheap shots at Mayfield, including a second-quarter head shot three seconds after he released a pass that drew only a roughing the passer foul and not targeting. Mayfield himself contributed to the dumb (after much provocation, to be sure) when he grabbed his junk and yelled expletives at the Kansas bench after a third quarter TD. ESPN’s game crew (one of whom flipped off Auburn fans from the field while playing for Alabama, thus cementing his position as an arbiter of class in college football) reportedly spent much more time discussing Mayfield’s dumb than the Kansas dumb that should have resulted in an ejection from the game.
Through all the dumb, the Sooners throttled Kansas, as usual., although it took a while to get going. The gale force north wind in the first half had a lot to do with that, as it really negated any sort of vertical passing game for one quarter per team. Nevertheless, Mayfield did nothing on the field to hurt his runaway Heisman campaign, going 2-30 for 257 yards and three TDs. After having difficulty finding running room early against a tough Kansas defensive line, Rodney Anderson eventually led the Sooners with 77 yards rushing on 16 carries.
The Sooners took the opening kickoff, going into the wind, and moved it into KU territory before the drive was torpedoed by a bogus OPI call on Mark Andrews. The teams exchanged punts, and a CeeDee Lamb return of 21 yards set the Sooners up at the KU 41. Three plays later, on fourth and three from the KU 34, Mayfield scrambled right before finding Anderson late over the middle. Anderson did the rest, and it was 7-0 Sooners with 6:40 to play in the first quarter.
The teams would again exchange punts, before KU mounted its only scoring drive of the day. Taking over on the OU 39 after a short punt into the wind, the Jayhawks quickly moved to the Sooner 2. However, the Sooner defense pushed them back from there, and they had to settle for a field goal that would prove to be their only points of the day.
After a KU punt sandwiched by a pair of Sooner punts, the OU defense extracted their first of two turnovers on the day. Emmanuel Beal picked off a tipped pass at the KU 11 to set up the Sooner offense. Two plays later, Jordan Smallwood took it in from three yards out on the jet sweep and the Sooners led 14-3 with 7:27 to play in the first half.
After three more punts, the Sooners took over on their own 16 with 50 seconds left in the first half. Mayfield hit Dmitri Flowers for 30 yards on first down, plus 15 for the previously mentioned egregious roughing the passer penalty that should have been targeting. A defensive holding flag on the next play made it first down at the KU 29 with 24 seconds left. Anderson carried for five yards and the Sooners took a time out with 19 seconds left. On the next play, Marquise Brown took a tunnel screen from right to left and outran the Jayhawk defense to the end zone for the TD and a 21-3 halftime lead.
KU missed a field goal on their opening possession of the second half, then the teams exchanged punts. The Sooners took over on their own 18 with 7:55 to play in the third quarter. Mayfield hit Jeff Baden for 13 yards, Andrews for 13, Grant Calcaterra for 20, and Mykel Jones for 33 to the KU three. Mayfield then rolled left and hit Andrews for the TD and a 28-3 lead with 4:52 to play in the third quarter. This was immediately followed by Mayfield’s dumbness.
After a KU punt, the Sooners used an 11-play, 50-yard drive to notch a field goal with 13:58 to go in the game that made it 31-3. After a short KU punt on their next possession, OU took over at the Jayhawks 40. Mayfield hit Calcaterra for 15 yards, then Trey Sermon took it in from the 25, and it was 38-3 with 12:09 to play in the game. That was it for Mayfield, as Kyler Murray would come in for the remainder of the game. The Sooners would add a field goal with 4:39 to play to forge the final score of 41-3.
After all the dumb, at the end of the day, Mayfield is still going to win the Heisman in a runaway. He apologized in the post-game presser, as he should have. It wasn’t a good look. That said, given some of the things that the media pearl-clutchers were throwing our there after the game, you’d have thought he had, maybe ,stolen some crab legs, or sexually assaulted a girl, or taken money for autographs, or robbed a convenience store, or something like that. For those of you not paying attention, all of those things are things Heisman winners have done or been accused of, both recently and historically.
Saturday’s results secured first place in the conference regular season race for the Sooners, ensuring both a trip to Arlington a week from Saturday and the wearing of crimson jerseys at JerryWorld. The opponent is all but assured of being TCU.. Regardless of what happens Tuesday night when the CFP rankings come out, the fact remains – win the next two, and we’re in the playoff.
The regular season finale comes Saturday at 2:45 against West Virginia. The Mountaineers will be without starting QB Will Grier, who grotesquely broke a finger on his throwing hand in Saturday’s home loss to Texas. It’s Senior Day and Baker Mayfield’s last game on Owen Field. See you there.