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The Road Warrior Report - Kansas Review - October 16, 2022

The Road Warrior Report - Kansas Review - October 16, 2022


NORMAN – It’s amazing the difference one person makes. From a unit with literally no prospect of success without Dillon Gabriel in the Cotton Bowl last Saturday, the Sooner offense transformed into a juggernaut with him yesterday. The Sooners racked up over 700 yards of offense in their 52-42 win over a ranked Kansas team on Owen Field Saturday afternoon.

Gabriel was as outstanding this week as the Sooner QBs were inept in Dallas. He went 29-43 for 403 yards, two TDs, and a pick. Marvin Mims led all receivers with nine catches for 106 yards. Brayden Willis had five for 102 and a score. Theo Wease had four for 56 and a TD, while Drake Stoops had four for 43. Jalil Farooq tallied four catches for 42 yards, while Eric Gray added two for 13. Gavin Freeman had a single, spectacular catch for 41 yards.


Gray had a stellar day running the ball, garnering 176 yards and two scores on 20 carries. Jovante Barnes continued to impress with 21 carries for 69 yards and two scores. Gabriel had 10 carries for 37 yards and a score, while Stoops had a carry for no gain and Willis had three for -7.

The Sooners took the opening kickoff and started at their own 21. After Gabriel failed to connect with Mims on first down, he hit Wease on the next play for 11 yards, then Willis for a rumbling 38 that set OU up at the KU 30. Stoops caught one for 14, then Gabriel ran for seven and hit Mims for five and a first down at the Kansas four-yard line. Barnes took it in from there three plays later, and the Sooners had their first lead since September 17 in Lincoln. It was 7-0 Sooners with 12:14 to play in the first quarter.

The Jayhawks answered right back with a six-play, 75 yard TD drive that made it 7-7 with 9:35 to play in the first quarter. The Sooners responded by taking the lead right back with a 75-yard TD drive of their own. The big plays were a 14-yard connection to Willis, a 12-yarder to Farooq, and a 25-yard Gray run. The scoring play came from Gray, carrying it in from two yards out, and it was 14-7 Sooners with 7:13 to play in the first quarter.


KU again answered, this time with a nine-play, 65-yard TD drive. That score made it 14-14 with 2:39 to play in the first quarter. Gabriel fumbled it away to the Jayhawks on the ensuing possession, but the Sooner defense forced a three-and-out. OU would then take a lead it would not relinquish.

Stoops took a jet sweep 14 yards, then Barnes ran for seven. Gabriel then hit Mims for 12 before Freeman made a diving catch of a deep pass for 41 yards to the Kansas six. Barnes carried it in on the next play, and the Sooners led 21-14 with 14:26 to play in the second quarter.

After an exchange of punts, the Sooners picked up their first turnover of the day. KU QB Jason Bean was picked off by C.J. Coldon on a wild play where Coldon leapt impossibly high to tip the pass, then corralled it while lying flat on his back on the ground at the OU 35. OU would take advantage, as six plays later Gabriel would hit Wease for 24 yards and a TD that made it 28-14 with 5:42 to play in the second quarter.


After another KU three-and-out, the Sooners extended their lead. Taking over at their own 46, OU scored in only three plays. Mims caught one for 33 yards on the first play of the drive. Then Gray took it in from the 21, but it was called back by a questionable holding penalty. Undaunted, the Sooners ran the same play again, and Gray took it in again, this time from 28 yards out. The Sooners led 35-14 with 2:40 to play in the second quarter.

KU used a couple of big plays to spark a TD drive that cut the Sooner lead to 35-21 with 1:36 to play in the second quarter. The Sooners tried to answer before the half, and used a 35-yard run from Gray, a 21-yard completion to Farooq, and a 15-yarder to Mims to reach the Kansas one-yard line with eight seconds to play in the half. After some weird clock gymnastics, OU ended up getting stuffed on two runs from the one and ended up with no points. The game went to halftime with OU leading 35-21.

The second half started about as well as the Sooners could have hoped. KU’s Bean was picked off by DeShaun White at the KU 47 on the opening possession. Gray then ran for six and Gabriel hit Stoops for 15. Gray ran twice for eight, then Gabriel carried for one. Two plays later, Gabriel hit Willis down to the KU one. Gabriel snuck it in from there and it was 42-21 with 10:16 to play in the third quarter.


After a KU punt on the ensuing possession, Gabriel threw his first interception of the season. That set up a short KU TD drive that made it 42-28 with 5:56 to play in the third.

OU answered with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. That march was capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Gabriel to Willis. The Sooner lead was 49-28 with 2:36 to play in the third.

After a KU punt, Gabriel fumbled it away again to the Jayhawks at the OU 28. KU scored seven plays later, and it was 49-35 with 10:33 to play in the game. The Sooners would add a field goal on a long-clock-eating drive that made it 52-35 with 5:18 to play in the game. KU would add a TD with 3:31 left before the Sooners recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock for a 52-42 Homecoming win.

OU now takes a well-deserved and much-needed week off before returning to action a week from Saturday in Ames, Iowa against the Cyclones. See you in Ames!

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