OU film review: Game 7

It wasn't all pretty, but the Sooners found a way to come through in a 34-19 win at Kansas.

Every play matters but some stick out more than others. Each week Sooners Illustrated will look at the five plays that stood out in Oklahoma's performance. This week it's OU's 34-19 victory at Kansas.

Play No. 1: Sims gashes Sooners for 20 yards

The first part of the game illustrated a huge problem the OU defense is going to have from this point forward. The rush defense is leaving a lot to be desired, and KU running back James Sims exploited that early and often.

Facing a second-and-eight from OU's 29 yard line, it was nothing fancy. Sims up the middle, and he nearly took it to the end zone. Aaron Colvin stopped the touchdown.

Sims rushed for 129 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. And if KU didn't abandon the run game in the second quarter, there's no telling how this game would have gone.

OU coach Bob Stoops said the problem wasn't the nose tackle position, though. The problem is somewhere, though, and the Sooners must fix it now.

Play No. 2: Bell connects with Saunders

After the first quarter, there was no reason to believe OU's pass offense had made any strides. Quarterback Blake Bell was still having issues.

He threw an interception that was called back because of a pass interference penalty to give OU a first down at KU's 39.

What followed was the best pass Bell has thrown since Notre Dame, a 25-yard strike to Jalen Saunders. Instead of having happy feet and backing up or throwing off his back foot, Bell stepped into it and delivered a strike.

Later in the drive Bell found Jaz Reynolds for a 16-yard touchdown, one of two touchdown passes for Bell on the day.

Play No. 3: Dimon blocks punt

Things were starting to go in the right direction following the Reynolds touchdown. It cut the KU lead to 13-6, and the OU defense forced the Jayhawks to punt deep in their own territory.

OU special teams coach Jay Boulware said he saw something earlier in the week that led him to believe that if he rushed hard with bigger, stronger players that they could get there.

They did as freshman Matt Dimon got through and blocked the punt that resulted in a safety and started a string of events that gave OU the momentum.

Play No. 4: Bester-to-Shepard

The only obvious play, right? Of course this had to be included. On the first play from scrimmage after the safety, OU went into its bag of tricks with a reverse pass.

OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell gave Sterling Shepard a lot of credit for selling the play early and not giving it away.

LaColtan Bester threw a beautiful deep ball, arguably the best long pass thrown by the Sooners this season. He caught Shepard in stride for the 49-yard score.

Play No. 5: Bell misfires on fourth down

OU was up 25-13 midway through the third quarter when Stoops was looking to put the game away. OU faced a fourth-and-two from KUs' 29.

No hesitation, go for it. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel dialed a great call that left Aaron Ripkowski wide open coming across the field.

It looked as if Bell saw Ripkowski but pulled it down. Then he backpedaled and eventually threw an interception.

Saturday was a step in the right direction for Bell and the offense but this play showed there is still a lot more to be done and to be improved on for the offense.


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