At halftime, the grade would have been close to an F, after two interceptions and a fumble by Rhett Bomar in the Sooners first seven drives. But the redshirt freshman made several plays down the stretch that led to OU's only offensive touchdown. He had two big completions to Malcolm Kelly on well thrown sideline routes, including the first touchdown pass to a wide receiver this season.
Bomar also spread his receptions around, hitting ten different receivers in the game and wound up hitting more than 50 percent of his passes for just over 200 yards. Not great, but enough to seal his first victory away from home.
Balancing the bad and the good, Bomar gets an average grade for this contest.
It made no sense to try and use Adrian Peterson, and that idea was fortunately put to rest before halftime after AD recorded minus four yards on five carries. The Sooners did absolutely nothing on the ground in the first half, but Kejuan Jones and Donta Hickson provided some important runs in the second half as OU sealed the victory.
Neither managed to average four yards a carry in the game, but each had key runs for double digits that kept drives alive. Jones also hauled in a sideline pass and turned it into a big gain of 35 yards.
Allen Patrick made his first appearance in the backfield, but it was a brief one. OU totaled just 85 yards rushing, which included 21 yards in losses on sacks of Bomar.
Like Bomar, the line was on their way to flunking out of school in this one at halftime. But some changes in the second half led to a couple of solid drives, where OU running backs actually got to the line of scrimmage before being hit and quarterback Bomar was able to stand still in the pocket.
Davin Joseph was pulled after suffering a neck strain and career squad man Brett Rayl replaced him. Despite getting caught downfield illegally on a successful pass play, Rayl provided some key blocks on the Sooners lone offensive touchdown drive. The alignment down the stretch also had true freshman Jon Cooper in the game.
Still no gaping holes for the running backs, but improved blocking in the second half, as the Sooners dominated time of possession for the first time this year.
Grade: C –
With Travis Wilson missing the game because of injury, Bomar turned to Jejuan Rankins as his favored receiver, as Rankins caught four passes for 32 yards.
Late in the game, Malcolm Kelly began to show why he is expected to be a star, making two clutch plays and getting his first career touchdown. Other than that, it was a spotty performance for the rest of the wide receivers, as they appeared to run incomplete or incorrect routes on a number of occasions. Manuel Johnson also failed to make a goal line catch that would have been a touchdown. Paul Thompson also showed his inexperience, getting an offensive pass interference penalty near the end zone.
Tight ends Joe Jon Finley and Bubba Moses made the most of their limited opportunities, getting big catches on the fourth quarter scoring drive.
Kelly's late heroics provide hope for the future, but overall, the performance by the receivers was spotty.
For a moment early in the game, it looked like the impotent Kansas offense was actually going to move the ball against OU. That didn't last, as the Sooners front limited the Jayhawks to just 1.3 yards a carry and just 28 yards rushing.
C.J. Ah You, Calvin Thibodeaux, Carl Pendleton, Remi Ayodele and Dusty Dvoracek all provided pressure throughout the evening, contributing to the five sacks on quarterback Brian Luke, and forcing a fumble that Thibodeaux recovered deep in KU territory.
Another solid performance up front.
Rufus Alexander made one of the key plays of the game, wrangling the football away from KU tight end Derek Fine at the goal line for an interception to stop an early scoring attempt in the second half. Clint Ingram also picked up another interceptions and Zach Latimer also helped on the blitz, deflecting passes and provided coverage in the flat.
They didn't need to be as active as normal, which is a sign that the defensive front four was manhandling the Jayhawks line and the secondary was doing their job as well.
More quality play from the Sooners linebackers.
The much-maligned secondary had its best game of the season and provided the only touchdown the Sooners could muster for more than three quarters.
D. J. Wolfe intercepted an early Brian Luke pass and made a spectacular cross-country runback for a 65-yard score. Wolfe also played solid in coverage.
Give the pass rush a lot of credit for Luke hitting just 11-of-30 passes for just 86 yards, but also give the secondary some props for limiting the KU receivers after the few catches they made.
No problems with the secondary effort in this one.
Strangely enough, this was the worst overall effort of the season by the Sooners' special teams.
In the kicking game, Garrett Hartley was up and down, missing two of four field goals and an extra-point attempt. He did hit two 40-yard efforts, salvaging the night somewhat.
Cody Freeby showed his all-around game, completing a shuffle pass to Russell Dennison on a fake field goal attempt and making a possible touchdown saving stop on a Charles Gordon punt return. The Sooners' punt coverage team didn't do a good job on a couple of returns by Gordon, and on the punt receiving team, OU sometimes looked like the Keystone Cops, as Wolfe knocked Rankins out of the way when he was attempting a fair catch, and Rankins muffed a punt deep in his own territory.
Reggie Smith returned his only kickoff 25 yards. Rankins totaled just four yards on four punt returns.
OU-Kansas Grade Card
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