No. 14/13 Sooners Roll Past Kansas, 62-7
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the third time in the last four games, Kansas relied on its freshman quarterback and wide receiver combo to put points on the board as the Jayhawks fell to No. 14/13 Oklahoma, 62-7, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Kansas’ (0-8, 0-5 Big 12) freshman quarterback Ryan Willis found fellow classmate wide receiver Tyler Patrick in the end zone for a 17-yard strike early in the second quarter for the Jayhawks’ lone score. Willis finished the game completing 20-of-34 of his passes for 181 yards and one touchdown. Patrick led KU with five receptions for 46 yards.
The Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) relied on the arm of quarterback Baker Mayfield who completed 84 percent (27-of-32) of his passes good for 383 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was on the receiving end of 11 of those passes for a game-high 183 yards. Running back Samaje Perine added 90 yards on the ground and two scores of his own to amount to Oklahoma’s 710 total yards of offense on the day – the most yards a KU team has given up since 2013 when Baylor amassed 743 total yards.
Two different OU quarterbacks combined for 445 passing yards, while running back Alex Ross rushed for 103 yards to add to the 265-yard effort the Sooners put forth on the ground.
Oklahoma jumped out to an early 21-point lead in the first quarter after Mayfield connected with three different receivers in the end zone. Oklahoma’s defensive presence was just as impressive after holding Kansas to three three-and-outs on its first four possessions of the game.
The Jayhawks found life following a Sooner miscue by Shepard when he a muffed a punt by punter/kicker junior Matthew Wyman with 1:06 left in the first quarter. KU recovered the ball at the OU 29-yard line and six plays later Willis connected with Patrick for a 17-yard touchdown six seconds into the second quarter to pull within two scores of Oklahoma, 21-7.
OU scored 17-unanswered points on its three possessions in the second quarter amounting to a 31-point lead at the half, 38-7. Mayfield finished the half 22-of-27 for 332 yards and three touchdowns, while Perine scored two on the ground.
Kansas was led by Willis and Patrick, who hooked up for 32 of KU’s 80 passing yards of the half including the Jayhawks lone score.
Oklahoma’s defense shut out the Jayhawks in the second half while allowing 107 total yards and forcing two turnovers. The Sooners took advantage of those opportunities and scored 24 points in the final two quarters to close out the game, 62-7.
Kansas heads south to start a two-game road swing in the Lone Star state as the Jayhawks take on the Longhorns of Texas Saturday Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Fans can watch the action live on the Longhorn Network and the Jayhawk Television Network, or tune in to the Jayhawk Radio Network for an audio broadcast.
Kansas head coach David Beaty
Q. Coach, up front, the offensive line has to give the push to get things going. Seems like it came down to the trenches. Your inability to get the run game seemed to stall the offense.
COACH BEATY: Yeah, we have got to do a better job in the run game, there’s no doubt about that. Trying to establish the run. It will help us become efficient on first down that gives your play-caller a little bit better opportunity on second and third to be in a manageable third down instead of being in long sticks all the time.
That’s always the challenge. Doesn’t matter what team you are. You’re always trying to be efficient on first down. When you don’t have that run game going, it makes it difficult. Absolutely we have got to do that. We have got to do a better job up front. We’ve got to do a better job running it. I thought there was a couple times we could have broken a tackle that would have helped us with an unblocked safety. We’ve got to get better all around.
Q. We continue to look at the maturation process of your young quarterback. He stays in there the entire game, takes his lumps. You talk to him. What do you continue to see in his development?
COACH BEATY: Each week there’s some things that you see that become bright spots for you, but there’s also things that we have to continue to eliminate. We had another turnover today. We have to do a good job of taking care of that football. We had a couple turnovers that were really at bad, inopportune times that put our defense in some bad situations.
The defense held them, they got a field goal out of the last one. We have to do a good job of protecting possession. We said that earlier in the year. You want to become competitive fast. You have to be the smartest team in the country, create the fewest penalties on your side, do a good job of managing the turnover ratio. We haven’t done that real well. Obviously, you have to do better in the kicking game. You know what, I thought we actually played pretty good in the kicking game today. That was one of the lone bright spots.
Q. Special teams is a bright spot today. Coverage units seemed to kind of give you some things to build on.
COACH BEATY: Yeah, those guys have been working very hard on that. I thought Matthew Wyman was a very bright spot for us. He did a nice job of downing that last kick for us inside the one there. He punted the ball well all day. He did a nice job for us.
Q. Efficiency out of the quarterback position for Oklahoma, what made him get kind of into a groove?
COACH BEATY: Well, I think they saw some things obviously that they could exploit with the passing game. They threw for 445 yards against us, which was the bulk of what they did.
They’re a really good run team. That was something you really had to keep your eye on as you started the game out.
When that happened, I thought there were holes in our underneath coverage. We didn’t address them quick enough. I think that’s what led to some of those first downs when we had them on some long sticks on third down.
Q. Fight to the finish, how did that go today?
COACH BEATY: You know what, that’s something we have to do. We coach it every week. We coach it as hard as anything, whatever the situation is. Talking about energy, taking it all the way to the very end.
I thought they improved in that area today. I thought our defense got a turnover late, which was good. That means they kept playing. Our special teams got a down punt down there inside the one, which was good.
But we have a lot of areas we got to get better at. There’s no excuses.
Q. The very first play, do you think that had anything to do with them expecting you to be so worried about the run?
COACH BEATY: Probably. I think we’ve been struggling a little bit out there on the corner with some of those deep balls. I think they may have seen that as a way to get a quick start. Obviously that paid off for them. They made a really good play.
That was a really good play by that receiver. The ball was underthrown. Looked like it was a back shoulder. He made a nice play on it.
Q. You had Baker Mayfield on the run a lot to start the game, yet he still managed to make big plays. Was that deflating for the defense?
COACH BEATY: You know, early I was encouraged. Looked like we were creating some pressure on him. He was able to duck under some things and create some extended plays, which I’ve watched him since he was at the other place he was at. He can do some things with his feet.
We’ve got to be able to get him down there. There were a couple times we were close, had our hands on him. We weren’t able to get him down. He’s a slippery guy, no doubt about that. I think he found some efficiency in the passing game today that he had not enjoyed up to that point, at least to that rate. He’s a good player.
He understands Lincoln’s (Riley) offense. You can tell. He was very comfortable out there with the way he was communicating with his guys, putting people in the right spots. I know the system. I have an idea where he’s putting people. The kid knows what he’s doing. He’s been trained well. I can see why he won the job.
Q. Chevy Graham had a sack that was overturned into an incomplete pass, did not getting that stop hurt the defense mentally?
COACH BEATY: I guess as you look back on it, it was probably a key play in the game. We were I want to say in a second and 32 at some point. When you’re at second and 32, you got to be able to get off the field without giving up points. That series led to a touchdown.
They got a big play there that was reversed obviously that we talked about. There’s some things on that specific play that if we do differently, that thing is not going to get reversed because we’re there quicker.
It’s a matter of just executing correctly, guys trusting it, moving with good eye control. If we do that, we’re in better shape.
From that point forward, I thought there were some other things that could have helped us drop anchor there and we just weren’t able to do it. That was a big deal. It took us up to 31 at that point. Then from there we moved, offensively we slid one time right before half, but with very little time left, about six inches before the sticks.
I know we’ve got a young quarterback. But you know what, that’s not an excuse. We got to get the first down there. We have to punt it back. Our defense has been struggling against a good offensive unit. They wind up going down there and scoring. Get a couple big plays.
We’re going to go back and look at it. There’s one play in particular on that drive where if we trust our technique, lined up in the right spot, instead of being inside, we are outside where we are supposed to be, man free, we’re going to be in good shape. When you don’t do that, you give up some big plays at times. It changes the game. Now it’s 38 instead of 31. That’s a big play in the game. Those are big points in the game.
We got to overcome. We’ve got to be able to overcome those and do a better job of getting off the field. We have to get off the field better defensively, period. We can’t get them off the field. We got to do a better job of trying to convert on third down.
Q. The receivers dropped a couple of passes today, is that a concern moving forward or do you think it was just one of those days?
COACH BEATY: Our receivers have done a pretty good job catching the ball. I’m a little bit different. Maybe it’s because I’m an old receiver coach. Some of those drops y’all call drops, I don’t call drops. We’re going to have some opportunities we’ve got to be able to go out and get balls.
There was one to Austin (Moses) over there, tough catch. He has to extend to it. You’d like to see him make that play, but he didn’t. We got to come back and make some other plays.
Our guys, we have to make sure we make some plays when we get the opportunity to do it. There were some drops. We got to be able to convert those plays right there.
Q. Fish (Smithson) had his fifth double-figure tackling game today. What are his challenges and things he continues to try to perfect each week?
COACH BEATY: Fish did a good job in the tackle game again. I thought they did a pretty good job, particularly early in the game, the run game. Given how potent those guys are running the football, which is why he was throwing it so much. One of the reasons is I thought they did a pretty decent job on first and second down on the run game. They’re good now in the run game.
We got some stops there. Fish did a good job of being a guy that was down there. We changed some things this week to be able to get him down there, which was good. There’s some things he has to get cleaned up. He knows that. He made some mistakes in the game today just like the rest of them, one of which I know he’ll learn a great deal from.
Q. Dorance Armstrong seemed to get a lot of action today, is he another one of the freshmen who is coming along quickly?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I think he is. I was pleased with him last week because I thought he did some things in the run game. He’s a big, long guy. Those guys usually, when they’re young, you just put them off the edge and let them run. You don’t bring them underneath very often with the tackles. He did a good job last week.
I didn’t feel him as much today. I’m going to have to watch the tape. With a guy with that type of skill set, we got to be able to get some more production out of him.
I didn’t see the numbers. I know we got to him a couple times. He runs that hoop pretty good. We call it the hoop. He was creating some pressure, which is good. He’s fast. He gets around there.
It’s good to see some production out of him, but we need more from him, we really do, all of rest of them. Anthony (Olobia) got close a couple times. Got to be able to run that hoop better and be able to capitalize on those sacks there.
Q. You have played Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma and still have TCU left. Are you able to say which of those teams is the best or is that unfair at this point?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, honestly in all those games we played some really good opponents. These guys are some of the best teams in the country. For a couple of quarters there, you’re able to get a really good look at them.
Every one of them are good. They bring something different to the table. I just walked into the locker room and just saw the final score of the Texas Tech-Oklahoma State game. Both those offenses can score. It was crazy. 63-43 or something like that.
I think Oklahoma State is a really good football team. I think this is a really good football team that we just played. TCU, well, we haven’t played them yet, but I watched them the other night. They’ve got a Superman at quarterback. There are lots of good players in this conference. It’s a really good conference.
I think one of the things that is exciting for our conference is really those matchups are really yet to come, which if you look at the schedule, how it plays out, most of those matchups are still yet to come. Going to be some good football in the Big 12 down the stretch.
Q. Tyler Patrick is another player who had a “first” today as he scored his first touchdown. How exciting was that for him?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I think it was good. It was really good. When he came to the sideline, I thought he was going to pass out. He was screaming so loud, so excited about getting into the end zone. That kid has steadily improved. We continue to kind of move people over in front of him every now and then. He just makes you play him.
He made some nice plays today. That ball got close to him, he did a great job of concentrating on that touchdown. The kid tried to undercut him. You got to concentrate. It was almost a distraction-type deal. He made a great play. Almost got loose on a couple more of those today, too.
I know it was exciting for him. We got to build on it. We got to be able to score more. Right now I’d say one of my most disappointing things is that offensively our production is not what I expect. It’s got to be a lot better than what it is. We have to be able to score more points than what we are scoring. We’re just not getting it done right now. We got to find a way to get that done.
In this league, everybody can score. We’ve got to be able to score. So we got to get that fixed in a hurry.
Q. Did you think you would be able to score more?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, I mean, they are a good unit. There’s no doubt about that. There’s some opportunities that we continue to leave out there game in, game out. I’m sure we’ll see some of them on video tonight.
I thought we’d be able to score a little bit, then have to play really good on defense to be able to keep that thing tight and try to get it to the fourth quarter.
They’re a good football team. When they started ramping that thing up and got it rolling, we weren’t able to match it. That is what it is. They’re a good football team. We weren’t able to produce at the rate we need to.
We got to get better offensively. I said it again, there’s no excuses. I know we started two freshmen on both tackles today. I think we had six freshmen playing on the offensive side, which is good.
They’re getting experience. They got to continue to get better. We’re never, ever going to use that as an excuse. They know what to do. We got to get them to start playing better.
Q. Is not scoring more something you can work on each week in practice or how are you going about making changes there?
COACH BEATY: Yeah, there is. You have to always be looking at what you’re doing and trying to find out what is causing you to be inefficient. Sometimes you have to look at what’s on that board and how much time it’s taking you to rep all of that.
Sometimes you’re carrying too much into the game plan. Sometimes you’re not carrying enough. Sometimes you don’t have the right beaters to be able to take advantage of what they’re doing. Sometimes you might think you might be able to hold up a little bit better in protection than you are actually able to.
You just got to make sure that you do a good job of continuing to look to see how you can help them guys be in a better position to execute.
Defensively I think that’s probably where, as I look at it, there’s a lot of ‘what if’ type deals. If we just come down outside here, we’re going to be able to get off the field there.
Offensively I think there’s been some times where we just didn’t perform as well as the man over us. Either they covered us, we weren’t able to get open, we weren’t able to protect, not because we didn’t do something technically well, but maybe we got overpowered at times.
I can live with some of that every now and then. We got to do a better job of putting them in position if we know we’re getting overpowered. Those guys are working at it. Every one of them are working at it. The bottom line is we got to work harder at it and try to find a way to create more offense because we’re not doing that the way we need to be able to do it.
Q. Clyde McCauley got his first start at left tackle today, how did you think he performed?
COACH BEATY: There were some good things with him. I saw him a couple times on the edge. That (Eric) Striker kid is pretty good. I watched him come off the edge a couple times. That No. 40 is pretty good.
He did some good things. I think some of our problems, and I got to look at the tape, some of those things came from the interior. Initially I thought we were handling protection pretty good initially in the game. But it will be interesting to see how both those young guys played, Larry (Hughes) and Clyde. I didn’t hear a lot about Clyde throughout the game, which might be a good sign, but I got to take a look at the tape to be able to tell you.
Q. Fish leads the Big 12 in tackles in conference games and is second on the season, is that something he prides himself on or is it something that he just considers part of his job?
COACH BEATY: I think, knowing Fish, he just goes and does his job. He is a super kid. He had a mistake today. He came off the sideline, man, he looked me in the eye and said, Coach, there’s no excuse. That’s my fault.
I mean, it’s just the type of kid that he is. I know that he’s not going to make that same mistake again. He’s a kid that you really like to have out there.
We just got to keep working on trying to cultivate his skills to where he can be faster and get guys covered a little bit better on third down. He’s a guy I love having on this team. There’s a reason why he’s thought so highly of.
Y’all have a great one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Kansas junior kicker/punter Matthew Wyman
On his position as a punter:
“I’m slowly learning and practicing. I’ve been messing around with my drops. Coach Hyman always says he doesn’t want me becoming a punter, he just wants me to kick it hard. That’s what I do. Sometimes it spirals and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t spiral, sometimes they have a harder time catching it, as we saw today when they fumbled it. It’s like a knuckleball. I’m slowly getting used to it and it’s getting me on the field.”
On being an “unorthodox” punter:
“I’m not the ordinary punter, the ball rotates a bit different and the returners freak out a bit when it’s moving around. It’s helping and I’m still getting used to it.”
On expectations from Coach Gary Hyman:
“He doesn’t want me thinking about it too much. I tend to be better when I just go out there, drop it and kick it. He doesn’t want me thinking about dropping it here or practicing too much in pregame he just wants me to do it. That’s when I’m best.”
On his teammates on punt coverage:
“Our coverage unit has been great. They’ve been helping me out when I haven’t been punting like I need to. They’re really good, I’m pleased with them.”
On the mood of this team:
“We’re on to the next game. This game is over and we have to move on. I think it’s all going to click, it’ll just take time. We’re not as bad as the scoreboard shows and it’s going to click one day and we’re going to go.”
Kansas junior safety Fish Smithson
On Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield:
“He did a great job of taking bad plays and turning them into a good ones. But also he didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
On Oklahoma’s running game:
“I feel like we did our job. There’s always ways to get better. Oklahoma does a good job. They had some good receives and catches out there.”
On missing plays:
“Just owning up to when we personally miss a play we should have made. I just try to play confidently, not giving up plays or letting my teammates down. That’s how I look at it. So I stood up and said, ‘My bad coach that was me,’ and I try to just give a better effort.”
Kansas RS senior running back Taylor Cox
On the difficulty of establishing the run throughout the game.
“Hats off to those guys. Oklahoma made a lot of good plays. They really just came to play today.”
On freshman quarterback Ryan Willis’ demeanor and continued positivity:
“I think that’s just his personality. He keeps smiling and keeps his positivity throughout the game. That’s who he is.”
On the team’s ability to move on from losses week-to-week and if spirits are still high:
“Definitely they are. Coach just preaches to focus on each game as its own entity. Focus on one game at a time. This one’s over and it’s time to move to the next.”
Kansas senior defensive end Ben Goodman, Jr.
On Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield’s ability to break away and run:
“He just made some tremendous plays out there. I give him a lot of credit, he threw the ball well and they had their run-game going so I think it kick-started the offense.”
On Kansas’ ability to defend the run early on:
“I think we did pretty good, but they actually ended up passing the ball a lot, so we need to do a better job at stopping the pass and getting a better pass rush and better coverage. We need to be on the same page as a whole.”
On Kansas’ defense troubles with getting off the field on third down:
“It’s a combination of everybody. It’s the pass rush and the coverage. You can’t just key in on one thing, we just need to do a better job.”
On the ability to continue to have high spirits week-after-week:
“You just have to stay positive, especially as a leader and a captain, you can’t let the younger guys see you down. You just have to keep chopping wood. Like coach Beaty said, eventually things are going to turn.”
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
“First, I just want to say, I think the world for Coach (David) Beaty. He’s doing all the right things here, it takes time. He came in a tough situation but again I know their guys over there and some of their coaches, they will stay positive and continue to work with these guys. I’m proud of our players how they came in and how well we prepared during the week to be a better team than we were a week ago. On most respects, I thought we came out and did that and executed well. Players deserve the credit for making the plays. Offensively Sterling (Shepard) had some big plays early. I thought Baker Mayfield again, decision making, handing the ball off, throwing quick options, he is really doing a great job with all of that. I thought Samaje (Perine) was special as well as the o-line. Defensively, I thought we were outstanding, the only points we surrendered were off of the real short field after the muffed punt but even then, we thought we had them on third down. Our defensive back just misjudged the throw a little bit and they caught it and scored but you know, that’s going to happen. But I thought special teams were solid again, so it was a real good day.”
On Offensive efficiency:
“Yeah, I thought the execution was excellent. Run and pass; I thought Baker’s (Mayfield) decision making of handing the ball off, when he throws it out, when he changes the play, he changed some plays up there, his decision making has was outstanding.”
On if confidence has been an issue all season:
“No, I don’t think that has been an issue. I think the biggest challenge last week was is what do we have to do to be better this week, regardless of who we are playing and what the whole outside world wants to say; what can we do to get better? Our guys practiced hard, came out here and played hard, smart, executed well and played in a better way.”
On depth at wide receiver:
“Yeah, those guys are all getting better, making improvement, being more consistent to add to a big play guy like Sterling (Shepard). So there are more of them making plays.”
“They were excellent, like I said the only points that they surrendered were off of the short field. In fact, I don’t think they were in the red zone after that, so they played great. I thought our guys up front were very disruptive and across the board they tackled and executed well.”
Oklahoma junior CB Dakota Austin
On how practices have been:
“Practice has been getting more intense anyways because November is about to be a tough month. We just want to build more depth at every position and if anyone goes down, we know that good guys are coming in.”
On the team’s defensive performance today:
“Other than my touchdown, I think we did pretty good. We were pretty solid, it wasn’t just a great opponent but it was more about us today and we played great as a unit”
On almost pitching a shutout:
“We played a great game. There’s always areas to improve and we are getting better in some of the smaller areas, that will be big for us come November.”
On what he improved upon today:
“I think just playing in press and getting more comfortable with it. I’m usually comfortable in that but everything is different in the game, so getting to play press in the game and getting a feel for how it actually is at actual speeds.”
Oklahoma senior WR Sterling Shepard
On how the defense loading the box helps him as a receiver:
“(We) did a great job running the ball, so you have no choice but to load the box because you have to stop (Samaje) Perine and Joe Mixon. It definitely helps us wide-outs a lot and we have to continue to win one-on-one battles and make competitive catches. I feel like the guys did a great job of that today.”
On how well the offense is playing right now:
“I feel like we are putting things together. Things are starting to gel and we are just continuing to build each and every week. During practice, guys are focused and that’s the main thing I see out of this group of guys. That is something we have to continue to do.”
On the team’s offensive confidence:
“We’re pretty confident but the guys have an attitude that we have to continue to get better. We’re not at the spot that we want to be. We know that we can be better and still see some things that we can fine-tune. As good as it’s looking, it can look better.”
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.