- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
A look at who was up and who was down in Oklahoma’s 52-7 win over Kansas on Saturday.
1. The Sooners' maturity: Several Sooners said after the game that this might be a different team than last year. Its focus and intensity while preparing for Kansas was a early sign of the eventual outcome. The atmosphere in the practices leading up to the game was much different than the atmosphere as OU prepared for Texas Tech in 2011, a game which the Sooners suffered an upset loss.
“The best thing about this week was I didn’t hear a word about Notre Dame,” center Gabe Ikard said about the preparation for the Jayhawks.
2. Landry Jones: After taking a lot of heat following OU’s loss to Kansas State, Jones has played like an elite quarterback against Texas Tech, Texas and Kansas. The senior is 65-of-105 for 871 yards, seven touchdowns and, most importantly, one interception in the past three games. The Sooners have gone 3-0 and outscored their opponents 129-15 in the first three quarters of those games.
3. OU’s No. 1 defense: Mike Stoops’ first-team defense has give up one touchdown in OU’s last three games. The Sooners have been dominant and improve every week under their new defensive coordinator. To make things even better, the Sooners have forced nine turnovers in those games after forcing one turnover in their first three contests.
1. Defensive depth: As good as the No. 1 defense has performed, the Sooners' No. 2 defense has allowed some big plays in garbage time. They gave up a 19-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to nullify OU’s shutout hopes and allowed 7 of 8 third down conversions in the fourth quarter against Kansas. It’s nit-picking at its best but most of those players are one play away from being thrown into the fire.
2. Offensive depth: After six straight possessions ended in touchdowns, the Sooners had four straight three-and-outs. And three of those occurred after Jones was replaced by Blake Bell. OU has a lot of young players on its second team, making finding a offensive rhythm difficult but it would have been good to see them have success like they did against Texas on Oct. 13 when they scored a touchdown after a 6-play, 56-yard drive.
3. Kickoffs: The Sooners had just one touchback on nine kickoffs. Michael Hunnicutt averaged 62.3 yards per kickoff on seven kickoffs while Nick Hodgson averaged 64 yards on his two attempts. Fortunately for the Sooners their kickoff coverage was outstanding as KU’s average starting position was its own 25-yard line.