Sooners Use Big 2nd Half to Top Jayhawks

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Despite outgaining No. 2/3 Oklahoma and leading at half, the Kansas Jayhawks came up just short Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, falling to the Sooners 35-23 in front of 26,321 fans on a gloomy fall day.

The Sooners outscored the Jayhawks 21-6 in the fourth quarter and officially put the game out of reach with 42 seconds left when running back Kennedy Brooks scored on a four-yard rush to give Oklahoma a two-score lead.

Oklahoma stayed unbeaten with the win and improved to 8-0 on the season and 5-0 in conference play. The Jayhawks fell to 1-6 and 0-4 in the Big 12.

Kansas came out on fire to open the game and drove 80 yards on 14 plays, capping it with a 1-yard touchdown run from freshman Devin Neal to give the home team an early 7-0 lead. The opening drive took 9 minutes and 11 seconds off the clock for the Jayhawks as the Sooners didn’t get the ball for the first time until there were less than six minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Jayhawks added three more points in the second quarter when kicker Jacob Borcila connected on a 28-yard field goal to cap a 12-play, 69-yard drive. Borcila’s kick made it 10-0, which stood as the score at halftime.

In the first half, Oklahoma had just three drives and 17 total offensive plays. The Jayhawks forced a punt on the opening drive, got an interception from safety Ricky Thomas Jr., on the second possession and then turned the Sooners over on downs on the third. Coming into the game, Oklahoma led the Big 12 in both scoring offense and total offense, but ran just 17 plays for 53 yards in the first half.

The Sooners got on the scoreboard in the third quarter when quarterback Caleb Williams connected with Jadon Haselwood for a 5-yard touchdown pass to cap a 14-play, 75-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock.

But the Jayhawks responded later in the quarter when Neal scored from one yard out for the second time in the game to extend the lead to 17-7 with 1:30 to play in the third. Oklahoma answered right back, needing just three plays to go 75 yards and scoring on an eight-yard pass from Williams to Jeremiah Hall.

The Sooners then scored the next two touchdowns courtesy of a rush from Brooks and one from Williams to take a 28-17 lead.

But Kansas wasn’t done. The Jayhawks quickly went 75 yards on five plays and scored when quarterback Jason Bean found Luke Grimm for a 14-yard touchdown pass to cut it to 28-23.

But the Sooners iced the game with Brooks’ touchdown run to squeak out the win.

Bean finished with 246 passing yards and a touchdown on 17 of 23 passing. He also added 59 rushing yards on 14 carries. Neal had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with exactly 100 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

Super-senior receiver Kwamie Lassiter II had the second 100-yard game of his career, hauling in seven catches for 101 yards. Redshirt freshman Lawrence Arnold added four catches for 73 yards. Grimm had three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Kenny Logan Jr., led the way with career-high 14 tackles. The Jayhawks had three sacks in the game with Gavin Potter, Kyron Johnson and Caleb Sampson each recording one.

The Jayhawks will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Oklahoma State. Game time is set for 6 p.m., on FS1.