Welcome to another day of Kansas football coverage here at KUsports.com. As usual, nothing will come easily for the Jayhawks today. Happy Halloween and homecoming day, you get to face No. 14 Oklahoma.
I'm curious if KU fans think there is a chance of this game being close — even if only for a half.
I'm picking Oklahoma, 55-20.
The biggest story to follow today figures to be just how much damage does Oklahoma sophomore Samaje Perine do today.
A year ago, Perine was historically dominant, setting an FBS record with 427 rushing yards.
OU knows Kansas struggles against the run, and the winless Jayhawks will have to prove they can slow down Perine.
I talked with RB De'Andre Mann this week about KU's run production — or lack thereof — the past few weeks. Mann made it clear how how disappointed the guys in the RB room — him, Taylor Cox, Ke'aun Kinner, Taylor Martin and coach Reggie Mitchell — are with their inability to bring more to the offense. They realize they need to play better in order to take some of the pressure off of Willis.
Some things to consider, in terms of the OU defense that Kansas will face today:
- Oklahoma owns the No. 2-rated defense in the Big 12 Conference: 20.0 points per game allowed.
- The Sooners have given up the third-fewest first downs in the league at 142.
- Opponents have averaged 338.0 (171.4 rushing and 166.6 passing) yards of total offense per game, which ranks second in the conference behind Oklahoma State (316.3).
- Teams have completed 67.7 percent of their passes for 1,166 yards and nine touchdowns.
- When opponents reach the red zone, they have scored 79 percent of the time (19-of-24), including 12 touchdowns.
- As a team, OU has forced 14 turnovers, including three fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions.
- Linebacker Dominique Alexander leads the team with 58 tackles and ranks fourth in the league in that category. Fellow linebacker Eric Striker ranks third in the Big 12 with 6.0 sacks and 10.5 TFLs.
- Jordan Thoms and Zack Sanchez have each picked off three passes.
Opening kickoff fielded by Alex Ross of OU, who bets all the way out to the Sooners' 37 yard line.
OU comes out gunning deep and Baker Mayfield hits a 41-yard pass down the sideline to Shepard.
Hey, Samaje Perine got 0 yards on his first carry.
QB Mayfield had to try and make something happen with his feet and went nowhere on 2nd down, as Daniel Wise took him down at the line of scrimmage.
On 3rd and 10, penalties on both KU and OU offset and they'll replay it. It would be a total KU football thing to happen if the Sooners score.
On 4th and 2 at KU's 14, Oklahoma elects to kick a 31-yard FG attempt from the left hash. The kick banged off the right upright. No good for Austin Seibert.
KU opens its first series at its own 20 after the missed FG and Mann gets a 1-yard carry.
More Mann on 2nd down, but again not much there for the sr. RB. Just a couple yards.
Willis hits Parmalee for just enough yardage to extend the drive. Solid start for Kansas here on Halloween.
Tyler Patrick gets involved early vs. OU with a 6-yard catch. Sets up 3rd and 4 for KU.
On 3rd and 4, Willis had Steven Sims Jr. open down the left sideline and overthrew him by a couple yards. Maybe overestimated Sims' speed.
Just 16 yards on that first series for Kansas but seemed like a positive possession. Of course would've been a lot better with a deep connection from Willis to Sims.
Wyman had a 52-yard punt, and KU coverage was there for just a 5-yard return.
Mayfield keeps it on an option read to open OU's second series and gains 15 yards to get the Sooners moving.