Red-shirt freshman quarterback Michael Cummings made the first start of his career on Saturday, and even though his squad wound up on the wrong end of a 52-7 drubbing by the 10th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, Cummings managed to crack a smile when talking about his debut.
Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops scoffed when asked if his team spent any extra time earlier in the week looking at film of its next opponent, No. 5 Notre Dame.
Kansas football coach Charlie Weis talks following KU's 52-7 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 20, 2012.
It takes quite a while for a man who weighs 309 pounds to pick up a football and run 45 yards with it, which only served to prolong the pain of everyone on the opposite sideline watching the play that ended an unforgettable mini-series featuring Charlie Weis and Dayne Crist.
No. 10 Oklahoma's offense scored on its first six possessions while also adding a pair of special teams touchdowns, showing its dominance early and often in a 52-7 victory over Kansas on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.
KU's best opportunity to make the game competitive came late in the first quarter.
Following an OU fumble, the Jayhawks took over at the Sooners' 11-yard line trailing 10-0.
KU quarterback Dayne Crist threw behind a wide-open Tre' Parmalee on first down — Parmalee fell down after making the catch for a one-yard loss — then two plays later, Crist fumbled following a sack, with OU's Casey Walker recovering and returning it 45 yards to the KU 28.
From there, the rout was on.
In the second quarter, OU's Justin Brown returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-0, then the Sooners' Roy Finch returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score to start the second half to push his team's lead to 45-0.
It was the first time in Oklahoma history that the Sooners returned both a kickoff and punt for touchdown in the same game.
Both of KU's quarterbacks struggled.
Michael Cummings, who played in the first two series, was 10-for-21 for 111 yards with two interceptions. Crist, who alternated in throughout the game, was 3-for-6 for 13 yards with the costly fumble.
James Sims led KU in rushing with 28 carries for 102 yards and KU's only TD — a one-yard plunge with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter.
KU (1-6) will play host to Texas at 11 a.m. on Oct. 27.
Game Balls & Gassers
• Junior Josh Ford, an exceptional special-teams player, rocked Justin Brown into fumbling a punt that Victor Simmons recovered for KU at the OU 11.
• James Sims rushed for 102 yards, surpassing 100 yards for the third week in a row.
• Dayne Crist for badly missing an easy pass that would have gone for a touchdown on first down from the 11 and for getting sacked and fumbling the ball away on third down of the same series.
• Kicker Nick Prolago for missing a 30-yard field goal attempt.
HOW THEY SCORED
7:41 - Mike Hunnicutt 37 field goal. Oklahoma's first drive nearly resulted in an easy touchdown pass from Landry Jones to fullback Trey Millard, but Millard dropped a pass down the seam allowing KU to hold on the next two plays to force the field goal try. Had Millard caught the pass, he would've walked in untouched. Instead, OU settled for three. The drive covered 53 yards in eight plays and 2:50, but probably seemed like a moral victory of sorts for KU's defense, which entered the game ranked 13th in the country in red zone defense. (OU 3, KU 0).
3:49 - Kenny Stills 44 pass from Landry Jones. Hunnicutt kick. The Sooners responded to KU's second punt of the game with a four-play, 87-yard drive that took just 58 seconds and featured a perfectly throw touchdown pass from Jones to his favorite target. KU sophomore JaCorey Shepherd had tight coverage on Stills, but it didn't matter, as Jones placed the ball perfectly into his receiver's hands near the back of the end zone. (OU 10, KU 0).
12:29 - Blake Bell 1 run. Hunnicutt kick. A Dayne Crist fumble deep inside Oklahoma territory was returned 45 yards by OU defensive tackle Casey Walker. Seven plays and 3:17 later, the Sooners capped off the 28-yard drive with a TD run from the Belldozer. Although the Jayhawks started with their backs against the wall, senior linebacker Tunde Bakare delivered a big-time hit on Bell two plays before the touchdown, standing him up and driving him back. The play resulted in a first down, though, and OU added to its lead. (OU 17, KU 0).
10:04 - Justin Brown 90 punt return. Hunnicutt kick. KU again picked up a couple of first downs with Cummings at QB, but the drive stalled after that and OU's dynamic return man took Ron Doherty's fourth punt back to the end zone, diving to the pile-on as KU's Marquis Jackson charged toward him to push him out of bounds. (OU 24, KU 0).
5:12 - Damien Williams 4 run. Hunnicutt kick. The Sooners capitalized on an ill-advised throw by Cummings with an interception by Javon Harris and then traveled 47 yards in eight plays and 2:36 to blow things open. The drive featured a 32-yard pass from Jones to Stills on first down, but the play was overturned by replay. Two plays later, Jones hit freshman wide receiver Sterling Shepard for 31 yards and a first down. (OU 31, KU 0).
1:12 - Sterling Shepard 9 pass from Jones. Hunnicutt kick. As the KU offense continued to struggle, the OU offense kept pouring it on. Jump-started by a 41-yard run by Brennan Clay on first down, the Sooners marched 76 yards in seven plays and 1:13 to score for the sixth time in six offensive drives. (OU 38, KU 0).
14:47 - Roy Finch 100 kickoff return. Hunnicutt kick. Finch returned the opening kickoff of the second half from goal line to goal line without being touched. What else can you say? (OU 45, KU 0).
9:53 - Trey Millard 25 pass from Jones. Hunnicutt kick. If there were a way to stop the Sooners' offense on Saturday night, the Jayhawks never found it. OU rolled to its seventh touchdown from a seventh different player with a six-play, 86 yard drive in 2:43. (OU 52, KU 0).
3:11 - James Sims 1 run. Nick Prolago kick. Backed by a heavy dose of Sims and Tony Pierson, the Jayhawks finally cracked the scoreboard after a long and methodical fourth-quarter drive that covered 80 yards in 19 plays and 10:22. (OU 52, KU 7).