Norman, Okla. Oklahoma didn’t have injured running back Samaje Perine, who two years ago torched Kansas with an NCAA-record 427 rushing yards, Saturday night at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Nor did the Sooners need him.
KU’s inept offense and the versatility and speed of Oklahoma’s wide receiver/return man DeDe Westbrook were more than enough for the Sooners to shake a slow start and run away with a 56-3 victory in front of a homecoming crowd of 86,301 spectators.
KU’s offense yet again failed to take advantage of strong defensive play early in the game.
The same Oklahoma offense that amassed 854 yards the previous week in a victory vs. Texas Tech, did not score Saturday in the first quarter, which ended with OU leading, 7-3, thanks to a special teams touchdown.
Westbrook Westbrook, Oklahoma’s wide receiver/return man blessed with sprinter’s speed, creased the goal line before the closest Kansas player made it to the 10-yard line.
Westbrook’s 71-yard punt return, scored with 9:56 left in the first quarter, broke a scoreless tie. At the point Westbrook cross the goal line, no KU player had reached the 10-yard line.
Kansas responded with a drive that started at its 25 and stalled at the Oklahoma 6 on fourth and three. Matthew Wyman put the Jayawks (1-7) on the board with a 23-yard field goal.
On the ensuing kickoff, Westbrook took off for the races again and made it all the way to the end zone, but a yellow flag on the turf granted Kansas a stay of execution. Holding, an 80-yard break.
Two plays later, the momentum swung in KU’s favor. Westbrook sprinted right seeking daylight and freshman safety Mike Lee hit him hard, popping the football high in the air. Daniel Wise caught it, returned it four yards and celebrated, giving KU possession at the OU 25.
Unlike the defense, which cashed in on the break gifted by the holding penalty, the offense didn’t know what to do with prosperity. On first down, Cozart threw into triple coverage and was picked off at the OU 2.
The KU defense kept its shutout going until Baker Mayfield didn’t need much room to thread a laser to the back of the end zone to Westbrook. Brandon Stewart’s coverage wasn’t bad, but it needed to be perfect to deny that tandem a touchdown and Oklahoma went up 14-3 with 10:22 left in the first half.
By halftime, the lead had ballooned to 28-3 and to 56-3 by late in the third quarter, by which time OU’s second-stringers were in the game.
The lowlight of the second half for Kansas came when Jordan Evans returned a Cozart interception 33 yards for a touchdown. He ran about 53 yards on the play because when he reached the 22 and saw a sea of white uniforms, he turned around, ran backward for 10 yards, turned around again, retraced his steps, and didn’t stop running until he had scored.
9:56 — Dede Westbrook 71-yard punt return. Austin Seibert kick. (OU 7, KU 0.)
3:32 — Matt Wyman 23-yard field goal. Sixteen-play drive for 69 yards in 6:24. (OU 7, KU 3.)
10:22 — Baker Mayfield 41-yard pass to Westbrook. Seibert kick. Six-play drive for 67 yards in 1:51. (OU 14, KU 3.)
3:35 — Mayfield 15-yard pass to Mark Andrews. Seibert kick. Seven-play drive for 66 yards in 3:33. (OU 21, KU 3.)
0:20 — Mayfield nine-yard pass to Dimitri Flowers. Seibert kick. Six-play drive for 50 yards in 0:33. (OU 28, KU 3.)
11:09— Joe Mixon one-yard run. Seibert kick. Nine-play drive for 75 yards in 3:51. (OU 35, KU 3.)
8:50 — Mayfield seven-yard pass to Geno Lewis. Seibert kick. Three-play drive for 68 yards in 1:09. (OU 42, KU 3.)
7:58 — Jordan Evans 33-yard interception return. Seibert kick. (OU 49, KU 3.)
2:30 — Devin Montgomery 10-yard run. Seibert kick. Six-play drive for 86 yards in 2:56. (OU 56, KU 3.)