Courtesy: KU Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football was unable to overcome the powerful offense of No. 3/5 Oklahoma on Saturday, as the Jayhawks fell to the Sooners 41-3 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas.
Kansas (1-10, 0-8 Big 12) held Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) redshirt senior quarterback Baker Mayfield to a season-low 259 yards passing, including just 105 in the first half, which was the lowest first-half total for the Heisman Trophy hopeful since 2015, but the Jayhawks were unable to get things going offensively and were held to 69 yards in the first half to go into the intermission trailing 21-3.
The Jayhawks forced the Sooners to punt on their first possession, but Kansas was held to a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to Oklahoma. Senior punter Cole Moos booted a 52-yard punt, but the Sooners returned it to the 41-yard line to take possession in Kansas territory.
The Jayhawks made stops on the Sooners’ first three plays to force a fourth-and-3 from the KU 34. Oklahoma elected to go for it on fourth, and the Jayhawks looked to have the play stopped, flushing Mayfield out of the pocket and nearly bringing him down in the backfield. Mayfield was able to shed the threatening Jayhawks and find redshirt sophomore running back Rodney Anderson open in the middle of the field, and Anderson took it to the end zone to give the Sooners a 7-0 with 6:40 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Jayhawks were able to get three points back thanks to a nine-play, 34-yard drive that was capped with a 23-yard field goal by redshirt junior kicker Gabriel Rui. The drive came after the Jayhawk defense held the OU offense to its first of three-straight three-and-outs.
Following its third-straight three-play stop, the Jayhawks took over possession at their own 16-yard line. Hoping to drive down the field and get a score to swing the game’s momentum in its favor, Kansas turned it over on the third play of the drive after a pass from sophomore quarterback Carter Stanley was tipped in the air off the hands of sophomore wide receiver Evan Fairs and the ball was intercepted by Oklahoma senior linebacker Emmanuel Beal.
After the interception return to the KU 11-yard line, the Sooners needed just three plays to take a 14-3 lead on a three-yard rushing touchdown by redshirt senior wide receiver Jordan Smallwood.
The Sooners added to their lead with 10 seconds remaining in the first half, after Mayfield led an 84-yard drive in three plays, completing two passes for 54 total yards, including a 24-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Marquise Brown for the score.
After recording just 170 yards of total offense in the first half, Oklahoma found its groove in the second half and the Jayhawks struggled to find an answer. The Sooners notched 299 second-half offensive yards to finish the game with 469 as a team, and scored 20 second-half points, including two field goals by junior kicker Austin Seibert.
Mayfield threw for a three-yard touchdown to redshirt junior tight end Mark Andrews with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter for the Sooners’ first score of the second half before Seibert’s first field goal, a 27-yard make with 13:58 left in the game.
Freshman running back Trey Sermon scored Oklahoma’s final touchdown of the night, a 25-yard rush before Seibert capped the game’s scoring with a 32-yard make to set the final score with 4:39 left in the game.
Stanley finished the day 19-of-33 passing for 123 yards, with a long of 34 yards to junior Steven Sims Jr. Sims led the Jayhawk receivers with 38 yards on just two catches, with Fairs (29 yards) and sophomore wide receiver Chase Harrell (22 yards) each grabbing six catches. Sophomore running back Khalil Herbert led the Kansas ground attack with 38 yards on 13 carries.
Four Kansas players finished the game with six tackles, including junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., who notched 1.5 tackles for loss, including his second sack of the season.
The Jayhawks will close the 2017 season with a trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 25. Kickoff time and television coverage for the Kansas season finale has yet to be announced.
DAVID BEATY: Just to start off with, just congratulating and give credit to Coach Riley and his staff. They did a good job coming away with the win today. They’ve got a good football team. There’s no doubt about that for sure. I think they’ll be a team to contend with as they move forward throughout the season for sure.
Let’s go ahead and answer just questions. That way I can get what you’re looking for.
Q. Do you have a sense of what happened that led your guys to not shake hands with Baker Mayfield at the pregame coin toss?
DAVID BEATY: I think I just said it in there. I’m proud of our guys for getting to a point, and not just — we’re not going to take it anymore. You’re going to stick your feet in the ground and you’re going to defend your grass. I think we’ve got to display it better than that, obviously, but I get it. I understand where they’re coming from. I’ve got to do a better job as their coach maybe teaching them how to manage that a little bit better.
But I think maybe, when you get a chance to ask some of those guys, they’ll tell you where it came from. But from our standpoint, we’ve got to talk about how we want to handle ourselves when it comes to those type of things.
I’ll tell you this, I’ve got a classy bunch of kids in there that care about doing things right, and they want to represent this university well. So we’ll move forward, and we’ll make sure that we do that as we do it. But I certainly don’t think it was anything more than the fact that this is a football game. It’s a football game, and we’re going to defend our grass. From that standpoint, I think it helped us. We were ready to go.
Q. At some point, it looked like Baker was kind of jawing after they scored in the third quarter, I think after that touchdown, he was either looking at your side of the field, your bench. I don’t know if it was players or coaches or what. It seemed like he was kind of having a back and forth. Did you see what happened there?
DAVID BEATY: I mean, I saw him, but he’s a competitor. I mean, guys do what they do. I’m not sure exactly what took place. He’s not my player. So it’s not my job to manage him. It’s my job to get our guys to where they can — they stop him where maybe a guy doesn’t have that opportunity to do that.
I don’t control him. He’s a terrific player. I know that. I’ll tell you what, I haven’t seen any better. That guy is a really, really good football player. I’m not sure what he said, but I know Coach Riley is a classy guy. He’ll manage it.
Q. Looks like your guys were fired up, from the beginning, especially the defense?
DAVID BEATY: They were fired up all week. They were ready for this opportunity. Certainly no disrespect to Oklahoma, it’s just a great opportunity to have a team of that caliber come in, and you just get to see where you’re at.
We didn’t finish the game good enough. That score is not good enough. Those guys are mad. They’re upset. I’m mad. I’m upset because I just know we’re a better football team than what that score shows. It bothers me. It bothers them. I think we’re a better football team than that, and we’ve got to go back to work tomorrow and making sure that doesn’t happen again next week because we’ve got a great opportunity again next week in Stillwater.
I think they got beat today by a really good K-State team, and there’s a lot of parity in this conference, and we’ve got good enough players to go anywhere and go in there and make some noise if we execute correctly and we do it with the right mindset, for sure.
Q. Some self-inflicted things. I just am wondering, the Hasan Defense personal foul was pretty blatant. Did you consider that kind of a cheap shot from him?
DAVID BEATY: You know, honestly, I did not see it. I was looking somewhere else. I’ll find out. We talked a little bit about that in general at halftime. We’ve got to be smarter than that. Those chunk penalties kill you in situations. You go from trying to see if we were going to spend our time-outs to what do we need to do now to keep them off the board and keep them out of the end zone?
And it turned into that because of just being a smarter team. We’ve got to be a smarter team in those situations. To say that was upsetting to our entire team heading into halftime, man, but we talked very eloquently at halftime about managing that situation.
I just thought we lost our focus a little bit on the game and being able to play the game and managing our emotions instead of wanting to jaw back and forth. Benton talked a little bit about maybe the jawing, and I saw it. I saw it. I get it. But that’s not my job to manage the kid.
We have to be smarter than to buy into that. We’ve just got to be smarter than to buy into that because it wound up hurting us. He didn’t get a penalty. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have. I’m not saying there was one right in front of our sideline that shouldn’t have. But I don’t control those guys, and they didn’t get a penalty on it, and we did get a penalty on ours. So we’ve got to manage ourselves because it happens from time to time.
I thought that was a big play in that game in that second half. We had that drive down there, and we go down there and have an opportunity to score, and, man, a lot of contact happening in that end zone. You’d love to see what happened if that ball was on the 2 yard line there, and it was 21-, 3 and you’ve got a chance to maybe put seven on the board there. We wind up having to kick a field goal and miss it into the wind.
Unfortunately, that call was — it turned out to be a pretty big call because I thought it could have made it a really interesting game at that point. But it is what it is.
Q. Slow starts have been kind of a point of emphasis for you? You mentioned that before. Especially defensively. What do you think of the way they came out and played strong most of that first half?
DAVID BEATY: I’m proud of them. I thought we controlled most of that first quarter for sure. Up until midway through that second quarter, I thought our guys did a really nice job of controlling both run and pass. Most of the plays that they were making, he was making off schedule. He was doing the things that Baker does because he’s a talented guy.
We talked at length this week about what we’ve got to do when he breaks the pocket and when he’s in scramble mode. Obviously, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that you have to stay glued to every man.
The sad thing is our defender wasn’t that far from 36. This kid threw a rope to that guy. I mean, that dude’s talented. That was a hell of a throw. I’m sitting there going, oh, my God. I mean, I cannot believe that dude just made this throw because we were far away from it, but we’ve got to be closer. We should have been there to be closer.
We’re going to look back at the tape, and what we’re going to see is a guy stand up when he should have stayed bent. If he stayed bent, you don’t have to bend. It makes a difference. I can guarantee you we’re going to see a guy stand up instead of staying athletically bent, and that makes a difference when you’re playing the No. 3 team in the country. We’ll look back at it, and we’ll say should have stayed bent. We would have stayed tight to that guy and made an even tougher throw. Now, he still might have got it in there because he’s talented.
Q. Second quarter, you got that first and goal. Obviously, the wildcat not working because of the snap. Can you kind of explain why you guys like the wildcat in that situation?
DAVID BEATY: We like a lot of different things in that situation. The ball got snapped poorly, so I can’t tell you whether we like it or not. I know this. From what we saw on tape, we felt like the angles were good. We’ve actually been pretty successful with that leading up until last week.
We had one missed point last week against Texas on the fourth down, but that actual set’s been pretty good to us throughout the year. So I guess that should answer. I’d love to see what we could have done if we got the ball right to him.
Those are the type of things that they should be explainable, but I thought Mesa (Ribordy) did a really nice job today. There’s just one play where the ball just kind of flies away on him. What in the world happened? How does that happen? We talked to him on the sideline, and he said, you know, Coach, it felt exactly the same. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Because he’s not seeing it all the way in.
Just unfortunate. We’ve got to be able to overcome it. We were still down there in scoring distance, and we should have been able to stick it in, and we weren’t able to do it.
Q. Steven didn’t really get involved in the offense until the second quarter. Was there a reason behind that?
DAVID BEATY: Steven (Sims) is still trying to get well. Took a big hit against Texas last week. I thought our athletic training staff did a terrific job getting him back to being able to play this week because he was not looking good throughout the week. He’s a tough dude. I didn’t think he was going to be able to play.
After that first punt return, I thought he was done, and he just refused to go out. I got to give the guy credit. He’s tough. He’s a tough dude because I know he was hurting. We’ve got to get him well because he’s one of our big play guys.
Q. Dorance finally got another sack. It’s been a while. Was it good to see him have that kind of production?
DAVID BEATY: Absolutely. That kid deserves it. He’s busted his tail. He’s caused a lot of production for other people. He’s done some really, really nice things for us. Seeing him get back there and get him down was a big deal. I think that will lead to more this week, I certainly hope.
He had a really good game. I think he had 6 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, a sack, one quarterback hurry. Up until that fourth quarter, I thought defensively our front was doing a pretty dadgum good job. They got pressure on him.
He’s just good. He gets away. I told you all throughout the week the guy is really good. We hit him a few times, maybe more than anybody else did at times. He is a talented dude, really talented dude. I don’t know how anybody is going to beat that dude in the Heisman. That dude is really good.
Y’all have a good one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Kansas sophomore QB Carter Stanley
On taking the hits:
“You’ve just got to be able to go with it and to move on to the next play.”
On staying in the whole game after getting beat up:
“Some of it is definitely self-inflicted on me. I’ve got to be better at getting the ball out quicker. We’ve got some great receivers, a great O-line, a lot of that’s on me. I just have to get the ball out quicker.”
On getting set back later in the game:
“Unfortunately, there’s been a few plays like that at least the last couple of weeks. I think the next week we’ll be better at that. We won’t make that same mistake again when that problem arises. (It’s) Just simple plays.”
On what kept the offense from getting into a rhythm:
“I think, obviously, once we got down there and we did move the ball down the field, we’ve got to be able to score touchdowns, no doubt about that. Coming away with zero points or even three points, that’s not good enough. Our defense played their tails off all game. They gave those guys some problems, no doubt. But I think (it’s important that we’re) just finishing off drives.”
On the coin toss getting the team fired up:
“I think some of the guys got a spark from that. It wasn’t (us) trying to be disrespectful. It was just kind of a statement being made and kind of letting those guys know that we’re coming.”
On playing at Oklahoma State next week:
“I think it will be a great opportunity again. (It’s the) Last game of the year, and we’ve got to send those seniors off right. We’ll be putting everything we’ve got into this week and hopefully go to Stillwater and get a win.”
Kansas sophomore CB Hasan Defense
On starting off the game with his penalty:
“I was just trying to make a play in the heat of the moment. It was a bonehead play by me and I shouldn’t have done it. It was a mistake by me; I didn’t realize how much longer (it was) after the ball that I hit him. It was a mistake by me and it won’t happen again.”
On teammates getting after him because of his mistakes:
“I felt pretty bad for letting my team down. Giving up free yards was something I definitely shouldn’t have done. Letting them down was all that mattered and I shouldn’t have done it.”
On talking back and forth with Oklahoma:
“We were just playing football and having fun. That’s what happens when you play a physical sport. You’re not going to let anybody talk to you in a certain way. Football is a physical sport and whenever something gets physical, your mouth gets physical as well.”
On Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield:
“He did what he was supposed to do and got the win.”
Kansas junior LB Joe Dineen Jr.
On the defense holding Oklahoma’s offense:
“There were a few spots where we played well and a few spots we didn’t. We just need to put a whole game together and we will have an opportunity next week against Oklahoma State to do that.”
On the coin toss:
“It wasn’t any disrespect to them at all. It was more personally just trying to get us fired up and stand our ground. It was nothing personal against Oklahoma or Baker (Mayfield). It was just to let Oklahoma know that we weren’t going to back down.”
On Oklahoma’s offense:
“They are the best offense in the country and the No.3-ranked team in the country. We knew we had a good opportunity and going out there we wanted to set the tone.”
On Baker Mayfield keeping plays alive:
“Yeah, obviously he’s very loose. I would like to have that play back where I tried to hit him a little hard. I should have gathered my feet and made a routine tackle instead of trying to lay him out, but that is what makes him so good is extending plays like that.”
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley
“(We) Got another great team win. It was an important win for us. I think we took some big steps again as a team; (I am) very, very thrilled about how well we played defensively. I think we took another big step there, (with) young guys continuing to step up, make big plays. Again, in this league, when you only give up three points, you played pretty darn well on that side of the ball. So, they were great all night. Offensively, we had a hard time getting on track in the first half; give Kansas credit. They have great players, like I said all week. They had a good game plan for us. They really changed up a lot of things that they were going to do which, combined with the conditions, made it tough. They loaded up on our run. We had a little trouble throwing the ball down the field as well as we normally do, and so I had to make some adjustments. But (we) had some big touchdowns, especially the one before half was big, and then we played much better offensively in the second half. So, (it was) another big win. Again, to get our 10th victory, which is always a great milestone, and to clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship game here in a few weeks … it was an important win and another big win on the road.
“Just so we get out in front of it here, I was made aware after the game of the situation with Baker (Mayfield), talking and gesturing towards them. It was a chippy game, and it was chippy from the second that their guys decided they didn’t want to shake our hands at the coin toss. The chippiness started there. But despite all that, there’s no excuse for it. Baker is a competitive guy and let the emotions get the best of him; but again, (this was) a very, very chippy, emotional game. But again, we can’t have that and he can’t do that. I’m sure he’ll address that in here with you guys when he comes in.”
On if the wind contributed to OU’s struggles offensively:
“It was a factor. It wasn’t like it completely dominated the game, though. We still had plenty of other opportunities that we didn’t (convert on). (We) dropped a couple of balls, Baker missed a couple of throws that he normally makes that the wind was a big factor on. We had a couple of penalties that were the result of our emotions being pretty high, especially after the deal early in the game. So, we didn’t play well the first half. We got a couple of touchdowns, but we played much better in the second half.”
On adjusting to Kansas’ defensive front:
“We had to make some adjustments, and we did. Again, they did a lot of things defensively that they haven’t done (before), and so we had to make some adjustments. They definitely whooped us on some plays, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve still got plenty of things on the offensive side of the ball, and all sides of the ball, that we’re going to have to do better going forward.”
On settling his players down after Kansas’ captains did not shake hands during the coin toss and how that set the tone for the game:
“It’s hard. You know, I’ve never seen that done. I have no clue why it was done in this game, but it was. So I told them at half, ‘We’ve been in these (games), despite whatever happens, we’ve been in plenty of chippy games around here and we can’t let our emotions get the best of us.’ You’ve got to use it as fuel to play better, you can’t use it as a reason to do something dumb. Obviously, we had a couple things that we did with the penalties that aren’t us and that can’t happen.”
On whether or not punishment is necessary for Baker Mayfield’s actions:
“Well, I’m going to have to see it first. It’s been described to me. We’ll look at it and see and if we think there’s enough there for punishment, (and if so) then there will be.”
On whether or not he felt KU sophomore CB Hasan Defense’s late hit on Mayfield was targeting:
“It was close. I wasn’t real happy about it. I think they at least should have looked at it. I mean there was a lot. He (Mayfield) definitely had a target on him in this game. There was a lot of late stuff with him that they were trying to get accomplished. But again, regardless of what happens, he’s been in enough of these (situations); there is no excuse to let it get to you and make a dumb decision.”
On his fondness for David Beaty and his feelings about the turn of events this game with brother (Garrett Riley) on the staff:
“I’m still very fond of David Beaty. I mean, he’s still a great friend. I doubt that was something that was organized by their staff. I would be very surprised. It’s an emotional game. We’re all competitive as hell, it’s what we do for a living. Games are going to get chippy, it’s just part of it. (There is) No grudge, no grudge from me.”
Oklahoma redshirt-senior QB Baker Mayfield
“I’d like to address questions that I’ve been getting asked. I got caught up in a competitive, chippy game, but what I did tonight was unacceptable. I am a competitive player but what I did was unacceptable. I apologize, it’s disrespectful, it’s not the example I want to set. It’s not the legacy I want to leave at OU. I truly do apologize. (When I) Think about the kids that are watching, that’s not something I want to do. To the parents out there, I’m sorry, that’s not anything you want your kids to watch or to have as a role model. I really do apologize from the bottom of my heart. On top of everything else, it’s not to take away from a good team win. I’ve always been a team guy so actions like that do not reflect how I feel about the team. I’m sorry for a lot of things. To Sooner fans, I didn’t lead us by example or the right way. I apologize to not just the Kansas people, but also to our Sooner fans, they’ll have to answer questions for me now. I apologize; I really do mean that with everything I have. No disrespect to any of the Kansas athletes; it was a chippy game, but it’s football (and) I can’t get caught up in it with the position I’m in. I have to be the one to lead by example and I did not do that. That being said, like I said again, we had a good win. It’s not about me, that is not what this press conference should be about. We had guys that played well; we had a defense that played great tonight, so let’s talk about that.”
On Kansas players not shaking hands during the coin toss setting the tone for the game:
“If you look at it, last year, they got after us on offense for the first half. They were very physical, they had great players on defense, and they kind of set the tone today with how they were feeling with the coin toss, (by) not shaking hands. We knew it was going to be a chippy, physical game, but they did a great job of being physical. It’s a team that’s given us fits; their record doesn’t indicate how physical and how good they are on defense.”
On if he was aiming his actions on sideline at a certain person:
“It doesn’t matter, I addressed that. I shouldn’t have done it, it wouldn’t matter who it was, it shouldn’t have happened.”
On his competiveness and how that played into his sideline actions:
“Football is a competitive game for a reason. It’s a physical and violent game, there are a lot of emotions played into it. There’s a lot of stuff that can happen between the lines that can be disregarded outside of that. Some people flip a switch; you get on the field and you’re someone completely different off. It’s not who I am. I’m not trying to play this ego of being a bad kid, that’s not who I am. I’m not someone who’s always going to get in trouble. I’ve had one instance off the field where I’ve had a mistake. On the field I’m a competitive guy, there’s a lot of trash talk that goes on and today I just took it too far and that’s unacceptable.”
On his performance today and still making things happen for his team:
“We didn’t play well early on, like I said earlier, (and) we weren’t physical enough. I think the wind truly played a factor into both teams’ passing games. It really affected us, but I still have to be better. There was a few missed throws, (I’ve) just got to be better. They got after us in the first half. We were able to establish the line of scrimmage later in the first half, right before halftime. We’ve got to be more physical and rise to the occasion. It just goes to show you can’t sleep on anybody, it doesn’t matter the (teams’) records. You’re going to get everyone’s best shot when you’re Oklahoma.”
On the team clenching a spot in Big 12 Championship with today’s victory:
“It’s something we worked for, that’s the first goal. I said I came back to win it all, but to get there you have to win the Big 12 first and on top of that, the Big 12 Championship game. So it’s a good spot for us to be in, but we have a great opponent next week, West Virginia. We’ve got to take care of business then too. It’s very good for us to know we have that, we’ve worked very hard to get to that point but we’re not done yet, we’ve got to win next week and we’ll talk about that from there.”
Oklahoma freshman CB Tre Norwood
On his performance today:
“It helps build my confidence and see where I’m at with my game. (I) Like being able to play with my brothers out there. I feel like I just have to come back next week and be ready to work hard in practice and get ready for West Virginia.”
On learning in practice and getting more playing time:
“I’ve learned a lot, especially from the older guys. Just trusting in yourself and trusting in your technique and going out there and playing ball the way you know how to play.”
Oklahoma senior LB Emmanuel Beal
On his interception and the overall impact of that play:
“I think it was a big play, that’s something we’ve been studying all week, and I just saw it coming. I called it out that they were about to run it. As soon as he threw the ball, I expected him to catch it, but it (was) tipped in the air and I was just thinking, ‘This is not happening.’ I caught it and I just got tunnel vision, all I saw was me and him. When I look back on it tomorrow I’ll think that I should have scored, but at the time all I saw was me and him. I’m happy, it was my first career interception, it was a big one, it was a good one.”
On the chipiness of game:
“It was pretty chippy. They didn’t come out chippy at first but they started to get chippy on the offense and the defensive side. I expected it, it was Senior Night, (and) their seniors wanted to go out with a bang.”
On turnovers jump-starting the offense:
“It was pretty good. It was going back and forth. So to get an interception and turn the momentum around was good for us.”
On play the last two weeks:
“I believe TCU was the start of our defense. (It’s) not as well as we could play, but we progress every game.”
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