Caleb Williams threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for 70 yards and a score to help No. 3 Oklahoma avoid an upset with a 35-23 victory at Kansas on Saturday.
The Sooners (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) were listless for much of the game, trailing 10-0 at halftime and 17-7 late in the third quarter before finally showing life on both sides of the ball.
Oklahoma’s forced their first punt of the game just before the start of the fourth quarter, followed by a quick 48-yard touchdown drive to put the Sooners ahead for the first time 21-17 with 12:35 remaining in the game.
Then Oklahoma’s Justin Broiles recovered a fumble after teammate Key Lawrence stripped Kansas’ Steven McBride to quickly give the Sooners the ball again.
That’s when Williams took over.
On fourth-and-three with eight minutes remaining, Williams looked bottled up behind the line of scrimmage, but he stepped through the Jayhawks’ defense and broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run and a 28-17 lead
Kansas cut the Sooners’ lead to 28-23 with a touchdown, then appeared to come up with what would have been a key fourth-down stop near midfield, but Williams took the ball away from running back Kennedy Brooks and picked up the fourth-down conversion himself.
Seven plays later, Brooks scored his second touchdown of the game to put the game away with 42 seconds remining.
Brooks led the Sooners with 79 yards on the ground.
Kansas set the tone early, eating up more than nine minutes on a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to start the game, converting three times on third down to extend the drive.
The only thing that could slow the Jayhawks offense early was the power, which went out midway through the drive. But even that was a brief hiccup, as the game continued through the campus-wide power outage – which didn’t affect the stadium’s lights or the public address system – after a brief delay.
Kansas controlled the game on the ground, running on 28 of its 37 first-half plays.
It was the first time the Sooners had been shut out in the first half since 2014.
Devin Neal ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries for the Jayhawks (1-6, 0-4).
–Field Level Media