Pass defense, 3rd down defense spark OU

Here are some key stats that defined Oklahoma’s 34-19 win over Kansas on Saturday.

Kansas’ 5.94 yards per carry by running backs: The Jayhawks averaged 5.94 yards per carry combined from James Sims and Darrian Miller. Sims had 23 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns while Miller added nine carries for 67 yards (7.44 yards per carry). The Jayhawks offensive line was horrible in their first five games but showed signs of life on Saturday while the Sooners run defense continues to struggle without injured defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.

Kansas’ minus-2 passing yards after the first quarter. That’s right, the Jayhawks passed for negative two yards in the final 45 minutes of the game. And you thought OU’s passing game was bad. KU quarterback Jake Heaps was 1 of 7 for minus-2 yards and two sacks after the first quarter. The Sooners has had their struggles stopping the run but they clearly can stop the pass, leading the nation in passing yards allowed (149.71) and ranking second in passing yards per attempt (5.27).

Sterling Shepard’s first down or touchdown per catch percentage. The Sooners receiver was outstanding with 57.1 percent of his receptions going for a first down or touchdown. Shepard finished with seven receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns. The more involved he gets, the more big plays the Sooners’ passing attack seems to make this season.

Kansas’ 0.64 yards per play on third down: One week after allowing Texas to convert 13 of 20 third down attempts, OU held KU to 11 yards on seven third-down plays, an average of 0.64 yards per play. The Jayhawks converted just 2 of 11 third-down attempts in the loss.

OU’s average starting position in the second quarter: The Sooners’ average starting point was their own 47-yard line in the second quarter. OU grabbed control of the game in those 15 minutes thanks in part to its terrific field position, helping the Sooners to outscore the Jayhawks 18-6 in the quarter.