Well, it was fun while it lasted, Jayhawks.
The No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners survived an upset scare from Kansas, yes, those Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, escaping Lawrence with a 35-23 victory.
Facing 4th and 3 while up 21-17 midway through the fourth quarter, OU freshman QB and sudden Heisman candidate Caleb Williams provided the dagger with a 40-yard scamper for a touchdown.
CALEB WILLIAMS DAGGER pic.twitter.com/xImwL6fMmE— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) October 23, 2021
KU responded with a touchdown to get back to within one score and seemingly came up with a pivotal stop when stuffing Kennedy Brooks on 4th-and-short. Well, it seemed that way until Williams made yet another heads up play to keep the chains moving.
October 23, 2021
It was a valiant effort from Kansas, who closed as a 38.5-point underdog on DraftKings Sportsbook. It would’ve marked their first win over Oklahoma since 1997 and their first Big 12 win in two calendar years. It was still the most life the program has shown in over a decade and drew so much intrigue that the university literally opened the gates to the stadium midgame.
The Jayhawks opened the game by methodically slashing right through OU’s defense, utilizing a 14-play, 80-yard drive that ate up over nine minutes of clock to go up 7-0. It would’ve been a 13-play drive if quarterback Jason Bean decided to not step out of bounds on this QB-keeper for whatever reason.
Kansas leads OKLAHOMA 7-0— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) October 23, 2021
But for some reason Jason Bean didn’t score on this play pic.twitter.com/gNaNWm2qFB
On the other side, the high-octane Sooner offense made minimal impact. On their second drive, the freshman quarterback sensation Williams eschewed a wide open check down option to go deep...only to be picked off KU defensive back Ricky Thomas.
They had another promising drive going right before the half, but a series of penalties absolutely kneecapped their ability to put points on the board. Kansas went into halftime leading 10-0, marking the first time OU had been shut out in a first half since 2014, when they were blown out by Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Oklahoma finally got on the board midway through the third when Williams capped a long drive by hitting Jadon Haslewood for a five-yard TD. In turn, KU showed that they weren’t going to back down by once again slashing through the Sooner defense and punching in a TD on fourth-and-goal to go up 17-7.
OU pulled back to within three before the end of the third and after forcing a punt, took their first lead of the game early in the fourth by way of a Brooks touchdown. Despite Kansas’ best efforts, they never relinquished control.
We’ll see how AP voters will treat the Sooners on Sunday, who could very well be punished for messing around with one of the worst teams in the entire Power Five. For Williams, however, his heroics in the fourth quarter will only strengthen his burgeoning Heisman bid.