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Oklahoma Sooners

Game Primer: OU vs. Kansas

6 Oklahoma

OklahomaKansas

Kansas

Saturday, Nov. 17 / 6:30 p.m. CT / Owen Field

OPENING KICK

• No. 6/6 Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) looks to wrap up an undefeated home schedule when it hosts Kansas (3-7, 1-6) Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised nationally by FOX, with Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman and Holly Sonders announcing.

• Oklahoma is 75-27-6 (.722) all-time against the Jayhawks and has won 13 straight in the series. It is OU’s longest active winning streak against an opponent.

• The Sooners have won 31 of their last 33 games (.939) against Big 12 opponents dating back to the 2015 season. Eighteen of those 30 victories have been by at least 15 points, and nine by at least 30 points.

• OU has won 15 straight November games (last loss on Nov. 8, 2014). Since the start of the 2000 season, the Sooners are 59-11 (.843) in the month.

• A win Saturday would give OU a final 7-0 home record this year, tying the school standard for home victories in a season (also in 2003 and 2007).

• For just the second time in the last 10 seasons, OU has scored at least 48 points in four straight games. It also reached the 48-point mark in four consecutive contests in 2015.

• OU is the nation’s only team this year with at least 30 rushing touchdowns (31) and at least 30 passing TDs (33).

• Oklahoma leads all FBS programs with its 38 seasons of at least 10 wins. A victory over Kansas would extend that number to 39. It would also mark OU’s nation-leading 16th season of double-digit wins since 2000.

• The Sooners have won more Big 12 championships over the last 19 years (11) than they have lost home games. OU is 112-10 (.918) at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium since the start of the 1999 season, with all 122 of those games sellouts.

• Oklahoma is coming off a 48-47 home win over Oklahoma State in which the Sooners gained a season-high-tying 702 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with 3:29 remaining on a Trey Sermon 1-yard run. OSU scored a touchdown with 1:03 left, but its two-point pass attempt failed. Kyler Murray threw for 349 yards and a TD, while Kennedy Brooks (165, 3 TDs) and Sermon (124, 2 TDs) each topped the 100-yard rushing mark. Marquise Brown caught eight passes for 142 yards and a score.

• Kansas, which has three wins on the year (its most since 2014), dropped a 21-17 contest at Kansas State on Saturday. The Jayhawks took a 17-14 lead with 14:46 left in the fourth quarter on a Steven Sims 65-yard touchdown catch from Peyton Bender, but K-State scored a TD with 2:46 to go. KU got to the Wildcats’ 32-yard line in the waning seconds but lost a fumble, and K-State ran out the clock.

Brooks

FOR THE FANS

• Approximately two hours before each home game, head coach Lincoln Riley and the Sooners will disembark the team buses immediately west of the intersection of Lindsey Street and Jenkins Avenue for the “Walk of Champions.” A pep rally, conducted by OU Spirit, will be held 15 minutes prior to the team’s arrival. This week’s pep rally will take place at approximately noon with the team arriving at approximately 4:15 p.m. Fans are encouraged to cheer on the team upon arrival and watch as Coach Riley and the squad walk the final yards west along Lindsey Street to their locker room.

• Sooner Fan Fest will be held in the Rhyne Hall parking lot directly east of McCasland Field House. It opens at 4 p.m. off Jenkins Avenue and concludes at 6 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Boomer and Sooner, and have their photos taken with the Sooner Schooner, the mascots and members of the OU spirit squads at the OU Marketing trailer. Other elements at Fan Fest this week include a GoVision jumbotron showing other games across the country, a photo booth and an inflatable football toss. Food will be available from the following food trucks: Midway Deli, The Meating Place, Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks and That Pie Truck. And the Sooner Radio Network (flagship 107.7 The Franchise) will be broadcasting live from Fan Fest from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. with Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson, Chris Plank, Teddy Lehman and Rufus Alexander.

KEY STORYLINES

• Eighteen OU seniors and redshirt juniors will be honored before Saturday’s game. In alphabetical order, they are OL Jonathan Alvarez, RB Rodney Anderson, DE Amani Bledsoe, LB Curtis Bolton, FB Joe Castiglione Jr., QB Reece Clark, OL Alex Dalton, S Kahlil Haughton, WR Sam Iheke, FB Carson Meier, OL Quinn Mittermeier, WR Chase Nevel, OL Ben Powers, OL Dru Samia, K/P Austin Seibert, RB Marcelias Sutton, WR Myles Tease and WR Reggie Turner. Bledsoe, Bolton and Samia have started all 10 games this season, while Powers has started nine and Meier eight. Seibert has been OU’s primary kicker, punter and kickoff specialist in every game.

• With a victory Saturday, Lincoln Riley, who is 21-3 at Oklahoma, would set the outright program record for most wins by a head coach in his first two seasons. He enters this weekend tied with Barry Switzer, who went 21-0-1 in 1973 and ’74. Bob Stoops was 20-5 in his first two campaigns (1999 and ’00), while Bud Wilkinson was 17-3-1 (1947 and ’48) and Chuck Fairbanks was 17-5 (1967 and ’68).

• Each of the last 13 meetings in the Oklahoma-Kansas series have been OU victories by at least 15 points. The Sooners have outscored the Jayhawks 548-146 in those contests (average of 42-11) and have outgained them 6,368 yards to 3,155 (average of 490-243). The last four games have seen OU win by a combined score of 203-20. KU has been held to seven or fewer points in each of the last four meetings and five of the last six.

• Oklahoma has rushed for at least 300 yards and passed for at least 300 in a game a school-record four times already this year (the previous record was two times in 2012), including in each of the last three contests. Entering this season, the feat had only been accomplished six times in school history. This is the first time OU has ever gone for 300/300 in three consecutive games.

• Oklahoma ranks 115th out of 130 FBS teams with just 64.8 offensive plays per game, but it ranks first nationally with its 577.1 yards per contest. That’s because the Sooners lead the nation with a staggering 8.9 yards per play, a figure that would shatter the FBS single-season record of 8.6 by Hawaii in 2006. The OU single-season record of 8.3 yards per play was set last year, and the program’s second-best figure is 7.6 in 1971. Alabama ranks second this year with its 7.8 yards per play, and Memphis third at 7.5. OU also leads the nation by gaining at least 10 yards on 32.3 percent of its plays (209 of 648). Alabama ranks second at 28.8 percent.

• Despite losing preseason All-Big 12 running back Rodney Anderson for the season due to an injury against UCLA in the second game of the year, Oklahoma leads the Big 12 and ranks ninth nationally with its 257.4 rushing yards per game. More impressively, OU ranks first nationally with its 6.8 yards per rush, which is almost two full yards more than the next highest team in the Big 12 (Oklahoma State averages 4.8). Running backs Trey Sermon (84.6) and Kennedy Brooks (80.0), and quarterback Kyler Murray (64.0) rank fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the league in rushing yards per game.

Bolton

SCOUTING KANSAS

• Kansas enters Saturday’s game 3-7 overall and 1-6 in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks are coming off a 21-17 defeat at Kansas State, which was preceded by a 27-3 loss to Iowa State and a 27-26 win over TCU.

• Defensively, Kansas allows 28.1 points and 415.9 total yards per game, ranking fourth in the Big 12 in total defense. KU allows 162.4 rushing yards and 253.5 passing yards per contest. Linebacker Joe Dineen leads the way on defense with a Big 12-leading 119 tackles, including 10 for loss and three sacks, along with two fumble recoveries and an interception. Cornerback Hasan Defense has a team-high three interceptions and six pass breakups. Defensive tackle Daniel Wise has registered four sacks, 9.5 TFLs and four QB hurries among his 29 tackles this season.

• The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 and are tied for 14th in the nation with 13 interceptions, three of which they have returned for touchdowns. Kansas also leads the league and is tied for fourth nationally with a +13 turnover margin, collecting 23 takeaways (13 interceptions and 10 fumbles) against just 10 giveaways (three interceptions and seven fumbles).

• The Jayhawks average 22.9 points and 339.0 total offensive yards per game (141.8 rushing, 197.2 passing). Running back Pooka Williams Jr. leads the rushing effort with 770 yards and four touchdowns on 130 carries (85.6 yards per game). Khalil Herbert adds 42.7 rushing yards per outing (427 yards on 94 carries) with three touchdowns.

• Quarterback Peyton Bender has passed for 1,568 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 146 of 259 attempts (56.4 percent). Steven Sims leads the Jayhawks in receiving with 47.3 yards per game. He has 42 catches for 473 yards and four touchdowns. The dua- threat Williams has caught 29 passes for 259 yards and two scores (28.8 receiving yards per game), totaling 137.0 all-purpose yards per contest.

MODEL OF EFFICIENCY

• Fifty-one of Oklahoma’s 63 offensive touchdown drives (81 percent) have taken less than three minutes of game clock. That excludes the overtime TD drive vs. Army that took two plays.

• The Sooners are averaging 0.74 points per offensive play this season. Going back to 1996, the highest end-of-season figure was 0.69 by Florida State in 2013. OU’s number in the first half of games this season is 0.79.

• With Kyler Murray leading the offense, the scoring rate has been even higher. The Sooners have averaged 0.78 points per offensive play, and averaged 4.08 points per possession (compared to 3.90 points per possession overall).

• OU has averaged 3.85 points per offensive possession this season, putting points on the scoreboard on 59 percent of its possessions, and scoring touchdowns 50 percent of the time.

• Oklahoma opponents have run 743 plays this season to the Sooners’ 648. That’s an average of 9.5 more per game. Despite that, OU has outgained its foes by 1,611 yards on the year (8.9 yards per play to 5.6).

KYLER KNOWS

• Through 10 games, quarterback Kyler Murray leads the nation in passing efficiency rating (212.9; the NCAA single-season record of 198.9 was set by Baker Mayfield last year), yards per pass attempt (12.3) and yards per completion (17.4), and ranks second in points responsible for per game (23.4; first among Power Five players), third in total offense per game (367.8 yards) and completion percentage (.709), and fourth in passing touchdowns per game (3.2). He is the only player in the country averaging at least 250.0 passing yards (303.8) and at least 50.0 rushing yards (64.0) per game.

• No FBS player has ever averaged at least 300 passing yards and at least 60 rushing yards per game for an entire season (minimum 75 percent of team’s games played). Kyler Murray is averaging 303.8 and 64.0.

• Murray is throwing a touchdown on 13.0 percent of his passes this season. The single-season FBS record is 11.6 percent.

• Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in all but one game this year, and has thrown at least three TD passes in eight of 10 contests. He had his school- and Big 12-record streak of eight games with at least three TD passes snapped against Oklahoma State on Saturday, but still has 21 TD passes over the last six games.

• In Big 12 play, Murray owns healthy statistical leads in total offense at 405.0 yards per game (next most is 329.7 by OSU’s Taylor Cornelius), passing yards at 336.9 per contest (next most is 314.3 by WVU’s Will Grier), passing efficiency rating with his 216.6 mark (next best is 168.5 by Grier), and in total TDs with 28 (next most is 23 by Grier).

• Only nine times since the start of the Big 12 Conference in 1996 has a Sooner thrown for at least 300 yards and rushed for at least 65 in a game, and Murray has done it on five occasions this year.

Kyler Murray

BROWN FOR BILETNIKOFF

• Marquise Brown, who hails from Hollywood, Fla., was one of the country’s most explosive receivers last year, and 2018 is no different. Brown ranks 13th nationally in receiving yards per game (95.6) this season, and among players averaging at least 5.0 receptions per game he ranks second nationally with his 18.0 yards per catch.

• The Biletnikoff Award semifinalist is tied for first nationally this season with his nine catches of at least 40 yards, his six receptions of at least 50 yards, his three grabs of at least 60 yards and his two catches of at least 70 yards. His long receiving plays this season have gone for 77 yards (TD), 75 yards (TD), 65 yards (TD), 58 yards (TD), 51 yards (TD), 50 yards (TD), 48 yards, 46 and 40 yards (TD).

• Since the start of the 2017 season, Brown leads the nation with his 13 catches of at least 50 yards. The 13 grabs have gone for 87, 84, 77, 77, 75, 66, 65, 58, 56, 52, 51, 50 and 50 yards. Ten of those 13 receptions have resulted in a TD.

OU’S 1-2 LINEBACKING PUNCH

• No duo in the Big 12 averages more tackles per game than Oklahoma sophomore Kenneth Murray and redshirt senior Curtis Bolton. Both linebackers, Murray ranks second in the Big 12 (tied for fifth nationally) with his 11.4 tackles per outing, while Bolton ranks third (21st nationally) with 10.0.

• Over the last seven games, Murray has an astounding 95 tackles (13.6 average) while Bolton has 78 (11.1).

• Murray has 114 tackles on the year, the most by a Sooner since safety Tony Jefferson logged 119 in 2012. The 114 stops are 36 more than his total last season (78) when he started all 14 games, earned freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America and USA Today, and was co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.

• Amazingly, Bolton’s 100 tackles are 84 more than he had in his career (16) entering the year. Playing primarily on special teams and battling injuries prior to this season, his 10 career starts have all come in 2018.

• This marks just the second time in the last 16 years that two Sooners have recorded at least 100 tackles in the same season (linebacker Travis Lewis had 109 and defensive back Jonathan Nelson had 102 in 2010).

HERE’S THE KICKER

• Senior kicker/punter Austin Seibert, who ranks sixth nationally (third among kickers) with his 9.7 points per game this season, became OU’s and the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer on Saturday against Oklahoma State. Seibert’s 12 points against the Cowboys gave him 458 for his career, breaking the previous school record of 450 by kicker Michael Hunnicutt (2011-14) and the previous Big 12 record of 451 by Baylor kicker Aaron Jones (2010-13) and TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom (2012-15).

• In Saturday’s win over Oklahoma State, Seibert was 6 for 6 on PATs, extending his streak of makes to 157 dating back to 2016. Four games ago, he broke the school record of 134 straight conversions held by Uwe von Schamann (1976-78).

• With his 458 points, Seibert ranks fifth in FBS history among kickers. He needs four points to tie for the No. 4 position, and eight points to tie for the No. 3 spot. The record is 494 points by Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez (2013-16).

• Seibert set NCAA career records at Texas Tech two games ago for extra points made and attempted (is now 287 for 291).

Seibert

OFFENSE HAS ROLLED UNDER RILEY

• Oklahoma owns the nation’s most productive offense since the start of the 2015 season, which was Lincoln Riley’s first year as OU’s offensive coordinator. Riley called plays as the program’s offensive coordinator and continues to as head coach.

• Since the start of the 2015 season, OU ranks first nationally in points per game (45.2), total offense (559.8), touchdowns from scrimmage (287; next most is 259), passing efficiency rating (190.8; next best is 159.4), completion percentage (69.5), and yards per pass attempt (10.7), and is fifth in passing offense (328.0) and 12th in rushing offense (231.8).

SOONERS HAVE DOMINATED BIG 12 ERA

• OU’s performance in the Big 12 Conference this millennium has been nothing short of dominant. The Sooners have won 11 Big 12 titles in the last 17 seasons, with no other program during that span winning more than two.

• Since the first year of the Big 12 in 1996, OU has claimed 11 league titles and is followed by Texas (three), Baylor, Kansas State and Nebraska (two each), and Colorado, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas A&M (one each).

EXTRA POINTS

• Oklahoma has three Kansas natives on its roster in defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe (Lawrence; Lawrence HS) and offensive linemen Quinn Mittermeier (Topeka; Washburn Rural HS) and Ben Powers (Wichita; Kapaun Mt. Carmel HS).

• Sooners defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux served the 2015 season as Kansas’ defensive line coach. Second-year KU assistant coach Garrett Riley (tight ends/fullbacks) is the younger brother of OU head coach Lincoln Riley.

• In the first two games after Ruffin McNeill took over defensive coordinator duties and Bob Diaco was named outside linebackers coach, Oklahoma held TCU to 275 yards and Kansas State to 245. The last time the Sooners held consecutive conference opponents to 275 yards or less was in 2011 (259 vs. Texas; 252 at Kansas).

• In Big 12 play, the Sooners rank third in rushing defense (119.4 yards per game) and in yards per carry allowed (3.7). On the season, OU ranks fourth in the league in yards per play allowed (5.6).

• In the last three games, OU gained 702 yards against Kansas State, 683 against Texas Tech and 702 versus Oklahoma State. It is the first time in school history the Sooners have registered at least 680 yards in three consecutive outings.

• Kicker Austin Seibert is 11 for 11 on field goals in Big 12 play.

• Redshirt junior receiver Lee Morris has 20 career catches and 10 have gone for touchdowns. The 50-percent touchdown rate ranks first in school history among players with at least 20 receptions.

• Kyler Murray has won four Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, tying OU’s single-season record set by Baker Mayfield last year.

• Kennedy Brooks, who has 640 yards on 57 rushes this year, is averaging 11.2 yards per carry. The OU single-season yards-per-carry record among players with at least 400 rushing yards is 9.5 by Leon “Mule Train” Heath in 1949. The Big 12 single-season record among players averaging at least 5.0 carries per team game is 8.9 yards per rush by West Virginia’s Tavon Austin in 2012.

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