This week’s Kansas-Oklahoma football game doesn’t appear that it will have many fascinating story lines, but one will be this:
Does the bad blood linger from last year?
Remember, KU captains and current players Joe Dineen, Daniel Wise and Jeremiah Booker all refused to shake Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield’s hand during the coin toss before last season’s game in Lawrence. It was the start of a game-long tiff, as Mayfield received a couple late hits before later making a lewd gesture toward the KU sideline following a third-quarter touchdown pass.
Oklahoma won, 41-3, with Dineen later saying the pregame decision was made to help fire up the Jayhawks.
One has to wonder if Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, who was upset after the game because he believed KU’s players had targeted Mayfield, will use last year’s events as a motivational ploy. It might not hurt considering there’s little reason for the Sooners, at 9-1, to be fired up about Saturday’s matchup with the 3-7 Jayhawks.
Here’s a look at the game.
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla.
Radio: WHB (810 AM) in Kansas City, KFH (1240 AM) in Wichita
The line: Oklahoma by 35 1/2
Five things to know
The Chiefs of college. Oklahoma is No. 1 nationally in yards per play, yards per game and second in points per game. The Sooners also are averaging 52 points per game in their last six contests — all coming against Big 12 foes.
Turnover slide: After leading the nation in turnover margin early, KU has backslid in this area recently. The Jayhawks are a combined minus-three on turnovers in their last two games, forcing none against Iowa State and Kansas State while losing three separate fumbles.
- Going way back: Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has a history with KU coach David Beaty, who previously recruited him to Texas A&M (where Murray played in 2015 before transferring). Murray said this week Beaty was “one of the coolest guys that I’ve dealt with in the recruiting process. … He’s really like family to me honestly.”
- Unlucky 7: KU has failed to score more than seven points in any of its last four meetings against Oklahoma. The scores in those four games: 44-7, 62-7, 56-3 and 41-3.
- So you’re telling me there’s a chance … According to the odds database at Team Rankings, college football teams that are 36-point underdogs or worse (like KU) are 0-52 this season. If you combine all games going back to 2003, though, 36-plus-point underdogs are a combined 3-512 … good for a .0058 win percentage.