The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From The Sooners 16 13 Win Over West Virginia

The Oklahoma Sooners got away with a lousy half against a Kansas team that came to play on Saturday, coming back from a 10-0 halftime deficit to beat the Jayhawks 35-23 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.

There wasn’t much positive to take away from this game. The Sooners struggled to find a rhythm and didn’t look focused in the first half of a game they should have run away with.

Though they got the win, it’s hard to find reasons to celebrate beating a team that’s been one of the worst in college football over the last decade. However, as we do each week, let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the Oklahoma Sooners 35-23 win over the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Good: Caleb Williams’ resiliency

Nothing in football is accomplished single-handedly, but Caleb Williams led the way for the Oklahoma Sooners to score 35 points in the second half.

It’s terrible they had to come back from a 10-point deficit at the end of the first half, but they did what they needed to do to get the win.

In the first half, Williams looked rattled by Kansas’ defensive calls. When they dropped into zone, he looked indecisive regarding where to throw the football and hesitant to run when a lane appeared.

The first half was the first time we had seen Williams look human in his collegiate career. However, the second-half performance reminded us why we feel optimistic about this team moving forward. He can put the team on his back and will it to victory. Though they shouldn’t have to do that against Kansas, it was clear they had hit the snooze button in the first half.

In the second half, Williams was 9 of 11 for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball six times for 93 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown run and a fourth-down conversion where he took the ball away from Kennedy Brooks, who was stopped by the Kansas defense.

After going punt, interception, turnover on downs on their drives in the first half, the Sooners scored touchdowns on all five drives in the second half.

Up Next: The Bad

The Bad: Not showing up until the second half

The broadcast team made a big deal about the weather conditions. It was drizzly and overcast on a cool October Saturday morning. However, the Sooners’ struggles were much bigger than that. They just flat didn’t show up.

Oklahoma might have been on the field, but its effort, heart and soul were left on the bus until they went back and found it in the seat back next to their headphones.

The Oklahoma defense allowed the Kansas Jayhawks to start with a 14-play 80-yard drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock. The Jayhawks faced a third down three times on the drive and converted each for the first down.

It was a terrible effort that saw the Sooners struggle to contain the Jayhawks ground game, and quarterback Jason Bean was efficient carving up the Sooners’ secondary.

It didn’t help the Oklahoma defense that the offense didn’t do anything with the ball its first drive. Williams and company went five plays and 14 yards before punting the ball back to Kansas, which went on another 12-play drive that took up more than six minutes before kicking a field goal to take a 10-0 lead.

Some of the credit for the Sooners letdown of a first-half has to go to Kansas. They executed and made plays. However, Oklahoma didn’t do anything to slow them down in the first half either.

The Sooners can’t just walk into a building and expect to win. They have to go out there and take it. As the six-time defending Big 12 champion who has made plans to leave for the SEC, every Big 12 school is going to be gunning for you. You can’t sleepwalk through a half with the slate of games the Sooners have coming up.

Up Next: The Ugly

The Ugly: Undisciplined play

The three offsides penalties were part of an eight-flag first half that kept the Oklahoma Sooners from getting their feet under them until the second half. The offensive line had an illegal blindside block and an unnecessary roughness penalty that tacked on 30 yards to the penalty total. False starts in front of a quiet road crowd displayed a lack of focus and attention to detail.

Caleb Williams’ interception was a bad throw. It was second-and-10, and he had some room to run but chose to throw the ball up for grabs, leaving it short of his intended receiver on the Sooners second drive of the game.

On their first drive, the Sooners faced a third-and-5. Kansas sent a blitz that went unblocked straight up the middle. Williams was sacked and Oklahoma was forced to punt.

Oklahoma couldn’t get off the field on third down as the Jayhawks went 9 of 13 on their way to more than 400 yards of offense. Their 412 yards of offense outgained the Oklahoma Sooners. That’s unheard of.

But that’s what happens when a defense doesn’t show up prepared to play a football game and forgets how to defend a read-option.

The read-option killed the Sooners in the first half. Eventually, they settled in, but for as long as the Sooners have seen the read-option run in college football, they should be better prepared to defend it. But it takes discipline. If defenders aren’t disciplined in their responsibilities, the quarterback can easily take advantage.

All in all, that was arguably the worst half of football the Sooners have played in the last 20 years. They were taken to the edge of potentially the biggest upset in college football history. If not for the late touchdown run by Kennedy Books, this game looks a lot closer on the scoreboard.

The Oklahoma Sooners have some soul-searching to do as they get ready to take on Texas Tech, who will be licking its chops at a chance to upset the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners.

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