Oklahoma coaches added a “Wildcat” package for third-team quarterback Blake Bell, using the redshirt freshman on third-and-short and goal-line situations. Bell's role might be similar to Tim Tebow's role early in his career at Florida.
“It's something we'll keep evolving with,” said coach Bob Stoops. “Blake is so physical and strong. He's about 255 pounds. It's another guy to defend. The beauty of it is he can throw the ball. We're going to keep developing that.”
Bell's first play was a 1-yard touchdown run.
“I had some jitters,” Bell said. “I expected a linebacker to come (hit me), but the line just blew it wide open and I walked in.”
The second time, the Sooners faced a third-and-2. Bell fumbled, fell on it and OU was forced a punt.
“Me and Roy (Finch) had a fumble exchange,” Bell said. “I was supposed to (fake it) then keep it. It was my fault. As the quarterback, I have to hold onto it. We'll get it fixed.”
DEFENSE MAKES A STATEMENT
OU's defense struggled at times against the run in the first half, but the Sooners defense dominated the second half.
Kansas State averaged 7.7 yards per carry in the first half.
“A couple of times, we got out of position reading the play, which is what they do,” Stoop said. “(Quarterback Collin Klein) makes you pay for it. And we missed some tackles. We didn't tackle well in the first half. In the second half, we settled in and were more assignment correct.”
In the second half, the Sooners limited K-State to 31 total yards and four first downs.
The Wildcats rushed for only six yards on 10 second-half carries. OU recorded seven sacks, six in the second half. Linebackers Tom Wort and Corey Nelson had two sacks each.
“Our front seven played very physical, had great resolve,” said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. “We had a tough, physical mindset the second half. At the end of the day, that was the difference.”
REYNOLDS MAKES TWO DAZZLING CATCHES
A week after he dropped three passes in a loss to Texas Tech, sophomore wide receiver Jaz Reynolds hauled in three catches, including two dazzling plays.
“I dropped a touchdown last week. This week, I had to snatch everything,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds made an acrobatic 25-yard catch midway through the second quarter, followed by an 18-yard touchdown reception that he caught one-handed.
“The first one, the sun was kind of in my eyes. I just had to focus,” Reynolds said. “The second one, I just snatched it out of the air. But there were a lot more plays out there today than those two.”
OFFENSE HAS A HUGE DAY
OU's offense compiled 567 total yards and scored eight touchdowns.
The Sooners had touchdown drives of 80, 77, 62, 63, 68, 62, 67 and 72 yards.
“Coaches pushed all week to be in the right place at the right time,” said wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who had 14 catches for 171 yards. “We worked hard on areas we needed to improve on individually. That really paid off for us.”
COLVIN STARTS AT CORNERBACK
Aaron Colvin, moved to cornerback in the third quarter of last week's game, played the entire game Saturday at cornerback. Sam Proctor and Javon Harris played the majority of the game at safety. Tony Jefferson played the “Roy backer” (strongside linebacker).
Colvin is filling in for cornerback Jamell Fleming, who suffered a knee injury two weeks ago against Kansas and underwent arthroscopic surgery 11 days ago.
“We thought Jamell was going to play,” Venables said. “He practiced (Friday). We're really proud of Aaron and happy for us that we have a little depth there.”
All of OU's injured players returned except Fleming. Linebacker Tom Wort (concussion), defensive tackle Casey Walker (thumb) and Dominique Whaley (flu) all played, although Whaley suffered a season-ending broken ankle on the first play of the game.
“They're going to surgery (Sunday),” Stoops said. “They're saying they're going to have to put a pin in (his ankle). I'm sure that will be it for Dom for the year. I'm really sad for Dom. What a great young man. We'll miss him.”
HUNNICUTT HITS A 53-YARDER
Criticized after missing two field goals in last week's loss to Texas Tech, Michael Hunnicutt made his only field goal attempt Saturday, a 53-yarder on the final play of the first half that just cleared the crossbar.
The only negative was Hunnicutt had an extra point blocked by K-State's Raphael Guidry coming off the edge.
“I've been really pleased with Michael's overall play,” Stoops said. “He's only going to get better. He's comfortable. He's doing really well.”
Deep snapper Austin Woods was sidelined by an undisclosed injury. James Winchester, the deep snapper on punts, also snapped for field goals and extra points.
TIGHT ENDS HAVE A BIG DAY
Tight ends haven't been as involved in the passing game this season but had some big plays against K-State.
James Hanna hauled in a short pass and turned it into a 35-yard reception on OU's second possession of the second half. It set up the touchdown that turned the game into a rout. Backup tight end Trent Ratterree added a 12-yard touchdown catch.
GAME GETS CHIPPY
Kansas State fans booed following two third-quarter plays. After tackling KSU quarterback Collin Klein for a 2-yard loss, forcing a punt, OU defensive end Frank Alexander accidentally stepped on Klein's chest.
A few minutes later, on a kickoff, OU reserve linebacker Kellen Jones shoved K-State's Tyler Lockett after the return ended.
There were signs before kickoff the game might get chippy. Minutes before kickoff, a couple dozen players from both teams talked trash in the south end zone, eventually separated by coaches.