With Jordan Phillips out for the year after undergoing back surgery earlier this week, defensive line was about the last place that Oklahoma could afford to lose any players in its rotation.
But junior defensive tackle Torrea Peterson, who had split time with Jordan Wade in the spot vacated by Phillips, was suspended for Saturday's 34-19 win over Kansas for academic reasons, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.
Stoops said he expected Peterson back for next week's home game against Texas Tech “provided he takes care of his academic issues.”
The Sooners started Wade and Chuka Ndulue inside with P.L. Lindley and Charles Tapper at the ends.
The start was the first of Lindley's career.
WILSON, SHEAD LEAVE WITH INJURIES
Nickelback Julian Wilson was knocked out of the game early in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and spent the rest of the game watching from the sidelines without his shoulder pads on.
Wilson didn't start as the Sooners loaded up against the Kansas' running attack.
Late in the game, left guard Adam Shead went down, also with an apparent shoulder injury.
Shead did not return.
When Shead left the game, Bronson Irwin shifted to the left while Nila Kasitati took over Irwin's right-guard spot.
After the game, Stoops said he wasn't sure on the severity of either injury.
SMALL ADJUSTMENTS PAY OFF FOR SOONER D
After being out of sorts early as the Jayhawks ran the ball more than effectively, Oklahoma's defense adjusted quite well the final three quarters.
Kansas managed just one first down in the second half and just five of its 12 after the first quarter.
“A lot of the early stuff in the first half — we can play, we just misalign and at times our guys need to do a better job of recognizing formations and getting where we need to be,” Stoops said.
Linebacker Eric Striker said the halftime adjustments weren't drastic.
“It wasn't much, it was just a tiny bit of a crease and gap adjustment and playing football too, of course,” Striker said. “It wasn't that we weren't playing hard, we were just missing a couple of gaps here and there.”
DOUBLE TIGHT COMES BACK
The tight end hasn't played much of a factor in Oklahoma's offense since the offensive shift last season mostly left tight ends off the field.
Saturday, though, the Sooners ran plenty of double tight-end sets, usually with Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski.
“That was a really good set for us today,” co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “It helped us in a couple play-action passes that didn't work out, but we were really efficient running the football on the edge.”
BESTER'S TD PASS FIRST SINCE BRADLEY
Lacoltan Bester's touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard was the first touchdown pass by a non-quarterback since Mark Bradley threw a 17-yard scoring pass to Mark Clayton in the 2003 Bedlam game.
Sooners co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said he'd seen Shepard make similar throws before but never Bester.
“That was the best ball he's thrown,” Norvell said. “We've been practicing that for months.
“It was a great ball, I thought it was a good call by Heup and Shep sold it really well. The corner was playing him and then Shep kind of settled down and then he took off. I thought the kids really did a great job of executing that play.”
After Oklahoma scored its first touchdown of the game to cut the deficit to seven midway through the second, the Jayhawks mixed things up at quarterback.
Kansas brought on freshman Montell Cozart for the first time this season.
Cozart, a dual-threat, finished with three carries for eight yards and didn't attempt a pass.
The Jayhawks were rolling offensively when Cozart came in, with 165 total yards. After Cozart came on, the Jayhawks had just 36 yards of total offense.
Stoops moved to within two wins of tying Barry Switzer for the most wins in school history. … The Sooners have won 21 consecutive games following a regular-season loss, dating back to 2004. … Sooners linebackers coach Tim Kish was on crutches for the game and spent the first half of the game in the press box before coaching from the sidelines after half. … Oklahoma dropped several possible interceptions, including one by Zack Sanchez early in the game and another by Dominique Alexander early in the fourth. … Wide receiver Durron Neal made his first career start. … Sophomore linebacker Eric Striker picked up his first career sack on Kansas' second drive. Tapper had Oklahoma's other two sacks. … Wade blocked an extra point for the second consecutive week. … Jaz Reynolds' TD catch was his first since 2011 against Texas A&M.