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OU's defense vs. Kansas a tale of two halves

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: October 16, 2011

Quarterback Jordan Webb fumbled the snap, picked up the ball, took a step to his left and made an awkward pitch to Sims. OU cornerback Jamell Fleming had an open shot to tackle Sims.

Sims sidestepped Fleming. No other OU defender was close. Sims raced untouched down the Kansas sideline for a score.

The Jayhawks other touchdown also was set up by an unusual play.

Late in the second quarter, Webb was flushed out of the pocket. Scrambling around for several seconds Webb finally heaved a pass downfield to Reli Lewis. The 26-yard gain set up Darrian Miller’s 2-yard TD run.

“They got a lot of yards on those two plays,” Venables said. “A third of their yards came on two plays.”

Kansas has allowed nearly 60 points a game to four opponents from BCS conferences. It was inevitable the Sooners would eventually roll to a win after leading only 27-17 at halftime.

But the Jayhawks have arguably the worst defense in the nation. The true test in an otherwise meaningless game was how would OU’s defense fare against a respectable KU offense?

“Coming into the game we felt it was the best O-line we’ve played up to this point in the season,” Venables said. “They protect the ball. They run the ball, average over 200 yards rushing a game. They’re very patient.

But after halftime, OU’s defense dominated.

Sims and Miller, who combined for 137 rushing yards in the first half, were held to four yards rushing on 14 attempts in the second half.

“In the second half we came out and played our game,” Lewis said. “When you take a step back and look at it they had 260 yards and they put up 530 yards on Oklahoma State last week.

“I know they didn’t have their starters in the whole time. But any time you come out and a team has (only six yards) in a half you’re doing a pretty good job.”