#6 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2-3)
Saturday, October 5, 2019 @ Noon EST
Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, KS)
Moneyline: Oklahoma (-20000), Kansas (+7500)
Spread: Oklahoma -34.5 (-110), Kansas +34.5 (-110)
Total: Over 67.5 (-110), Under 67.5 (-110)
Oklahoma Sooners (4-0, 1-0 in Big 12)
The Oklahoma Sooners offense has been putting up huge numbers the past few years, especially under Lincoln Riley, as they’ve finished 3rd (45.1 PPG) and 1st (48.4 PPG) in scoring in his first 2 seasons, and are currently ranked 2nd in the country with 55.5 PPG. They’ve also racked up 100 more yards per game than UCF, who is 2nd IN THE COUNTRY. There’s a 100-yard difference between Oklahoma and UCF and they are #1 and #2 in the country. I’m 100% confident that Oklahoma has THE best offense in the country this season.
The biggest key to their success has been the outstanding play from Senior QB and Alabama transfer, Jalen Hurts. Hurts leads the country in Passing Efficiency Rating and has just 1 turnover: an interception in last week’s 55-16 drubbing of Texas Tech. The Senior QB has only thrown 85 passes total in the first 4 games of the season, but that is the result of him playing on just 2 4th quarter drives. Yes, you read that right. Jalen Hurts has only played on 2 4th quarter drives, not 2 4th quarters.
But, unfortunately for Kansas (and all of Oklahoma’s other opponents), Jalen Hurts isn’t the Sooners’ only offensive weapon. They also have a trio of running backs that are averaging over 8 yards per carry. The combination of Junior RBs, Trey Sermon and Rhamondre Stevens, and Sophomore RB, Kennedy Brooks, has run for 691 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns.
Hurts has done plenty in the first 3 quarters of their games, as they’ve taken leads of 42-17, 28-0, 34-7 and 34-10 into halftime. He had 6 total touchdowns in Week 1 (passing for 3 and running for 3 more), 3 total touchdowns in Week 2 (all passing), 4 total touchdowns in Week 3 (3 passing and 1 rushing) and 4 total touchdowns in Week 4 (3 passing and 1 rushing). Only 10 QBs have more passing touchdowns and only 4 QBs have more rushing touchdowns than Hurts.
Kansas Jayhawks (2-3, 0-2 in Big 12)
The Kansas Jayhawks defense, which has given up over 1,000 yards and 80 points in the last 2 weeks, will have its hands full yet again on Saturday, as they’ll be facing a juggernaut Oklahoma offense. The Jayhawks have not won the turnover battle in any of their first 5 games and have not forced a turnover since their 2 interceptions in Week 1 against FCS opponent, Indiana State. That certainly does not bode well for them this week. The Jayhawks defense has allowed 424.4 yards per game (98th in FBS) and 26.6 points per game (70th in FBS), so it’s fair to expect a big day for the Sooners offense.
Coming into this season, it looked as if one of Kansas’ big strengths was going to be their deep backfield. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, it looks as if they’ll be without two of their three best options for the rest of the season. One of their primary playmakers, Senior RB Khalil Herbert, is away from the program due to a personal matter and has no timetable for his return yet. Their third-string RB, Dom Williams, could be pursuing a transfer, although it looks as if he may just redshirt this season, no matter what. Herbert was their leading rusher, running for 384 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8.93 yards per carry (3rd in FBS). Williams, who entered the season with just over 100 total carries in his first 2 years, has yet to experience any sustained success at Kansas after finishing as a top-10 rusher in Texas high school football state history.
As far as quarterback play goes, Senior Carter Stanley has been pretty good this year, with the exception of their games against Coastal Carolina 13-19, 107 yards, 2 interceptions) and TCU (12-29, 84 yards, 1 touchdown). In their other 3 games, Stanley has completed 59 of 81 passes (72.8%) for 754 yards, 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Unfortunately for Stanley, he will be facing an impressive Oklahoma team that looks even better on both sides of the ball than last year when they tallied 568 yards of offense and 55 points and beat Kansas 55-40 in Norman.
These two teams put up 95 points last year at Oklahoma, but they’ve gone under in three of their last five matchups. That’s mostly due to Kansas’ lack of scoring, as they’ve put up 7 points or less in four of their last five matchups. With an Oklahoma defense that looks improved from last year, I don’t think Kansas will be able to have much offensive success. As far as Oklahoma’s offense goes, I definitely don’t see Kansas being the defense to slow them down, as the Sooners will likely run away with this one early and blow the Jayhawks out. Take the over and Oklahoma to cover this weekend and watch Jalen Hurts put a big hurt on Kansas’ defense.