LAWRENCE (AP) — With three tough games looming at the end of its schedule, No. 14 Oklahoma had no trouble getting up for Saturday’s game against winless Kansas.
Baker Mayfield completed 27 of 32 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns and Oklahoma beat Kansas 62-7.
It was evident quickly that the Sooners would have little trouble with the Jayhawks, but they stayed sharp in this blowout. Oklahoma will face No. 2 Baylor, No. 5 TCU and No. 12 Oklahoma State in the last three weeks of November.
“We know what’s coming,” Mayfield said. “That’s why we’re preparing. We knew from the beginning our hardest three games were at the end of the year. That’s no surprise. Obviously you have to win one week at a time with Big 12 play, but we knew that our little gauntlet at the end was the most important.”
Sterling Shepard had 183 yards receiving and a touchdown on 11 catches for the Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12). Samaje Perine added 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
Oklahoma fans comprised the majority of the audience at Memorial Stadium, which had a crowd nowhere close to capacity.
“If we can come out and create energy in front of a smaller crowd, that’s good for us,” Mayfield said. “Who knows what will happen when we get a bigger crowd now, so we’re doing a good job right now.”
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is now 11-0 against the Jayhawks in his career. Kansas (0-8, 0-5) has dropped 11 consecutive games dating to last season.
The Sooners led the Jayhawks 38-7 at halftime then scored on its first drive of the second half when Sam Grant snagged a 1-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield. Kansas fumbled on the first play of the next drive, and Oklahoma quickly took a 52-7 lead after backup quarterback Trevor Knight finished a short drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Sooners kicked a field goal with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter, upping their lead to 55-7. Oklahoma pushed its advantage to 62-7 when Knight connected with his twin brother, Connor Knight, for a 17-yard score with 5:32 left in the game.
The Jayhawks had no answer for a powerful Sooners offense that scored 50 points for the third time in as many games. It was the first time Oklahoma has done that since 2008, when quarterback Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy.
Oklahoma took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter when Joe Mixon caught Mayfield’s strike and outran defenders for a 68-yard touchdown. The Sooners scored again on their next drive, which culminated in an 11-yard touchdown pass to Durron Neal. On the following drive, Shepard’s leaping catch in the end zone stretched Oklahoma’s lead to 21-0 with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
Oklahoma outgained Kansas 248-41 in the first 15 minutes of play.
The Jayhawks showed signs of life in the second quarter after recovering Shepard’s muffed punt. Kansas took advantage of the short field, and Ryan Willis found Tyler Patrick for a 17-yard touchdown that brought Kansas within 21-7.
With 9 minutes remaining in the half, Oklahoma upped its lead to 28-7 with a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Perine. The score capped a 14-play drive that lasted nearly 6 minutes. Mayfield was sacked twice during the possession and the Sooners hurt themselves with a 15-yard penalty, but Oklahoma still found the end zone.
On its next drive, Kansas threw a wrinkle at the Sooners when it had Willis punt, and the ball rolled out of bounds at the 3-yard line. The Sooners settled for a 46-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, taking a 31-7 lead.
Oklahoma finished with 445 passing yards and 265 rushing yards.
“Last week we did a great job running the ball, so you have no choice but to load the box,” Shepard said. “You’ve got to stop Perine and Joe Mixon and them, so it definitely helps us wideouts a lot, and we’ve got to continue to win one-on-one battles and make competitive catches, and I feel like guys did a great job of that today.”