Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Kansas Jayhawks and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Saturday, October 15, 2022; 11:00 a.m. CT; Oklahoma Memorial Stadium; Norman, Oklahoma
TV: ESPN2 (Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Tiffany Blackmon)
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network (Brian Hanni, David Lawrence, Brandon McAnderson); Sooner Sports Radio (Toby Rowland, Teddy Lehman, Gabe Ikard, Chris Plank)
Records: Kansas (5-1, 2-1 Big 12); Oklahoma (3-3, 0-3 Big 12)
Rankings: Kansas ranked No. 19 (AP Top 25); Oklahoma unranked
Last Week: Kansas 31, TCU 38; Oklahoma 0, Texas 49
Series History: Oklahoma leads 79-28-6
Last Meeting: Oklahoma 35, Kansas 23 (2021)
Favorite: Oklahoma (-7)
Fun Fact: Kansas will be looking for its first road win in this series since 1996 and could be catching Oklahoma at a good time, as the Sooners just suffered their first shutout loss since 1998 (Texas A&M).
QB Jason Bean
There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of confidence in Kansas seeing its starting quarterback Jalon Daniels returning to the fold on Saturday as he emerged from the locker room against TCU in a sling after suffering an apparent shoulder injury. The good news? Jason Bean stepped in and gave Kansas a chance to win against TCU, going 16-24 for 262 yards and four touchdowns to just one interception. Even with Daniels out, KU has to feel confident it can move the ball against a struggling Oklahoma defense.
DE Lonnie Phelps
Kansas defensive end Lonnie Phelps has been a difference-maker for the Jayhawks this season and it all starts with rushing the passer. Phelps leads the Jayhawks with 6.0 sacks, which is also good for second in the Big 12 behind only Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah (6.5). If Phelps can get after the Oklahoma quarterback, it could disrupt the Sooners’ offensive game plan and spell disaster for OU yet again this year.
QB Dillon Gabriel
I’m going to be blunt about this: If Dillon Gabriel isn’t available for this game, you can chalk it up as a Kansas win. What we saw out of the Oklahoma offense against Texas was all I needed to see to know that Gabriel is the most important piece to Oklahoma’s entire roster. OU managed just 88 yards passing in the six and half quarters that Gabriel has been missing from the lineup, including just 38 yards through the against Texas. Gabriel can’t get back fast enough for the Sooners and they’d better hope that it’s this week against KU.
LB Danny Stutsman
It wouldn’t have mattered if Kyler Murray himself had played quarterback for the Sooners against their last two opponents, they’d have still lost with the defensive performances we have seen. That side of the ball has been wildly inconsistent and downright bad over the last two weeks, and if that doesn’t change on Saturday, Oklahoma will lose four straight. Sophomore linebacker Danny Stutsman leads OU in tackles (55) and is an up-and-coming impact player for the Sooners. He needs to emerge as a leader for Oklahoma, and quick, or else this season could be a lost cause for any growth defensively.
With Jalon Daniels likely out, can Jason Bean shine as the starter? It is one thing to come into a game in front of a fired-up home crowd and ride the wave of momentum to a good performance. It is another to practice all week and hit the road as the starter in a pivotal Big 12 road game. It hasn’t mattered who played quarterback against the Sooners over the last few weeks though, and I don’t expect that to change all of a sudden. If Bean can make the plays he needs to in this game, Kansas should have a great shot at picking up a win over the Sooners in Norman.
With Dillon Gabriel back in the fold, can Oklahoma win a shootout? I am out on believing that Brent Venables’ squad is going to magically learn how to play defense after duds in three-consecutive performances. That means the Sooners are going to have to start winning games like we’ve seen them do in years past, and that is by scoring a billion points. Dillon Gabriel is as familiar with Jeff Lebby’s scheme as anyone, and I am a believer that he can make the Oklahoma offense hum like the days of old.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 41, Kansas 38
The return of Dillon Gabriel plus the absence of Jalon Daniels is the difference in this game, in my opinion. Oklahoma’s offense is plenty good enough to put points up on the board with Gabriel on the field, and Jason Bean is in a high-pressure situation on the road. While Vegas sees Oklahoma as a touchdown favorite, I don’t see the Sooners winning by that much over a good Kansas team. Give me Oklahoma by a field goal on homecoming, and a chance to go into their bye week at 4-3.