Oklahoma vs. Kent State score: Sooners overcome sluggish start, lean on defense to avoid upset
The Sooners also got a big day from the passing game to avoid an upset at home
No. 7 Oklahoma overcame a sluggish start in Week 2, using a strong second half to pull away for a 33-3 victory over upset-minded Kent State. The Sooners didn't score for the first 29:42 of the game, but dropped 24 points in the third quarter to turn a battle into a blowout.
Quarterback Dillon Gabriel played well in his second start for the Sooners, completing 21 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Seven catches, 163 yards receiving and two touchdowns went to Marvin Mims, who continues to make his case as one of the nation's most underrated -- if not best -- receivers. The defense locked down in the second half, holding the Golden Flashes to just 141 total yards.
Kent State fought hard in the first half, holding a 3-0 lead for most of the second quarter. The Sooners had just seven rushing yards on 13 attempts in the first half, while Kent State quarterback Collin Schlee broke away for 58 yards passing and 54 yards rushing alone.
However, linebacker Danny Stutsman led an Oklahoma defense that posted 14 tackles for loss and found its rhythm after halftime adjustments. Stutsman posted 21 tackles and four tackles four loss, while defensive linemen Reggie Grimes and Jalen Redmond added 2.5 tackles for loss each. Kent State linebacker Khalib Johns played well with two tackles for loss, but the defensive intensity couldn't keep up.
Now, Oklahoma's attention turns to bitter rival Nebraska for Week 3 in the Sooners' first trip to Lincoln since 2009.