Kansas football lost to the Oklahoma Sooners 45-20 Saturday, but there were still bright spots to draw from heading into the bye week.
Among those reasons for hope was the performance of junior wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. The wideout recorded his first career 100-yard game, racking up five receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
“They’re going to take the strides that they need to have the success that they’re going to want to have. I thought that Stephon Robinson’s two touchdowns and the way he played the entire day was just spectacular,” coach Les Miles said in a Kansas Athletics press release.
The Kansas wide receiver scored his first touchdown by gaining separation from Oklahoma junior safety Robert Barnes. Robinson ran right past Barnes and caught the ball in stride after getting on the outside of the defensive backs' man-to-man coverage.
Robinson earned his second score with patience. Senior quarterback Carter Stanley kept a second-and-17 play alive, and the wideout found a hole in the Sooners’ zone defense. Stanley lofted the ball over the secondary, and the wideout caught his second touchdown of the day.
“The first one was a simple go route where I had one-on-one coverage, and Carter [Stanley] threw it up, and I made a play. The second one was a scramble play with Carter finding me in the open field for a touchdown,” Robinson Jr. told Kansas Athletics.
Aside from his performance, the Jayhawks can also feel good about their ability to convert on third down.
Kansas was 21-for-58 heading into the game against Oklahoma and went 6-for-14 on third down Saturday after going a season worst one-for-11 last week against TCU.
With junior linebacker Dru Prox and senior running back Khalil Herbert out of play against TCU this Saturday, Kansas football fell 51-14 in Fort Worth, Texas. Coach Les Miles stays steady in that rebuilding will not happen overnight.
Although Miles said he thought his team could’ve done better with converting on third down later in the game, he said he still saw it as a step forward.
Miles said the Jayhawks’ ability to sustain drives and keep the ball away from the Sooners was something to build from as well.
“So we probably had the ball 10 minutes longer than we had last week, and considering the ability that the opponent had to score, I think that was wise, and I think that’s a nice view, something positive,” Miles said.
Kansas had only won the time of possession battle once, which was at Boston College, before its game against Oklahoma. Although it was just a marginal difference, 30:29 (Oklahoma) to 29:31 (Kansas), the Jayhawks improved vastly from the week before when they only had the ball for 20:25 against TCU.
Despite the dismissal of offensive coordinator Les Koenning, Kansas still has positives to build off of as Brent Dearmon takes Koenning’s place with two weeks to game plan for the Texas Longhorns. Kansas will travel next to Austin, Texas, Friday, Oct. 19. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.