NORMAN, Okla. — Trying to ride the momentum from a fourth-quarter comeback that fell just short, Kansas coach Charlie Weis decided to go with redshirt freshman Michael Cummings instead of Dayne Crist as his starting quarterback against No. 10 Oklahoma.
That move never worked out, nor did anything else as the Jayhawks' Big 12 losing streak reached 16.
Landry Jones threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns, and the Sooners scored on a kickoff return and a punt return in the same game for the first time in school history while clobbering Kansas 52-7 on Saturday night.
"I'm not worried about the quarterback. I've got a whole bunch of issues," Weis said afterward. "Why don't we talk about special teams? Why don't we start there? It seemed like every time we had a return it was for a touchdown."
Justin Brown made up for a lost fumble on his previous punt return by running his next chance back 90 yards and diving at the pylon for the score. Roy Finch then opened the second half with a 100-yard runback to stretch the lead to 45-0.
The Brown-Finch combo marked the first time the Sooners (5-1, 3-1 Big 12) have had two plays at least 90 yards long in the same game.
"Look, I'm upset about everything but I wait until I watch the tape before I really get pointed as far as where I'm going. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to sit there and watch missed tackles with four guys in front of a return and making them all miss," Weis said, upset that even his starters and second-teamers on special teams didn't fare better.
"This isn't Barry Sanders out there that we're talking about now."
James Sims ran for 102 yards and a shutout-preventing touchdown in the fourth quarter for Kansas (1-6, 0-4), which has lost 27 of 28 Big 12 games.
There wasn't anything close to a letdown for the Sooners, who improved to 14-0 under coach Bob Stoops in games immediately after the Red River Rivalry against Texas. Oklahoma faces No. 5 Notre Dame next Saturday night.
"It wasn't hard to stay focused on Kansas. We know that Notre Dame's a great team but we're a great team also," Finch said. "So, we just wanted to close out Kansas and we know that the game ahead of us next Saturday is going to be a crazy game."
The Jayhawks hadn't trailed by more than 10 at halftime in any of their first six games this season, but they were already down 38-0 in this one.
"At halftime, it wasn't about trying to win the game," Weis said. "At halftime, it was, 'Let's see what you've got in you.'"
Weis said he encouraged his players to avoid making "this one of the worst losses ever" and was pleased by their continued effort — particularly on the 19-play scoring drive and the stop on the ensuing drive, refusing to let Oklahoma run out the clock.
"It hurts because this is the first time this year that a game got away from us in the first half," Weis said. "We haven't had a game get away from us like that one was."
The Jayhawks could never crack Oklahoma's first-team defense, which hasn't given up a point in two straight weeks.
For their part, Jones and the first-team offense scored on their first six possessions — settling for Michael Hunnicutt's 37-yard field goal on their first drive and then scoring touchdowns on the next five.
The streak was finally broken up in the third quarter, after Jones was called for intentional grounding to set up a second-and-26 hole that proved too much to overcome. That ended up being the final series for the starters, who left with a 52-0 lead after just 46 offensive snaps.
"Just the way we prepared this week for this game, knowing that people were overlooking it and looking to next week, just showed a lot of character for us," said Kenny Stills, who caught a 44-yard TD pass from Jones.
"I feel like we're really excited for that."
Cummings had been at the helm as the Jayhawks rallied for 14 straight points and had the ball with a chance to go ahead in the fourth quarter of a 20-14 loss to Oklahoma State last week. But he and Crist, who'd been the starter the rest of the season, were equally ineffective.
Cummings went 10 for 21 for 111 yards with two interceptions. Crist was 3 of 6 for 13 yards and fumbled away an early opportunity for the Jayhawks to keep it interesting.
After Josh Ford scooped up Brown's fumble at the 11-yard line, Crist was off-target on a first-down swing pass to Tre' Parmalee, forcing him to fall down with no one around him in the flat.Comment on this story
"I think it's a walk-in touchdown" with a good pass, Weis said.
Cummings replaced him and threw incomplete into the end zone on second down before Tom Wort sacked Crist and knocked the ball free, with defensive tackle Casey Walker rumbling 45 yards on the return.
Instead of interrupting the Sooners' momentum, Oklahoma kept steamrolling toward the showdown with the Fighting Irish.
"We expected to come out here and put on a better performance," Cummings said, "so naturally any competitor would be frustrated with what we put out there."