KU Looking to Bounce Back Against No. 16/18 Oklahoma State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas looks to halt a two-game winless streak when it plays host to No. 16/18 Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 11. The Cowboys have won four-straight over the Jayhawks and lead the all-time series 32-29-3.
KU interim head coach Clint Bowen will lead the Jayhawks into action for the first time in Lawrence after coaching his inagural game on the road. Kansas is 2-1 in Memorial Stadium in 2014. The Jayhawks and Cowboys will kickoff at 3 p.m., in Memorial Stadium, with a live broadcast on FOX Sports 1.
- Kansas owns a 578-592-58 all-time record entering Saturday’s game versus Oklahoma State.
- Kansas’ game versus Oklahoma State will serve as its ‘Jayhawks For A Cure’ game. Fans can purchase $20 tickets using the promo code “CURE” on KUAthletics.com, with a $5 donation going toward ‘Jayhawks For A Cure’.
- Kansas is playing its fifth-straight mid-afternoon game. The Jayhawks kicked off at Duke and at home against Central Michigan at 2:30 p.m. (CT) and faced Texas and West Virginia at 3 p.m.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS FOOTBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 8-8 all-time in games played on Oct. 11. The Jayhawks defeated Colorado, 30-14, on Oct. 11, 2008–the last time they played on Oct. 11. The win over the Buffaloes snapped a six-game losing streak for the Jayhawks of games played on Oct. 11. Kansas played its first-ever game on Oct. 11 in 1895 with a 10-0 win at Emporia State.
KANSAS-OKLAHOMA STATE CONNECTIONS
KU only has two players from the state of Oklahoma on the roster in juniors LB Jake Love and CB Ronnie Davis. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, has reached north into Kansas to recruit six players to its team. KU WR Rodriguez Coleman teamed up with OSU athlete Tyreek Hill at Garden City Community College. The state of Texas has been quite generous to both schools supplying 24 players for the Jayhawks and 66 for OSU. Oklahoma State’s Chris Hardeman and Keenen Brown attended Alief Taylor High School in Houston, as did KU’s Greg Allen. Blake Webb from OSU and WR Tyler Patrick from KU went to The Woodlands High School (TX) together. Cowboys’ S Deric Robertson and KU QB Michael Cummings hail from Killeen. OSU RB Rennie Childs and KU’s WR Darious Crawley both made their way north from Cypress Ridge High School in Houston. KU OL Jacob Bragg and OSU OL Devin Davis were teammates at Nacogdoches High School. Safety Alex Matlock and OSU DE Victor Irokansi are Pflugerville natives. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy holds a record of 11-7 all-time record against KU, including a 4-0 mark as a player for the Cowboys. His 429-yard passing performance against the Jayhawks in 1989 is the second-best passing game at Oklahoma State. KU DL coach Buddy Wyatt and Gundy served on the Cowboys’ coaching staff in 1995. Wyatt and OSU OL coach Bob Connelly worked together at Alabama from 2003-06. OSU DL coach Joe Bob Clements previously coached in the same capacity at KU in 2008.
SCOUTING THE OKLAHOMA STATE OFFENSE
Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense is averaging 39.2 points per game and has accumulated 115 first downs on the season. The Cowboys have netted 816 rushing yards and have thrown for 1,433 yards. Oklahoma State plays with a balanced attack on offense, distributing the touchdowns evenly between the run and pass – 11 rushing touchdowns, 10 passing touchdowns. OSU’s offense is comfortable throwing the ball up over the top or running between the tackles with 286.6 yards passing and 163.2 yards rushing through five games this year. The Cowboys’ offense is averaging exactly six yards-per-play and nearly 450 yards each game. Opponents have a difficult time keeping Oklahoma State off of the board when they enter the red zone, putting points on the board on 21-of-22 tries inside the 20-yard line. Individually, the Cowboys are led by running back Desmond Roland who is tied for third in the conference averaging 76 yards on the ground a game, carrying the ball a total of 75 times for 304 yards and six touchdowns. After taking over at quarterback for the injured J.W. Walsh, Daxx Garman has elevated himself to third in the conference averaging 300 yards through the air after four games. Garman has completed 75 out of 128 passes for 1,200 yards with four interceptions compared to nine touchdowns.
SCOUTING THE OKLAHOMA STATE DEFENSE
The Oklahoma State defense is allowing its opponents to score 25 points-per-contest while giving up 103 first downs through five games. The Cowboys’ front seven stops opponents from running the ball, only giving up 3.4 yards per carry for a total of 574 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. The pass defense has been the oppositions’ most successful way to move the ball on the Cowboys, completing a combined 110-of-192 passes for 10 touchdowns and 1316 yards, breaking down to an average of 263.2 aerial yards per match up. As much as the adversaries have wanted to throw the ball, the Cowboys have disrupted six passes by way of interceptions. As opposing teams enter the red zone, Oklahoma State’s defense has buckled down and only allowed a touchdown 39 percent of the time (7-of-18). Junior linebacker Ryan Simmons leads the team and is 14th in the conference with 35 tackles, averaging seven each game. Senior linebacker Josh Furman disrupts plays in the backfield with a conference third-best and team-high four sacks on the year along with seven total tackles for loss which places him fourth in the league. The secondary has two players ranked in the Big 12’s top four in passes defended as cornerback Kevin Peterson has totaled eight breakups and one interception. Corner Ashton Lampkin leads the team with two interceptions, while also having three pass breakups to his name.
OKLAHOMA STATE HEAD COACH MIKE GUNDY
Of the 29 total seasons Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has been in the collegiate ranks, 24 of them have been as a part of the Cowboys’ staff. Gundy was the 2010 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year and took home three national coach of the year honors in 2011. Gundy’s ties to OSU started in 1986 as a quarterback for the Cowboys. He ended his playing career in 1989 as OSU’s all-time leading passer with 7,997 yards and also owns six of Oklahoma State’s top 30 single-game passing performances. Gundy was brought onto the coaching staff in 1990 as the wide receivers coach and in 1991 was moved to mentor the quarterbacks. Gundy was elevated to offensive coordinator duties in 1994. After taking two different jobs from 1996-2000, Gundy returned to his alma mater in 2001 to serve as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator – a job he held until 2004 when he was named the head coach before the 2005 season. Since 2005, under his command, the Cowboys have produced 16 All-Americans in the last six seasons. As a team, Oklahoma State has been ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll in five of the last six seasons and has posted 10-win seasons three of the last four years. OSU has finished no lower than third in the Big 12 since 2009 and has a current streak of eight-straight bowl games.
KANSAS-WEST VIRGINIA LEFTOVERS
- Members of the Kansas football team wore a black ‘AM’ decal on the back of their white helmets to commemorate former Kansas commit and Shawnee Mission West High School senior wide receiver/cornerback Andre Maloney, who tragically passed away on Oct. 4, 2013
- With 7:13 remaining in the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart found junior wide receiver Nigel King for King’s longest reception as a Jayhawk – 30 yards.
- King also hauled-in a KU career-high four passes for 52 yards.
- Junior quarterback Michael Cummings started the second half as the offense’s signal caller and completed a season-high eight passes for 65 yards.
- Freshman running back Corey Avery put the Jayhawks on the board with his second rushing touchdown of the season, a 4-yard run, marking the first points Kansas has scored since the fourth quarter against Central Michigan on Sept. 20.
- Redshirt freshman tight end Ben Johnson captured a career-long 17-yard reception midway through the fourth quarter.
- Late in the fourth quarter, sophomore quarterback T.J. Millweard saw the first action of his KU career and completed his first career pass to senior wide receiver Tony Pierson for a gain of four yards.
- Senior cornerback Dexter McDonald finished the game with a career-high eight stops.
- With 10:36 to play in the third quarter and WVU threatening to score, junior safety Isaiah Johnson intercepted a Mountaineer pass near the end zone and returned it 29 yards to the 30-yard line. It marked the first interception of the season for Johnson, who led the Jayhawks in interceptions with five in 2013. Johnson also tied a season-high with eight tackles against the Mountaineers.
- Senior cornerback JaCorey Shepherd tied a career-high with three pass breakups on the day.
- Freshman cornerback Matthew Boateng forced and recovered the first fumble of his career with 5:29 left in the game
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
- Senior punter Trevor Pardula punted a career-high 14 times. Pardula’s day was capped by establishing a new career-high and school record in net punting yardage total with 621 yards. Pardula also broke the Milan Puskar Stadium record for most punts in a game by an individual with 14.
- With 13:10 to play in the first quarter, senior safety Cassius Sendish returned the first kick off of his career for 17 yards to the KU 20-yard line.
- With 11:07 to play in the second quarter, junior defensive lineman T.J. Semke blocked a 47-yard Mountaineer field goal attempt. The blocked field goal came on the heels of junior linebacker Jake Love’s blocked field goal Sept. 27 against Texas. The last time a Kansas team blocked field goal attempts in consecutive games was on Oct. 9. 2004 against Kansas State on Oct. 23, 2004 against Oklahoma.
- After a 46-yard Pardula punt with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter, West Virginia muffed the kick and senior wide receiver Justin McCay recovered the fumble at the West Virginia 18-yard line. McCay’s fumble recovery was the first of his career and also marked the first time in the game that KU ran an offensive play in the red zone.
HARWELL’S HAPPY RETURNS
Jayhawk senior wide receiver/punt returner Nick Harwell ranks second in the Big 12 Conference in punt returns with 26.4 yards per return on five returns, including his 76 yard return for a touchdown in KU’s game at West Virginia. Harwell trails only Tyler Lockett of Kansas State in punt return average, with the All-American Lockett edging him out at 26.8 yards per return. Harwell finished the West Virginia game with 84 yards on two punt returns, earning him College Football Performance Awards punt returner of the week honors.
Kansas has found a niche picking up loose footballs as the Jayhawks lead the Big 12 Conference and rank 28th nationally in fumbles recovered with five through the first five contests of the 2014 season. Both the Jayhawk defense and special teams have been involved in the fumble recoveries as five different KU players have picked up the football in LB Ben Heeney, BUCK Victor Simmons, DL Ben Goodman, WR Justin McCay and CB Matthew Boateng.
Kansas punter/kicker Trevor Pardula is shattering the Jayhawk record books for punting. Pardula set the single-game punting yards record with 621 yards accumulated on 14 punts at West Virginia. Pardula’s 14 punts also set a single-game record for punts by an individual at Milan Puskar Stadium. Pardula averaged 44.4 yards on those 14 punts, giving him an even 40 career punts of 50 yards or more in just his second season as a Jayhawk. In 2013, Pardula punted 84 times for 3,668 yards, both of which set KU single-season records. Perhaps a more impressive feat is that Pardula became only the eighth Jayhawk punter since 1937, and the first since 1999, to average 43 or more yards-per-punt. He ended the 2013 season averaging the sixth-best yards-per-attempt in Kansas history with 43.7 yards-per-punt, good for third in the conference and 18th in the nation.
KU special teams have come up big, blocking field goals in each of the last two games. Junior linebacker Jake Love got his hand on a Texas field goal, while junior defensive lineman T.J. Semke was able to turn back a West Virginia field goal attempt in KU’s last outing. The last time a Kansas team blocked field goal attempts in consecutive games was on Oct. 9. 2004 against Kansas State on Oct. 23, 2004 against Oklahoma.
Following Saturday’s game vs. Oklahoma State, Kansas will travel to Texas Tech on Saturday, Oct. 18. The Jayhawks and Red Raiders will be meeting for the 16th time in program history with Texas Tech leading the all-time series 14-1. Kansas’ lone win in the series came with a 34-31 overtime victory in Lubbock in 2001. TTU leads 7-1 all-time in games played in Lubbock. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., with a live broadcast on FOX Sports Net.
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