No. 11 Cowboys Hand Jayhawks, 42-6, Defeat
STILLWATER, Okla. – No. 11 Oklahoma State scored 28 unanswered points in the first half, including a kick return for a touchdown to open the game, while handing Kansas a 42-6 defeat at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Both teams collected more than 300 yards of total offense and Kansas (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) possessed the ball for nearly 38 of the game’s 60 minutes, but the Cowboys (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) were more proficient at putting the ball in the end zone. Oklahoma State scored four touchdowns before KU logged its first points in the third quarter and reached the end zone six times in the game.
KU’s Tony Pierson led all players with 87 yards rushing and was one of four Jayhawks with more than 50 yards on the ground in the loss. Kansas wide receiver Andrew Turzilli caught two passes for 54 yards to lead the team in receiving and on defense Ben Heeney posted a game-high 11 tackles.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, OSU quarterback Clint Chelf threw for 265 yards and three scores, including two TD strikes to leading receiver Tracy Moore, who caught six passes for 77 yards. Desmond Roland also scored two touchdowns for the Cowboys and rushed for a team-high 44 yards. Kansas held the Pokes to 85 rushing yards, tied for the second lowest output for OSU this season and fewest given up by KU in Big 12 play this year.
OSU had its first lead just 13 seconds into the game as Justin Gilbert caught Trevor Pardula’s opening kickoff just inside the OSU goalline and returned it down the Kansas sideline to put the Cowboys up 7-0 before either team could take a snap. It was the first return for a touchdown allowed by Kansas this season and longest since Oklahoma’s Roy Finch returned a kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown last season.
Kansas used a reverse end-around to Tony Pierson to start its first drive with a first down, but couldn’t come up with an answering score as the drive stalled near midfield. Pardula pinned the Cowboys inside the five with a 54-yard punt, the first of two punts of 50 yards or more and three punts inside the 20 before halftime.
Oklahoma State used back-to-back touchdowns from Roland – a three-yard run and a 19-yard reception off a pick play – to push the lead to 21-0, then tacked on a fourth, first-half tally on a four-yard strike from Clint Chelf to Tracy Moore with 15 seconds to play in the second quarter.
Kansas had a chance to put points on the board with its first drive of the second quarter but a 32-yard field goal try by Ron Doherty hit the left upright and bounced back into the field of play.
The Jayhawks finally stopped the Oklahoma State surge on their first drive of the third quarter, going 58 yards before settling for a career-long, 40-yard field goal from Doherty to make it 28-3. Kansas held the Cowboys scoreless in the third quarter, just the second team to hold OSU without points during the period, but couldn’t cut into the advantage any further. Through three quarters, Kansas and Oklahoma State had each gained 283 yards, with the Jayhawks possessing the ball more than twice as much as the Cowboys (30:03-to-14:57).
Chelf found Moore from 11-yards out on the third play of the fourth quarter to get Oklahoma State back on the board and extend the Cowboys’ lead to 35-3.
Kansas wasn’t done scoring yet. JaCorey Shepherd returned the ensuing kickoff 69-yards to set up a short field for the offense, but Oklahoma State’s defense stiffened up when the Jayhawks entered the red zone. Kansas was forced to settle for a third field goal try from Doherty, which he knocked through from 29 yards out to make it 35-6.
Oklahoma State had an answer for that tally too, marching 63 yards on just three plays as Jeremy Smith punched in the Cowboys’ sixth touchdown on a 15-yard run.
Kansas returns home to Memorial Stadium next Saturday for an 11 a.m. game against West Virginia. The game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net.
Kansas fell to 29-33-2 against Oklahoma State all-time.
KANSAS CAPTAINS: Jake Heaps (QB), Ben Heeney (LB), James Sims (HB), Keon Stowers (DL)
- Kansas won the toss and elected to defer. Oklahoma State took the ball from the west end zone.
- Kansas has stopped every 2013 opponent on the opening drive, limiting opposing teams to six first downs on opening drives through nine games.
- The Kansas defense held Oklahoma State scoreless in the third quarter, marking just the second time this season the Cowboys did not put points on the board in the third frame. OSU entered the game outscoring its opponents 86-13 in the third period.
- Oklahoma State entered the game rushing an average of 180.2 yards a game. The Jayhawk defense held the Cowboys to 85 yards, tying Kansas State for OSU’s second lowest rushing yardage this season.
- Kansas is now 575-587-58 all-time.
- Junior H/F Tony Pierson reeled off a 50-yard rush in the second quarter, the longest for KU this season. The 50-yard run was the longest for a Kansas player since Pierson scampered for 55 yard run against Iowa State on Nov. 17 2012. Pierson now has three career rushes of 50-yards or more.
- The Jayhawk offense collected a season-best rushing yardage (202) in Big 12 play. KU topped its last high of 185 yards against Oklahoma on Oct. 19.
- Senior WR Josh Ford collected a career-long reception of 38 yards on the last play of the second quarter. His previous career-long reception was 22 yards in the season opener against South Dakota.
- Freshman QB Montell Cozart notched a career-best 18 rush attempts against the Cowboys. Cozart’s previous career-high was eight attempts against Baylor on Oct. 26. Cozart also finished the game with 55 yards rushing, a career-best total.
- Junior BUCK Michael Reynolds recorded a career-best two pass breakups against Oklahoma State. He had previously recorded one pass breakup on two occasions.
- Reynolds recorded a sack for a loss of four yards in the third quarter giving him a sack in four of KU’s last five games. Reynolds leads the Jayhawk defense with 5.5 sacks in the season.
- Junior DL Keon Stowers turned in a career-high five tackles in the game. Stowers had previously recorded four tackles two times in his career, most recently against Oklahoma on Oct. 19.
- Junior LB Ben Heeney recorded 11 tackles against the Cowboys, marking the fourth time this season that he has reached double digit tackles.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
- Kansas gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening play of the game. OSU’s Josh Stewart returned the opening kick 100 yards for a score, marking the first time KU had surrendered a kickoff for a touchdown since Oklahoma’s Roy Finch on Oct. 20, 2012. Finch’s return was also 100 yards.
- Junior CB JaCorey Shepherd recorded a career-long 69-yard run in the fourth quarter of the game. In addition, Shepherd set new career highs in kickoff returns (5) and kickoff return yards (169). Shepherd’s 69-yard return was the longest kickoff return by a KU player since D.J. Beshears’ 96-yard return versus New Mexico State on Sept. 25, 2010.
- Senior P/K Ron Doherty connected on a career-long 40-yard field goal in the third quarter. Doherty’s most recent career-long kick was 37-yards.
- Sophomore CB Brandom Hollomon recorded his first-career kickoff return with his 17-yard return in the first quarter.