You could not have scripted a worse situation for the Jayhawks to walk into. Oklahoma State defeated Kansas 55-3 on Saturday and dominated the game from the uniform reveal on.
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The Cowboys played all the tricks and received all the treats on Halloween’s Eve. The defense was absolutely dominant, forcing three turnovers and allowing zero conversions on 13 third-down attempts. And the offense? Well, it looked even better than it should have against the No. 127 scoring defense in the country.
The result was a nice, albeit expected, win and served to get rid of that nasty taste of defeat and puts the Cowboys one step closer to a spot in the Big 12 title game.
Kansas put our timelines on notice last week, blanking the Top 5 Sooners in the first half and keeping it competitive in the second. Meanwhile, the Cowboys earned their first loss on the road to Iowa State in a 3-point loss with a controversial finish. The Jayhawks came in flying high and the Cowboys came home angry.
Momentum isn’t everything, but it’s not nothing either, and there is a not-so-distant alternate universe in which the Cowboys started out in the hole to Kansas.
After stalling in the red zone, going for it on fourth-and-1, and not converting, Oklahoma State gave its opening possession to Kansas. The Jayhawks quickly found themselves in third-and-five. Malcolm Rodriguez gave chase to Kansas quarterback Jason Bean, who almost made a huge play.
If that was hauled in, Jayhawk receiver Luke Grimm had a long sideline, but with none of those striking tri-colored uniform combos in front of him. He didn’t and the result was the first of Kansas’ 13 three-and-outs and not a 7-0 lead for the visitors.
After that, the recap goes likes this. OSU’s defense took all of the Reese’s and KitKat bars from Kansas’ offense and left the Rock Chalkers with a bag full of Almond Joys. Spencer Sanders and the offense toyed with the KU defense for the first two quarters to give OSU an insurmountable 38-zip lead at halftime.
The Cowboys finished within one point of OSU’s scoring high in any game since Spencer Sanders took the reins three seasons ago, and he checked out the second quarter. Oklahoma State’s season-high was 32 points against Texas two weeks prior.
Sanders finished 12-of-19 for 157 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 53 yards and another score. The Pokes were up 38-0 when he took his helmet off for the last time. That alone would have been a career-high for No. 3 against a Big 12 opponent.
Shane Illingworth spelled Sanders at the end of the second quarter and finished 6-of-10 for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Ethan Bullock went 2-for-3 in garbage time for 16 yards through the air. Cowboy fans on-site were disappointed not to see the debut of Gunnar Gundy, but they got about everything else they wanted.
Dominic Richardson led the Cowboys with 79 rushing yards on a score on 11 carries. Jaylen Warren chipped in nine for a nice 69 yards on the turf and Jaden Nixon added 53 on 11 carries.
Tay Martin led the Pokes in receptions (five) and receiving yards (79) and scored himself. Freshman wideout John Paul Richardson caught four passes for 18 yards and a score. Brennan Presley only mustered 20 yards rushing and receiving combined on three touches but found pay dirt twice. Ten Cowboys caught passes.
The Cowboys defense snuffed out any hope the Jayhawks had of repeated success against an Oklahoma team. Jason Taylor II, Kolby Harvell-Peel and Nick Session each had interceptions.
It was the most picks by the Pokes in a single game since 2019. Oddly enough, the Big 12’s leading team in sacks didn’t record a single one all night against Bean and Co. But Jim Knowles’ group held Kansas to its lowest scoring total since 2018.
Next up, the Cowboys head to Morgantown to face West Virginia. The Mountaineers avenged the Cowboys’ loss last weekend by defeating Iowa State 38-31.
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