81F Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
Kansas-Oklahoma St. Preview
Though two weeks will have passed between games for Oklahoma State, its play in its most recent contest may resonate with the team for the rest of the season.
The No. 6 Cowboys look to win their first five games for the second straight season while trying to extend Kansas' Big 12 road struggles Saturday.
Down 17 points at halftime on the road against then-No. 8 Texas A&M on Sept. 24, Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0) scored 27 second-half points to stun the Aggies 30-29. The victory made for a pleasant bye week - and provided a learning experience for the Cowboys.
"We're going to be reminded of that. It's good to have negative motivation," defensive end Cooper Bassett said off his team's poor first half. "It's good to have things that you can look back at, you're embarrassed at as a competitor and say, `I never want that to happen again.' And we'll use that throughout the season."
Ranked third in the nation in total offense with 571.8 yards per game and sixth with 46.8 points a contest, Oklahoma State came alive in the second half behind Brandon Weeden and took advantage of some Texas A&M turnovers and a host of penalties.
Weeden threw a pair of third-quarter touchdowns and set school records with 438 yards passing, 47 completions and 60 attempts.
Justin Blackmon and Josh Copper each caught 11 passes for a combined 244 yards.
Oklahoma State was not immediately able to build on its momentum from the victory because of the bye, leaving coach Mike Gundy a bit cautious about how his team will come out of the gate Saturday.
"You see it both ways. Sometimes momentum's a factor, sometimes guys need a break," Gundy said. "Hopefully we can start fast and pick up where we left off."
The Cowboys did not start strong at Kansas on Nov. 20, falling behind 14-10 after one quarter before rolling to a 48-14 victory. Weeden was 31 of 43 for 389 yards with three TDs while Blackmon caught 10 balls for 130 yards for Oklahoma State, which won for the sixth time in seven meetings with the Jayhawks.
The lone Kansas victory during that span came in the teams' last matchup in Stillwater, 43-28 on Nov. 10, 2007.
Kansas (2-2, 0-1) has dropped nine straight league road games. The Jayhawks lost at home last Saturday, blowing a 20-7 first-quarter lead in a 45-34 defeat to Texas Tech.
"I thought that they had every chance to win," Gundy said. "We need to stay focused on the task at hand. We need to avoid distractions. By doing these things, we will give ourselves a chance to play well."
Kansas' Jordan Webb threw for 239 yards with three touchdowns but tossed his first three interceptions of the season. Freshman Brandon Bourbon ran for 101 yards on 10 carries as the Jayhawks topped the 30-point mark for the third time.
While Kansas can score, it has allowed an average 51.0 points in the last three games. The Jayhawks have yielded 76 points in the third quarter this season.
"We'll continue to talk about it as a staff as far as what we're doing at halftime adjusting, what are we doing, how are we getting that communicated to our players so that when we come out at halftime in the third quarter so we can play better," coach Turner Gill said. "We'll work on it. In most cases, it's either scheme or personnel."
The Jayhawks have lost five consecutive Big 12 games, all of them to Top 25 opponents.