It’s becoming more apparent that you don’t just storm into Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas and walk out with an easy victory. If a 55-6 decimation of Rhode Island and a 24-23 barn burning loss to TCU weren’t enough to prove that, then Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State was.
For about a quarter and a half, it looked like the Cowboys were staring straight into the eyes of the most embarrassing fate the Football Bowl Subdivision has to offer: a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks.
Of course, this might not be the case for much longer. David Beaty’s Jayhawks are playing with a feistiness that harkens back to the glory days of Mark Mangino and Aqib Talib.
Running back Ke’aun Kinner gashed the Cowboys’ run defense for 145 yards (averaging over 10 yards per carry). Montell Cozart started at quarterback and threw for 250 yards, 30 more than Mason Rudolph. The Hawks’ defense even limited Oklahoma State’s star receiver, James Washington, to just one catch.
However, the more things have changed for Kansas in recent weeks, the more they’ve stayed the same. The Jayhawks had 22 turnovers on the season, and added three more to that total during Saturday’s 44-20 loss. One of the giveaways was a deep pass that was intercepted by safety Jordan Sterns, and then returned—thanks to a series of laterals that probably drove the coaching staff crazy—to the Kansas 16 yard line.
If there was one positive thing Mike Gundy and the Cowboys faithful can take away form their game in Lawrence, it’s the continued rise of freshman running back Justice Hill. After averaging less than 30 yards a game over the first three weeks of the season, Hill has caught fire. He’s now averaging 119 yards over the past four games.