The Oklahoma State Cowboys added two big wins, plus bowl eligibility, to their record going into last week’s bye week and now look to face the 3-6 Kansas Jayhawks with an 11 a.m. kickoff on Saturday.
The Jayhawks, also coming off a bye week, fell short to in-state rival Kansas State at 38-10 on Nov. 2, but did have a thrilling 37-34 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders the week before, a team OSU fell short to in early October.
The Pokes cracked the Top 25 for the second time this season coming in at No. 25 after an exciting 34-27 win over TCU two weeks ago and will look to move up in the rankings as they are only one spot out in the Coaches Poll.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us this week; going to have to put a good game plan together,” Head coach Mike Gundy said. “We’re looking forward to playing on Saturday with an early morning kick in front of the home crowd. We’re supposed to have some great weather, so we’re excited about the game.”
Saturday’s matchup between Kansas and OSU will be one for the history books as former head coach of the Cowboys Les Miles returns to Stillwater as head coach for the Jayhawks. This will be the first time in Oklahoma State history that the team will face a former head coach.
Miles coached the Cowboys from 2001-2004 ending with a record of 28-21 where he led the Cowboys to a massive 38-28 upset over the No. 3 Sooners in 2002 and was named Big 12 Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.
“I have really good memories of offensive football with him,” Gundy said. “He and I butted heads a lot, but in the end we agreed and ended up on the same page. We supported each other and we were good at moving the football together. We had a good relationship.”
Gundy worked under Les Miles as an offensive coordinator starting in 2001 after Bill Simmons resigned from the head coach position at OSU before taking over as head coach in 2004 when Miles left for the head coaching position at Louisiana State University.
“We’ve changed our style of play so much,” Gundy said. “We’ve changed defensively and we’ve changed offensively, so it’s really hard to compare. Personnel was not what I wanted in certain areas based on the style of play. There were a lot of adjustments, but we had some success.”
Miles, now in his first season with Kansas, has led Kansas to take big wins over Indiana State (24-17), Boston College (48-24), and Texas Tech (37-24). The program, however, hasn’t seen bowl game eligibility since 2008 when the Jayhawks defeated Minnesota in the Insight Bowl.
“With Kansas, they’ve done very well offensively in the last few weeks,” Gundy said. “They’re making some adjustments and getting good quarterback play. They’ve got fantastic running back play.”
Kansas falls to the bottom of the Big 12 Conference with a 1-5 record in conference play, but Gundy makes note that any team coached by Les Miles is a team to keep an eye on and prepare for heavily.
“It’s noticeable. It’s a bit of a tempo difference,” Gundy said of Kansas’ new offensive strategies. “They’ve got more of a vertical passing game, more big play passing game. They’re quarterback is a good player.”
A win over Kansas would give the Cowboys 10 straight wins against the Jayhawks marking this as the longest win streak over a single opponent in OSU history trailing only an 11-game winning streak over Kansas State from 1947-62.
Mike Gundy is 10-1 against the Jayhawks in his time as OSU’s head coach, and this win would clinch a 14th-straight winning season, extending the longest streak in OSU history.
Saturday also marks a special day where the Cowboys will honor Veterans by debuting a special uniform commemorating Veterans Day.
The Cowboys partnered with Nike to create a uniform that exemplifies Military/ROTC appreciation by showcasing the official military base crest of the Cowboy Battalion on one sleeve and the American flag on the other.
The crest represents the establishment of Oklahoma State’s historical ROTC program that was brought about with the school itself back in the founding year of 1890.
The players names will not appear on the back of the jerseys, but rather the “Cowboy Battalion” symbolizing that names take a secondary role to the base call-outs on the nameplate.
Appearing on every jersey and helmet will be the Folds of Honor logo. Folds of Honor provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of American service members who have fallen or become disabled through their valiant service.
The uniforms worn by the players will later be auctioned off for fans and family members to bid on where all proceeds will be delivered to Folds of Honor.
Be sure to catch the Cowboys and these uniforms in action this Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium at 11 a.m. CST, or you can catch all the action on FS1.