Starting the season at 2-0, 1-0 in Big 12 play, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will hit the road for the first time this season to face the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 2:30 p.m.
Though the Cowboys found strategic ways to pull out wins in their first two matchups, the same cannot be said for the Jayhawks.
Kansas starts the season 0-2, 0-1 in Big 12 play, and has not won a game against Oklahoma State in Lawrence since 1994.
Kansas started the 2020 season on rocky turf taking losses to Coastal Carolina in their season opener (38-23) and to Baylor to open Big 12 play (47-14).
The Cowboys own an all-time 39-29-2 series advantage over the Jayhawks dating back to 1923, while the past eight consecutive series played in Lawrence have belonged to the Pokes. A win on Saturday would extend OSU to 11 straight wins in Lawrence, and this would tie their longest win streak over a single team in school history. 11 straight wins over Kansas would match the 11-game win streak OSU had over Kansas State from 1947-1962.
Head Coach for the Cowboys Mike Gundy is 11-1 against Kansas in his career at Oklahoma State, while KU’s head coach, a familiar face to Cowboys fans, is currently 0-1. Les Miles, in his second season as the Jayhawks’ head coach, coached at OSU 2001-04 where he had a record of 28-21.
This matchup will be marked as the second time ever in school history that OSU has faced a former head coach, the first coming last season when the Pokes faced Les Miles and Kansas on Nov. 16, 2019 in Stillwater. The Cowboys took the victory at 31-13.
Despite a 27-13 over West Virginia last week, the Cowboys enter this matchup back two spots in the AP Top 25 at No. 17, while Kansas comes in unranked.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
The Cowboy defense shined in both matchups to start the season where it held Tulsa to 0-for-12 on third down attempts in the home opener for OSU, then followed up with fierce attacks on the line of scrimmage against West Virginia.
The defense finished with 11 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries, five sacks, and even had a defensive touchdown against the Mountaineers after knocking the ball out of Jarret Doege’s hand before release.
- Cornerback Rodarius Williams stood out for the Cowboys earning praise from Pro Football Focus as the PFF National Defender of the Week. Williams broke up four of Doege’s passes against West Virginia.
- Linebackers Malcolm Rodriguez, Amen Ogbongbemiga and safety Tre Sterling lead the way for the Cowboy defense with 17 tackles a piece in the first two games.
- Defensive end Trace Ford proves to be disruptive off the edge for the Cowboys making crucial plays and putting an end to any drives put in place by an opponent.
The Cowboys’ offense hasn’t started with as many electric performances as the defense, but even through trial and error moments, the Pokes find a way to move the ball down the field, and special teams players like Alex Hale has done everything asked of him to give OSU the upper hand.
- True freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth saw his first collegiate start against the Mountaineers last week in the absence of Spencer Sanders and connected on 15-of-21 passes for 139 yards.
- News on whether Spencer Sanders will see the playing field against Kansas remains out of the media. Illingworth is your guy to watch for now.
- Running back LD Brown was a breakout star against West Virginia running in a 66-yard touchdown to start the game and finished with 103 yards on 11 carries.
- Running back Chuba Hubbard also had more than 100 yards in rushing against the Mountaineers at 101 on 22 carries, but with opposing defenses focusing on the reigning leading rusher in college football, Hubbard has seen a slower start to the 2020 season.
- Wide receiver Tylan Wallace, a Biletnikoff Award candidate, has seen consistency the past two games averaging five catches and 88.5 yards. Wallace has been vital for the Pokes helping to move the ball down the field by making some tough catches and keeping a flame lit on offense.
- In his first season as starting quarterback for the Jayhawks, Jalon Daniels has completed 20-35 for 172 yards with a completion percentage of 57 percent.
- Running back Pooka Williams Jr. has been a standout offensive force for the Jayhawks the past two seasons and has 26 carries for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns to start the 2020 season. Both touchdowns came against Baylor last week.
- Running back Velton Gardner has been about as dynamite as Williams Jr. with 11 carries for 81 yards and 1 touchdown for the Jayhawks. His single TD came against Coastal Carolina to open up the season.
- In his senior season at Kansas, wide receiver Kwami Lassiter II has 128 yards in the 2020 season on 11 receptions for 1 touchdown. His quick feet made him a key component for the Jayhawks last season, but he only picked up 1 receiving touchdown in 2019.
- His lone 2019 TD came against a loss to West Virginia.
- Cornerback Kenny Logan Jr. had 4 solo tackles and 7 total tackles against Baylor last week where he also got his hands on Charlie Brewer for a sack. He poses a threat for offensive linemen with his quickness and sneaky nature finding the open hole to attack.
It all goes down at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium this weekend for OSU’s second Big 12 matchup of the 2020 season.
Mike Gundy vs. Les Miles round 2 to keep the Pokes undefeated season alive will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT.