STILLWATER – Last year, after Oklahoma State receiver Adarius Bowman burned his defense for 300 yards on 13 catches, including four touchdowns, Kansas coach Mark Mangino said: "He gets my vote for the Heisman.”
Before that mid-October game, Bowman was leading the Big 12 in yards per catch and receiving yards. But the junior transfer was still frequently considered a really good two in OSU's one-two punch at receiver, with D'Juan Woods garnering more attention. It was that exact mind-set — focusing on Woods, leaving Bowman in single coverage — that led to Bowman's breakout day.
It's a mistake that Kansas won't make this weekend when the undefeated Jayhawks travel to Stillwater.
"Adarius had a great day on us last year,” Mangino said Tuesday. "But that was last year. We have great respect for him. He is one of the most talented receivers in the league. He's big and strong, but he's also fast. Great athleticism; great change of direction. Likes to post up on some of his catches, try to get a mismatch on a defender. He is very, very talented.”
It is likely that Kansas' Aqib Talib, widely considered one of the best cornerbacks in college football at defending the pass, will line up against Bowman. Talib is one of the stars of a much-improved Kansas defense that leads the conference and is second in the country in scoring defense. The Jayhawks give up just 13.4 points.
Sophomore safety Darrell Stuckey said it's worth mentioning that the defense Bowman picked apart last season is not the defense the Jayhawks put on the field now.