Pokes Preview: Oklahoma State at Kansas
Oklahoma State is coming off a bye week and hits the road for the first time in more than a month when the Cowboys face Kansas in Lawrence. They will also be trying to rebound after a last-minute loss to Texas two weeks ago.
Which quarterback starts?
I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t J.W. Walsh, though Wes Lunt is still listed as a co-starter on the depth chart. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken seemed pleased with Lunt’s progress Monday, saying he was throwing in full pads, but coach Mike Gundy stressed that they won’t bring Lunt back until he’s 100 percent healthy. Walsh has certainly proven that he is good enough to lead this offense — and is clearly capable of beating Kansas.
Does the defense find traction?
OSU’s defense has been criticized for giving up too many passing yards and points against Arizona and failing to get off the field on third and fourth down against Texas. Cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Brodrick Brown have been beat up for struggling and not living up to the preseason expectations of being perhaps being the best cornerback duo in the Big 12. The unit as a whole hasn’t forced enough turnovers. Playing well against Kansas won’t suddenly flip this defense’s reputation, but it could build confidence and create momentum going forward.
Is weather a factor?
I’m writing this from my hotel in Topeka, where outside it’s gray and rainy and, really, not all that pleasant. Forecasts say there’s potential for some severe weather later this afternoon. Either way, it looks like the field will be wet and soggy, and the football could be slick. Which team does that affect more?
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