By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com – @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma State beat Kansas 20-14 on Saturday in the Cowboys’ conference road opener. Here’s some rapid reaction:
It was over when…
…Kansas went all Kansas on Quinn Sharp, roughing the punter with a chance to get the ball back down six points. It was a nice summation to this UGLY game, with Oklahoma State trying to hand them the game and the Jayhawks saying, ‘Nah, we’re good, 0-9 in the Big 12 sounds like a fun record.’
Storyline – OSU’s overall poor play
Embarassing may be a strong word, but OSU certainly can’t feel too good about a six-point escape job in Lawrence. We’re talking about a 1-5 team that lost to Rice (one of the nation’s worst programs). The offense was sloppy and ineffective and the overworked defense got complacent in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys have plenty of talent, but played like a fringe bowl team on Saturday. Against any of the other Big 12’s eight teams, that’s a double-digit loss. But the thing about college football, where things rapidly change each week, is you can’t take too much from one performance.
The stat line’s not terrible: 18/30 for 255 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But it’s certainly not what you’ve come to expect for an Oklahoma State quarterback against a defense like Kansas threw out there. Walsh has filled in admirably during Wes Lunt’s absence, about as good as you could have asked for a freshman backup, but if Lunt’s healthy, it’s clearly time to hand him back the reigns.
Charlie Moore finally brought his spring skills to a game that actually mattered. The junior wideout led OSU with five catches for 97 yards, both career highs, which became particularly important when Tracy Moore (foot) and Isaiah Anderson (hand) went out with injuries.
Entering Saturday’s game, Oklahoma State had scored 30 or more points in 22 consecutive games, a streak that was tied for the most in college football history (Hawaii ’06-’07). But in surprising fashion, Kansas broke the Cowboys streak before they set the record. The 20-point output was the fewest by OSU since they lost 21-7 to Ole Miss in the 2009 Cotton Bowl. The Brandon Weeden-era Cowboys never scored fewer than 24.
Stat of the game
Joseph Randle averaged 2.9 yards per carry on 29 rushing attempts. That’s just not getting it done against a defense that gave up 218 yards per game on the ground coming in (109th in the nation). It wasn’t all on Randle, but more of a team effort. The holes weren’t there and the passing game wasn’t providing its usual support.