In the days following Oklahoma State's narrow 20-14 win over Kansas, coach Mike Gundy has continued to point to a lack of physicality up front as one reason why the Cowboy offense had troubles moving the football.
Those are not words an offensive lineman wants to hear.
“As the offensive line, you want to be the most physical unit on the field at all times,” left tackle Parker Graham said. “I think we're really going to take (Gundy's comments) and use it as motivation this week and get after each other on offense and defense and see what we can do.”
By often stacking the area near the line of scrimmage, the Jayhawks were the first team this season to really slow down the Cowboys' rushing attack. Joseph Randle came into the game as the nation's sixth-leading rusher, but gained just 80 yards on 29 carries (2.8 yards per carry).
Graham said he notices several similarities between KU's style of defense and OSU's next opponent, Iowa State. The Cyclones currently rank 36th in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 126 yards per game, and feature two dynamic linebackers in Jake Knott (57 tackles) and A.J. Klein (50).
The Cowboys struggled to run the football against ISU last season, as Randle and Jeremy Smith combined for just 60 yards on 18 carries. Randle also fumbled twice, which got him benched in the second half.
QUINN SHARP HAPPY TO TAKE ONE FOR TEAM
OSU kicker/punter Quinn Sharp was named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week Monday after averaging 53 yards on five punts, connecting on field goals of 49 and 42 yards and booming four touchbacks on five kickoffs against KU.
But he was also at the center of arguably the game's biggest play — or most boneheaded play, depending on how you look at it — when he drew a roughing the kicker penalty on a punt late in the fourth quarter that gave the Cowboys a first down and all but sealed the victory.