Kansas, now sitting at 2-3, went into their second conference matchup with high hopes. The Jayhawks were let down, however, after the defense was unable to shut down the Cowboys’ explosive offense. After giving up 568 yards, the Kansas Jayhawks fell to the hands of Oklahoma State by a score of 48-28.
Cowboys running back Justice Hill got the game going, leading Oklahoma State down the field on their first drive of the game. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius would finish off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace. It was more of the same as the Cowboys would go on to score 17 points on their next three drives.
The hard-nosed running Hill would allow Cornelius to pick apart the Kansas secondary as the Jayhawks multiple big passes, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to put the score at 14-0.
Kansas went into the half trailing 24-7 and needing some form of momentum to bounce back in the game. The Jayhawks’ wish was granted when freshman running back Pooka Williams broke off a 60-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the second half. However, the Cowboys immediately answered, scoring a touchdown less than two minutes later.
The game went on to be more of the same, as the Jayhawks would find momentum, only to be shut down afterwards by Oklahoma State.
Kansas finished the game with 368 total yards of offense, with the most impressive part of the Jayhawks attack coming from quarterback Carter Stanley. Prior to the season, head coach David Beaty and offensive coordinator Doug Meacham had announced that Stanley would not start a game this season, but something seemed to change as Stanley would walk out onto the field for the first play of the game.
Stanley went on to play very efficiently, throwing 247 yards on 24 of 32 passing with three touchdowns. However, the poor Kansas offensive line was unable to give much help to Stanley as he was sacked five times. The offensive line also failed to help the ground attack, as the Jayhawks averaged 3.78 yards on the ground. Were it not for Pooka Williams’ 60-yard touchdown, then the run game would have averaged a horrid .5 yards a rush.
Despite weak play from the offensive line, the Jayhawks offense was still efficient and managed to put up 28 points against a solid Oklahoma State team. Despite being such a small sample size, it appears Stanley gives Kansas the most efficiency of all the quarterbacks. If his play continues, there is no reason Stanley should not become the full-time starter. Stanley also seems to have a strong connection with senior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., connecting with the senior 10 times for 89 yards.
The Jayhawks defense was the team’s downfall. Going into the game, the defense has become known as one of the best ball-hawking defenses in the nation. They did manage to intercept Cornelius once, but the overall performance shows that there is a lot of work needed to be done. The Jayhawks could not stop Oklahoma State at all and if they continue to allow teams to walk all over them, Kansas will likely continue being the bottom-feeder in the Big 12.
Overall, Kansas has a lot of work to do to have a chance at winning against their conference foes. That said, if Stanley can continue playing with such high efficiency, coupled with Sims continuing to prove why he is one of the best receivers in Kansas history and a few more explosive plays from Pooka Williams, this Jayhawks team could pull off an upset or two in the Big 12.
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