2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 6 - Kansas at Oklahoma State
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Oct. 8 at Oklahoma State 70 … Kansas 28
CFN Analysis: That’s what’s called a run. Kansas started off the game looking great with a 7-0 lead off a 10-yard touchdown catch, and then Oklahoma State’s offense rolled for 56 straight first half points in an jaw-dropping display of firepower. Brandon Weeden completed 24-of-28 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns, and when all was said and done, 21 receivers caught passes with everyone getting to be part of the fun. The defense gave up yards, but it came up with four picks and didn’t have to do anything special in the second half. Weeden is in total command, and next up are a few nice road tests against Texas and Missouri to see if the O can keep rolling. This might have been a nice win, but KU came into the game dead last in the nation in scoring defense and 119th in total D.
Kansas is going to have to take even more chances. It did this week, but the offense turned the ball over four times and the game quickly became a blowout. The defense might have been a disaster, but the offense didn’t go on any marches to take the heat off. Jordan Webb completed 25-of-36 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two picks and didn’t lead the way to any scoring marches in the first half after a great initial drive. With Oklahoma up next, Webb needs to be prepared to hang at least 50 points on the board to have any chance of making it interesting. With the lack of a pass rush and the issues in the secondary, it could be another ugly outing.
(AP) STILLWATER, Okla. -- Outside the team meeting room, a sign issued a series of reminders for No. 6 Oklahoma State leading into a game against Kansas that seemed on paper to be a mismatch of mammoth proportions.
The last two: "NO AMBUSH" and "NO REGRETS."
Brandon Weeden threw for 288 yards and five touchdowns before being pulled out of a lopsided game before halftime, and Oklahoma State matched its highest scoring total from the last 94 years in a 70-28 rout of the Jayhawks on Saturday.
"It was pretty efficient," coach Mike Gundy said. "Some days, things just work, you know? You hit a golf ball and it hits a tree limb and bounces back in the fairway."
Everything the Cowboys did was working.
Jamie Blatnick recovered a fumble and leaped to tip an interception to himself for two of the Cowboys' four first-half takeaways, and Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) scored touchdowns on all eight of its possessions before halftime against the nation's worst defense.
"I've never been a part of anything like that," Weeden said. "We scored every time we touched it."
Kansas (2-3, 0-2) came in allowing a Bowl Subdivision-worst 44.3 points per game, and Oklahoma State had already surpassed that total with 4 minutes left in the second quarter on Weeden's second TD pass to All-American receiver Justin Blackmon.
That score made it 49-7, and backup Clint Chelf tacked on a 3-yard TD pass to Hubert Anyiam with 12 seconds left before halftime to give OSU 56 consecutive points.
Chelf added 206 yards on 14 for 21 passing with two TDs. The 494 yards passing allowed were the most ever for Kansas, surpassing the 481 by North Carolina State -- mostly by Philip Rivers -- in 2003.
"It's hard to stop. They have a great tempo and it's run by a very veteran quarterback," Jayhawks offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. "I think he's like six months younger than (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers.
"Being in that position, when you have a mature guy like that running things, when you call plays you know he can fix it. He's at the point of his career where he'll turn a bad play into a good one."
There weren't many bad ones.
Weeden had the most accurate performance ever by an Oklahoma State quarterback, completing 24 of 28 passes for 85.7 percent. That was just a few percentage points better than Zac Robinson's 85.3 percent mark against Baylor two years ago.
Weeden, who turns 28 this week and is actually about two months older than Rodgers, came in as the nation's second-leading passer, trailing only Houston's Case Keenum with 398 yards per game, and will drop off in that category despite a brilliant performance. Of his incompletions, one was dropped by Blackmon on a screen pass and he purposely threw one away out the back of the end zone.
By halftime, he was already wearing a black ballcap backward on the sideline.
The Cowboys scored their most first-quarter points in the modern era with 35 and tied the school mark with 56 points in a half.
That doesn't include early blowouts, including a 117-0 shutout of Southwestern Oklahoma State in 1916 that was the last time the program scored more than 70 points in a game or a 134-0 win against Phillips that represents the school scoring record.
The only time OSU has reached 70 points since 1916 was a 70-7 win against Southern Illinois in 1973.
"We have some work to do on that side of the ball," Kansas coach Turner Gill said. "Or on all sides of the ball, for that matter."
Jordan Webb completed 25 of 36 passes for 316 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble lost in the 11th straight road loss for the Jayhawks, with the last six under Gill.
The Pokes came in as the nation's sixth-highest scoring team (46.8 ppg), second in passing (415.5 ypg) and third in total offense (571.8 ypg) and seemed to have a clear advantage.
The biggest thing they had to fear coming into the game was that it could be a trap, following a come-from-behind win at then-No. 8 Texas A&M and ahead of road games at No. 11 Texas and Missouri the next two weeks.
Weeden said he was starting to get nervous because "everybody was just kind of moping around" before the game in the locker room, but then senior defensive end Richetti Jones delivered a pep talk to get everyone fired up.
"Somebody had to say something. We can't just allow these guys to go out there lackadaisical and not have their minds right," Jones said.
"That's how you let a team like that ambush you."
The Jayhawks followed that with their own wake-up call, receiving the opening kickoff and then driving 80 yards to go up 7-0 on Jordan Webb's 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tim Biere. Toben Opurum sped around left end to sack Weeden on the Cowboys' first snap.
Oklahoma State needed less than 2 minutes to respond with seven straight passes by Weeden, the last one a 12-yard TD toss to Josh Cooper. Blatnick then recovered Tony Pierson's fumble on the Jayhawks' next offensive snap, and OSU cashed it in three plays later on Weeden's 24-yard screen pass to Blackmon.
Anyiam also caught two scoring passes, Michael Harrison and Isaiah Anderson caught one apiece and Jeremy Smith rushed for a touchdown in his ninth straight game for Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys' eight drives for touchdowns in the first half averaged 84 seconds.
Gundy pulled his starters before the final one and didn't flinch when Kansas blocked a punt and scored just over 2 minutes into the second half.
"I like Turner Gill and, not that we have to give mercy to anybody, but there's no reason to leave (Weeden) and Blackmon and those guys in when you're ahead by (42).
"There's just no reason to do it."
Kansas (2-2) at Oklahoma State (4-0) Oct. 8, 3:30
Here’s The Deal … Oklahoma State is just on the fringe of being a special team that’s in the national title hunt, and if it keeps on winning, it’ll set itself up for a big finish.
The Cowboys roared back in the second half against Texas A&M for the road win it needed to have to establish itself as the firm No. 2 team in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma – unless Texas pulls off the upset in the Red River Rivalry – and after two weeks off, this game is the calm before the storm hits with road games at Texas and Missouri to test the team’s mettle. With the nation’s No. 2 offense and a defense that’s not as bad as the stats, this is a strong veteran team with the makeup and the potential to challenge for the Big 12 title, if not more.
Kansas isn’t that bad. It might be the tenth best team in a nasty ten team Big 12, but it battled well against Texas Tech last week, before getting its doors blown off late. Losing big to Georgia Tech isn’t anything to complain about, but Turner Gill could use a big win the change around the direction of the season with Oklahoma coming up next week and rough road games against Texas and Texas A&M still ahead.
The Jayhawks are young and they have plenty of potential, but they’re not playing much defense and the improving offense isn’t quite able to pick up the slack. There are plenty of problems and plenty of holes, and the stats aren’t going to look any better after this week, but compared to last year the team is playing far better.
Oklahoma State has own the series since the Big 12 was formed, going 1-6 in the then-interdivisional matchup, while Kansas had won six in a row going back to 1989 when the two were in the old Big 8.
Why Kansas Might Win: The offense is moving the ball. The defense is a big problem and it’s about to get bombed on, but the Jayhawks have a nice thing going in the running game with James Sims, Tony Pierson, Darrian Miller and Brandon Bourbon all combining to get things moving on the ground, while quarterback Jordan Webb can move. OSU might have a quick-strike attack and time of possession might not mean much, but if the KU offense can keep the chains moving and can control the clock, the Jayhawk D can sit on the sidelines.
The Oklahoma State secondary will give up yards when teams try to come back, and while there aren’t too many deep passes, the offenses that can dink and dunk can move the ball. Webb is fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, and while he threw three picks last week against Texas Tech, those were his only three interceptions on the year so far to go along with nine touchdown passes. He might not have the talent around him to keep up with the OSU offense, but he can keep the KU offense moving.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win: The straight stats are scary. Kansas is 120th in the nation scoring defense allowing 44.25 points per game, while OSU is sixth in the nation averaging 46.75 points per game. Kansas is 118th in the nation against the run, allowing 252.5 yards per game, while OSU is averaging 156 yards per game. Kansas is 119th in the nation in total defense, allowing 545 yards per game, and OSU is third in the nation allowing 572 yards per outing.
Kansas has enough offense to put up yards and points to make keep the game interesting, but it doesn’t have the defense to slow down the Cowboy attack in any way. The Jayhawks don’t generate enough of a pass rush to bother Brandon Weeden and throw him off his game, and the OSU offensive line is doing a good enough job to keep its star clean. Kansas came up with just one sack and three tackles for loss against Texas Tech last week, and Seth Doege went bananas throwing for 366 yards and three touchdowns, while Eric Stephens ran for 124 yards and two scores. The Cowboys should have similar success moving the ball however it wants.
What To Watch Out For: Is it time to put Brandon Weeden in the Heisman discussion? The senior is second in the nation in total offense accounting for 380.75 yards per game and he’s doing a masterful job of spreading the ball around and utilizing all his weapons. A cool and calm leader, there was no panic against Texas A&M after OSU was down 20-3 at halftime. He kept pressing and he kept pushing, finishing with 438 yards and two touchdowns with 11 receivers getting the ball. On the year he has thrown for 1,592 yards with ten touchdowns, and while the six interceptions don’t look great, he was able to overcome all the mistakes in each game without a problem.
KU isn’t getting much overall production from the defense, but senior linebacker Steven Johnson is doing what he can making 43 tackles with four tackles for loss in the first four games, coming up with double digit stops in three of the four games. The 6-1, 237-pounder came was the team’s leading tackler last year working on the weakside, and now he’s even more effective against the run playing on the strongside. The former walk-on went from being a special teamer to a star, and now he has All-Big 12 potential.
What Will Happen: Oklahoma State will put up big yards and big numbers in chunks by spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved from the start. Kansas will have its moments and should be able to put up some nice stats, but the defense won’t be able to hold up.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma State 54 … Kansas 27
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Oklahoma State -31.5 O/U: 71
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