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Preview: Oklahoma State vs. Kansas

After a bye week, the Cowboys look to get back into action against the Kansas Jayhawks!

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Oklahoma State Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday, October 26th, 11:00am CST

Where: Memorial Stadium (Lawrence, KS)

Watch: FS1

Listen: Cowboy Radio Network

Oklahoma State University vs. the University of Kansas

Did y’all have a good break? I don’t know about you guys, but the bye week came at a perfect time for me and my health. My blood pressure is at a normal level again, and I’m excited to watch the Pokes tomorrow!

Oklahoma State is traveling to Lawrence, Kansas, and are currently riding a six game win streak against the Jayhawks. The Cowboys rolled over the Jayhawks last season in Stillwater, but the past two matchups in Lawrence have looked a little different. Kansas held Oklahoma State within a touchdown in 2014 and 2012. Mike Gundy and the team will look to show up to Lawrence with more focus than in years past. Could we be looking at a trap game?

Things to watch for — OSU

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
  • Shake off the bye week cobwebs. It’s natural for a team to take a series or two to get into a roll after a week off. With Kansas, Oklahoma State should have a bit of cushion for error, but as TCU knows, Kansas isn’t someone to take too lightly. Also, one of our contributors, Phillip Slavin, wrote a piece over Gundy’s record after bye weeks, and his record isn’t... super.

In his 12 seasons at the helm, Mike Gundy has faced "bye" 19 times (he’s 19-0 against "bye" in case you were wondering). According to the Tulsa World, Gundy is 11-8 after a bye week. (I checked, they’re right).

  • The defense needs to pressure Ryan Willis. Kansas QB, Ryan Willis, has had a tough time the past two weeks, and we’ll be looking for the Oklahoma State defense to take advantage. The Baylor defense did an outstanding job against Kansas last week, sacking the QB five times. This Kansas O-line is beatable, so it would be a good week for some of the young pass rushers for Oklahoma State make some plays.
  • The return of Chris Carson. Oklahoma State fans should be eager to see how Mike Yurcich phases Chris Carson back into the Oklahoma State offense. The running game has looked a lot better in recent weeks, as true freshman Justice Hill has emerged on the scene. Most fans have boarded the Justice Hill train, but I think Carson can still come in and produce. There are definitely some things that this offense has missed from Carson, including his pass blocking, which has been a major issue for Hill. It’ll be interesting to see how much time Carson gets in the backfield.

Things to watch for — KU

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Kansas John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
  • Will Kansas receive production from the QB position? In the past two games against TCU and Baylor, Ryan Willis has thrown six interceptions, and 0 touchdowns. This has to be troubling for Kansas fans. The Jayhawks tried throwing in Carter Stanley in their last game against Baylor, but didn’t receive any production from him either, going 3-for-8 with an interception. It’s hard to keep up in an offensive focused conference without decent play from your QB, and Kansas needs to figure something out at that position.
  • Get the ball into Steven Sims Jr.’s hands. The sophomore wide receiver is arguably Kansas’ most dangerous weapon on offense, and with Kansas’ lack of offensive firepower, the ball needs to find it’s way into Sims’ hands often. Sims has three 100-yard games on the season with five touchdowns; a bright spot in a bleak season for the Jayhawks.

Oklahoma State will win if...

they show up with a winning attitude. This is a game OSU should win with one arm tied behind their backs. However, OSU has been known to play down to weaker opponents, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see KU keep up in this game for a little bit.

Kansas will win if...

they work their home town magic. Kansas has held Oklahoma State to some close games in Lawrence. A turnover here and there, and Kansas can steal one from OSU.

Stats

Mason Rudolph - 2,039 yards / 13 TD’s / 2 INT’s

Justice Hill - 403 yards / 3 TD’s

James Washington - 731 yards / 6 TD’s

Ryan Willis - 811 yards / 3 TD’s / 7 INT’s

Ke’aun Kinner - 264 yards / 1 TD

Steven Sims Jr. - 453 yards / 5 TD’s

Total offense ranks (yards) - OSU 41st / KU 115th

Total passing ranks (yards) - OSU 13th / KU 62nd

Total rushing ranks (yards) - OSU 115th / KU 125th

Prediction:

OSU - 42 KU - 17