OSU (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) kicked off Big 12 play with a throwback, run-heavy 27-13 win against West Virginia last week in Stillwater. Running backs Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown both surpassed the 100-yard mark on the ground, with true freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth making his first career start.
Brown and Hubbard will look to build off their performance against KU (0-2, 0-1), which ranks second to last in the Big 12 and 55th nationally in rushing yards allowed at 194 yards per game this season. The Cowboys have also had their fair share of success against the Jayhawks on the ground, with 200-yard games in four of their past five meetings.
Illingworth was 15 of 21 for 139 yards, but threw one interception as he stepped in for Spencer Sanders (right ankle sprain). The Cowboys listed Sanders as the starting quarterback on their two-deep depth chart for the second straight week. He was available to play against WVU, if needed, but never made it into the game because his mobility was limited. It’s unknown which QB the Cowboys will turn to or if they’ll use both.
OSU’s defense has been as advertised this season, allowing only 10 points per game. Linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga share the team lead with 17 tackles for a unit that likes to play fast and aggressive. If the defense does have a weakness it’s defending the pass from the slot, which is the area WVU found the most success moving the ball up the field.
The Jayhawks have struggled to gain positive traction in former OSU coach Les Miles’ second season at the helm. KU has dropped both of its games, 38-23 to Coastal Carolina and 47-14 at Baylor.
Running backs Velton Gardner and Pooka Williams have been rare bright spots for KU. Gardner has rushed for a team-high 151 yards and one touchdown, while Williams has 143 yards and two scores. The duo have three of the Jayhawks’ five total touchdowns.
Like OSU, KU has used three QBs this season. The Jayhawks turned to true freshman Jalon Daniels at Baylor, and he was 19 of 33 for 159 yards and sacked four times.
Hadl, Sayers statues
KU will unveil bronze statues for two College Football Hall of Famers in John Hadl and Gale Sayers at halftime. Hald was a star QB and halfback, and also shined as a defensive back and return specialist for three seasons (1959-61). Sayers, nicknamed the “Kansas Comet,” led Kansas in rushing, touchdowns and kickoff returns in all three of his seasons and had 4,020 all-purpose yards (1961-64).
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Past 5 meetings
2019: OSU 31-13 in Stillwater
2018: OSU 48-28 in Lawrence
2017: OSU 58-17 in Stillwater
2016: OSU 44-20 in Lawrence
2015: OSU 58-10 in Stillwater
Favorites: OSU 21.5
How to watch
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium; Lawrence, Kansas
Live stream: fubo TV (try for free)