Oklahoma State Pummels Kansas

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No. 11 Oklahoma State scored 28 unanswered points in the first half, including a kick return for a touchdown to open the game, while handing Kansas a 42-6 defeat at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Both teams collected more than 300 yards of total offense and Kansas (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) possessed the ball for nearly 38 of the game’s 60 minutes, but the Cowboys (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) were more proficient at putting the ball in the end zone. Oklahoma State scored four touchdowns before KU logged its first points in the third quarter and reached the end zone six times in the game.

KU’s Tony Pierson led all players with 87 yards rushing and was one of four Jayhawks with more than 50 yards on the ground in the loss. Kansas wide receiver Andrew Turzilli caught two passes for 54 yards to lead the team in receiving and on defense Ben Heeney posted a game-high 11 tackles.

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, OSU quarterback Clint Chelf threw for 265 yards and three scores, including two TD strikes to leading receiver Tracy Moore, who caught six passes for 77 yards. Desmond Roland also scored two touchdowns for the Cowboys and rushed for a team-high 44 yards. Kansas held the Pokes to 85 rushing yards, tied for the second lowest output for OSU this season and fewest given up by KU in Big 12 play this year.

OSU had its first lead just 13 seconds into the game as Justin Gilbert caught Trevor Pardula‘s opening kickoff just inside the OSU goalline and returned it down the Kansas sideline to put the Cowboys up 7-0 before either team could take a snap. It was the first return for a touchdown allowed by Kansas this season and longest since Oklahoma’s Roy Finch returned a kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown last season.  

Kansas used a reverse end-around to Tony Pierson to start its first drive with a first down, but couldn’t come up with an answering score as the drive stalled near midfield. Pardula pinned the Cowboys inside the five with a 54-yard punt, the first of two punts of 50 yards or more and three punts inside the 20 before halftime.

Oklahoma State used back-to-back touchdowns from Roland – a three-yard run and a 19-yard reception off a pick play – to push the lead to 21-0, then tacked on a fourth, first-half tally on a four-yard strike from Clint Chelf to Tracy Moore with 15 seconds to play in the second quarter.

Kansas had a chance to put points on the board with its first drive of the second quarter but a 32-yard field goal try by Ron Doherty hit the left upright and bounced back into the field of play.

The Jayhawks finally stopped the Oklahoma State surge on their first drive of the third quarter, going 58 yards before settling for a career-long, 40-yard field goal from Doherty to make it 28-3. Kansas held the Cowboys scoreless in the third quarter, just the second team to hold OSU without points during the period, but couldn’t cut into the advantage any further. Through three quarters, Kansas and Oklahoma State had each gained 283 yards, with the Jayhawks possessing the ball more than twice as much as the Cowboys (30:03-to-14:57).

Chelf found Moore from 11-yards out on the third play of the fourth quarter to get Oklahoma State back on the board and extend the Cowboys’ lead to 35-3.   

Kansas wasn’t done scoring yet. JaCorey Shepherd returned the ensuing kickoff 69-yards to set up a short field for the offense, but Oklahoma State’s defense stiffened up when the Jayhawks entered the red zone. Kansas was forced to settle for a third field goal try from Doherty, which he knocked through from 29 yards out to make it 35-6.

Oklahoma State had an answer for that tally too, marching 63 yards on just three plays as Jeremy Smith punched in the Cowboys’ sixth touchdown on a 15-yard run.

Kansas returns home to Memorial Stadium next Saturday for an 11 a.m. game against West Virginia. The game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net.