Oct. 7, 2012
NR/RV Oklahoma State at Kansas
Oct. 13, 2012 :: 2:30 p.m. CT :: Memorial Stadium (50,071 cap.)
TV: FSN (Joel Meyers, Brian Baldinger and Jim Knox)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb and Robert Allen)
Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 112, XM Channel 196
After two open dates over the last three weeks, Oklahoma State begins an eight-games-in-eight-weeks stretch to close the 2012 season on Saturday when its travels to Lawrence to meet the Kansas Jayhawks. Kickoff is set for 2:35 p.m.
Oklahoma State and Kansas will be televised on FSN. After not appearing on Fox Sports Net in 2011, OSU will be appearing on FSN for the second time in 2012. OSU's win over Louisiana was also featured on the network.
Playing For The Tie
A win against Kansas would be the 62nd for Mike Gundy as OSU's head coach. It would tie him with Pat Jones for the most victories by a Cowboy head coach. Jones, who coached Gundy, Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas and a load of other former Cowboy stars, was 62-60 at OSU. Jones was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach at Oklahoma State when Jimmy Johnson departed for the University of Miami prior to the 1984 season. Gundy enters the game with a 61-32 record.
Big 12 Getaways
Oklahoma State dropped its Big 12 opener to Texas - losing in the final 30 seconds of the game. That loss means that for the first time since 2007, OSU will not begin a conference season 2-0. Oklahoma State has not opened Big 12 play with an 0-2 record since 2005 when Mike Gundy was in his first year as OSU's head coach. Oklahoma State has not dropped consecutive Big 12 games since losing to Texas and Kansas in November of 2007.
Oklahoma State has been one of the nation's best road teams since 2009 and the Cowboys have far and away been the Big 12's top road team over the last three-plus seasons.
The Cowboys are 13-3 away from home since the beginning of the 2009 season with only a loss at Oklahoma in 2009, a perfect 5-0 record in 2010, only a loss at Iowa State in 2011 and the loss at Arizona in September of 2012.
In Big 12 Conference play, the Cowboys have won 12 of their last 14 road games.
Despite the impressive road numbers, OSU has dropped its last two road games overall (at Iowa State in 2011 in the final road game of the year, and the first road game of 2012 at Arizona).
Most Road Wins, 2009-2012
1. TCU - 17
1. Boise State - 17
3. Ohio - 15
4. Virginia Tech - 14
5. Oklahoma State - 13*
*Tied with three other schools
Setting The Series
Oklahoma State holds a 31-29-2 series advantage over Kansas, thanks to its current two-game winning streak over the Jayhawks.
OSU is 17-15-1 all-time in Lawrence, including four straight wins.
OSU is 7-1 against the Jayhawks during the Big 12 era with the lone loss coming to the 2007 Kansas Orange Bowl team.
From 1969 to 1989, OSU was 18-1-2 against Kansas.
The two schools first met in 1923.
As an OSU player and head coach, Mike Gundy is a combined 7-1 against Kansas and a perfect 4-0 in Lawrence.
Oklahoma State has won the last two games of the series by a cumulative score of 118-42.
Oklahoma State heads to Lawrence with a small but effective group of Kansans on the Cowboy roster.
Junior running back Joseph Randle hails from Wichita Southeast High School. His brother, John, played at Kansas.
Defensive back Devin Hedgepeth is product of Derby, Kan. His Cowboy career has been interrupted by injuries, but he had a promising freshman season and was off to a good start as a sophomore in 2011 before injuries became a factor.
True freshman defensive end Trace Clark, a graduate of Wichita Collegiate, has already seen the field very early in his OSU career.
Defensive back Brian Reber has walked on to the OSU program from Leawood (Blue Valley High).
OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young held the same title at Kansas from 2002 through 2007.
Last Year In Stillwater
Oklahoma State sprinted out of the starting gate en route to a 56-7 halftime lead and an eventual 70-28 victory over the Jayhawks in Boone Pickens Stadium.
OSU generated 600 yards of total offense, including 494 through the air. That passing total is the third best in school history.
Eight Cowboys scored a touchdown as OSU set or tied school records for most points scored in the modern era (since broken with 84 vs. Savannah State), most TDs in a game (10) and most points in a half (56).
In the decisive first half, Kansas committed four turnovers, all leading to OSU touchdowns.
No Cowboy individuals had big games as Jeremy Smith led the rushing attack with 39 yards and Justin Blackmon topped the receivers with 84 yards.
The Cowboys Against Kansas
Running back Jeremy Smith has 14 career carries against Kansas, good for 103 yards two scores. He averages 7.4 yards per carry. He had three carries in last year's game, covering 39 yards.
Defensive end Tyler Johnson had seven tackles in the 2011 game, including two for loss.
In 2011, Josh Stewart had five receptions for 64 yards against the Jayhawks.
Prior to its open week, Oklahoma State dropped a nail biter against No. 12 Texas. The Cowboys held the lead in the game's final two minutes. However, Texas scored the game-winning touchdown with just 29 seconds left on the clock.
With redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh making his first career start, Oklahoma State roughed up the Texas defense for 576 yards, including 275 rushing yards.
OSU missed a field goal on its final possession of the first half, but then scored on every second-half possession except the one that ended the game. Had the clock not expired, OSU would have had a first down at the Texas 38
OSU averaged 8.6 yards per snap and 6.9 yards per rush.
Running back Joseph Randle rushed for 199 yards in the best game of his career. He averaged eight yards per carry and scored on a 69-yard run on the game's second play.
Walsh was 18-of-27 passing for 301 yards with two touchdowns and an INT. He also ran for 57 yards.
Cowboy linebacker Shaun Lewis had 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and he caused a fumble.
Defensive end Tyler Johnson had four tackles, a half-sack and an interception.
Texas scored on its first two possessions, although the second possession covered just 23 yards due to a Cowboy turnover. The OSU defense then limited Texas to seven points over the next seven possessions, before the Longhorns scored on their final two possessions.
Texas used 42 carries to rush for 136 yards for an average of 3.2 yards per rushing attempt.
OSU's two longest runs of the season came against Texas: Randle's 69-yarder and Walsh's 50-yard run.
Starting With Starts
Through the first four games of 2012, Oklahoma State has had 14 players make their first career start. That total is the second highest in the country for FBS programs. Air Force leads the way with 17. OSU and Arizona State are tied for second with 14 each. A quick look at OSU's new starters to date:
Calvin Barnett, DT: Arrived on campus in January...Has started every game with 11 total tackles, including three for loss.
James Castleman, DT: One of the surprises on the team ... Entered camp third on the depth chart but has started every game and leads the down linemen with 16 tackles.
Evan Epstein, C: A fifth-year senior who has made his first three career starts in 2012 ... Missed the Louisiana game with injury, but returned to start vs. Texas.
Shamiel Gary, S: Tied for third on the team with 17 tackles ... Has started every game.
Blake Jackson, IR: The junior college transfer is third with 13 catches and he is averaging an impressive 18.7 yards per catch.
Jake Jenkins, C: Started in place of the injured Evan Epstein against Louisiana as OSU set a school record for total offense.
Daniel Koenig, OL: Has started all four games at right tackle.
Wes Lunt, QB: Won the starting job out of camp, but missed most of the Louisiana game and all of the Texas contest with injury ... Is completing 68 percent of his passes.
Charlie Moore, WR: Got his first three career starts in '12 ... Has six receptions through four games.
Ryan Robinson, DE: A transfer senior...Has started every game and recorded 10 tackles, with 1.5 sacks.
Jeremy Seaton, FB/TE: A walkon who is seeing the field often, and in various roads, as a redshirt freshman.
DeMarcus Sherod, LB: Lone start of 2012 (and of his career to date) came in the win over Louisiana... Has three tackles.
Josh Stewart, R: Has started every game and leads OSU with 24 catches and 289 receiving yards.
J.W. Walsh, QB: Started his first career game vs. Texas and led OSU to 576 yards and 36 points while passing for 301 yards and rushing for 57.
Top Ten Times Two
Oklahoma State remains the only team in the country to rank among the national top 10 in passing offense and rushing offense. OSU is fifth in rushing, averaging 300 yards per game. The Cowboys are also No. 5 in the country in passing yards with 359 per game. Oklahoma State is the only school in the country to average at least 300 yards per game on the ground and through the air.
Oklahoma State heads to Lawrence leading the nation in total offense with an average of 659 yards per game. Only once in 2012 has OSU been held below 600 yards (576 vs. Texas). And in its two losses, the Cowboys have outgained their opponents by a combined 271 yards. The Cowboys have finished third nationally in total offense each of the past two seasons.
OSU also leads the country in scoring at 55.8 points per game. That number is impressive, but big numbers are becoming the norm at Oklahoma State. OSU has finished in the national top 10 in scoring four times in Mike Gundy's first seven years as head coach.
Since the beginning of the 2007, the Oklahoma State offensive line has been among the most productive in the country. Since the '08 opening week, OSU has allowed 63 sacks - the third lowest total in the country. OSU has allowed more than 12 sacks in a season just once in that stretch. Three of the teams in the top five teams in that category are service academies. None of those schools ever attempted more than 380 passes in a season. Last year, OSU attempted 595 passes.
Fewest Sacks Allowed (2007-2012)
1. Air Force - 44
2. Boise State - 56
3. Oklahoma State - 63
4. Army - 75
As Long As We're Talking Offense
A couple of more notes on OSU and the NCAA statistical rankings:
Despite playing (and starting) a pair of freshman quarterbacks, OSU is No. 13 nationally in passing efficiency (160.1).
OSU is No. 9 in fewest fumbles lost (2).
Oklahoma State is second in the country with 31.5 first downs per game.
Oklahoma State leads the country with a 58.9 third-down conversion percentage.
Oklahoma State is one three schools in America (along with Alabama and Buffalo) that have scored on every red zone opportunity.
Another Scoring Streak
Oklahoma State's current 22-game streak of scoring at least 30 points leads the country. Oregon is next at 19. The last time OSU failed to reach the 30-point mark was the 24-14 win at Kansas State in 2010. It was that game in which OSU played without suspended All-America receiver Justin Blackmon.
Two Minute Warnings
Oklahoma State has had a scoring drive of less than two minutes in 30 straight games. In fact, OSU has 19 scoring drives of less than two minutes just four games into the 2012 season.
With just one career start under his belt, redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh has already established himself as a playmaker.
Walsh enters the Kansas game as the nation's second-rated passer with an efficiency rating of 181.22. He trails only Geno Smith of West Virginia in that category.
He is completing 66.7 percent of his passes with 797 yards and eight touchdowns with two interceptions.
He has rushed for 159 yards.
He had the ninth best total offense day in school history when he came off the bench against Louisiana and passed for 347 yards and rushed for 73.
Walsh has been involved in the three longest pass plays of the season for the Cowboys (58 yards to Blake Jackson, 52 yards to Kye Staley and 44 yards to Josh Stewart).
His 50-yard run against Texas is the second longest of the season for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State's freshman duo at quarterback is already making history. True freshman Wes Lunt passed for 436 yards at Arizona and redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh passed for 347 yards vs. Louisiana and 301 vs. Texas. Their performances mark the first time that OSU has had two different quarterbacks register 300-yard games in the same season.
Passing The Test
The summer time questioning of Oklahoma State's ability to replace Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper in the receiving corps is being answered every week by a big group of Cowboy receivers.
Sophomore Josh Stewart
Leads the team with 24 catches and 289 receiving yards...He already has six receptions of more than 20 yards ... He has three TD grabs over the last three games...He is averaging 31.3 yards on his touchdown receptions ... Stewart already has five more catches in 2012 than he did his entire freshman season ... Stewart is fifth in the Big 12 with six catches per game.
Senior Tracy Moore
The proven veteran of the group, Moore leads OSU with four TD grabs ... Despite not playing in the opener, Moore has 221 receiving yards and averages 73.7 yards per contest.
Junior Blake Jackson
Jackson has 13 catches through four games, but is averaging an eye-popping 18.7 yards per catch ... He had a 58-yard catch against Louisiana, a 28-yarder vs. Arizona and a 26-yarder against Texas ... He did not catch a pass in the season opener, but had 100-yard receiving games vs. the Wildcats and Louisiana.
The Rest Of The Crew
OSU has also gotten some help from the rest of the receiving corps.
Junior Charlie Moore had seven career receptions entering 2012, but has six through September.
Senior fullback Kye Staley had 81 career receiving yards enter 2012. He has 94 through the first four games of the season.
John Goodlett, a walk on transfer from Indiana State, has five catches, including a 20-yard TD vs. Texas.
Junior running back Joseph Randle already has 11 catches for 89 yards to go with his 534 rushing yards.
An All-America Start
Joseph Randle is coming off his most impressive game as a Cowboy. The Wichita product ran around, over and through the Texas defense for a career-best 199 yards and two touchdowns.
He averaged eight yards per carry against the Longhorns. Take away Randle's 69-yard TD run against Texas on the second play of the game, and he still averaged 5.2 yards per tote against Texas.
Randle enters the Kansas game sixth in the country and tops in the Big 12 with an average of 133.5 rushing yards per game. He leads the Big 12 in rushing by 27 yards per game.
For the season, he is averaging 7.1 yards per rush.
Randle's career average per carry of 6.03 yards is fourth among all active players with at least 300 career carries.
He is ninth among all active players with 32 career rushing touchdowns.
Randle has run for at least 100 yards in all four games this season, five times in his last six games, and seven times in his last 11 games.
With his 199-effort against Texas, Joseph Randle moved from No. 18 to No. 14 on OSU's career rushing chart. He has 2,203 yards.
For the second time in his career, guard Lane Taylor is the foundation of a completely rebuilt offensive line. Taylor became one of the big stories in 2009 when he came from off of the depth chart to earn a starting spot at guard. In 2010, he was the only returning offensive line starter for a young Cowboy team that went on to finish 11-2 and earn a co-championship in the Big 12 South. And in 2012, he is once again the only O-Line starter returning from the previous season.
Oklahoma State returned, intact, its two-deep at defensive tackle from 2011. But junior college transfer Calvin Barnett and true sophomore James Castleman have ascended to the top of the depth chart and started all four games for the Cowboys. Barnett arrived in January and almost immediately became a starter. Castleman saw limited playing time as a freshman and came from off the two-deep to nail down a starting spot this fall.
Castleman, in just his second career start, had nine tackles at Arizona. It was the best total by a Cowboy tackle since Kevin Williams had nine stops in 2002.
Castleman's 16 tackles after four games ranks sixth on the team while Barnett has 11 stops. Those numbers would be better if OSU had not enjoyed gigantic early leads in the first and third games of the season, which limited the playing time for OSU's starters.
They have combined for seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage
A Good Step Backwards
After four games, Oklahoma State ranks No. 16 in the country with 7.7 tackles for loss per game (and a season total of 31).
The Young Influence
Oklahoma State has been the best team in the country in forcing turnovers since the arrival of Bill Young as defensive coordinator in 2009. OSU is off to a slow start in the turnover department in 2012, but the Cowboys far and away lead the country in forced turnovers over the last several years. Since 2009, OSU's 112 turnovers forced lead the country.
Oklahoma State has been one of America's most successful college football programs since the beginning of the 2008 season.
Since 2008, OSU has 43 wins, tied for 10th most in the country.
Since 2009, OSU ranks 11th with a record of 34-9.
Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Cowboys are eighth with a record of 25-5.
Since the start of 2011, OSU is 14-3.
Oklahoma State, Alabama and Oregon are the only three BCS-conference schools in the country with at least nine wins over each of the last four seasons (not including TCU, which was competing in the Mountain West Conference at the time).
Since 2009, Oklahoma State's 20-6 conference record is the best in the Big 12.
Since 2007, Oklahoma State is No. 11 in the cumulative BCS Standings, according to CBS.
Gundy in Perspective
Head coach Mike Gundy is in his eighth season as head coach at his alma mater. He is 61-32 and is the reigning national coach of the year (Paul "Bear" Bryant and Eddie Robinson awards) and he was named as the 2010 Big 12 coach of the year.
OSU was 12-15 under Gundy after 27 games, but has gone 49-17 since then, including a 34-9 record since 2009 and 25-5 since the opening of 2010.
Gundy's 61 wins at OSU rank second all-time behind only Gundy's college coach, Pat Jones (62-60-3).
Perhaps the most impressive part of Gundy's tenure at OSU is that he has built the program with three different offensive coordinators and three different defensive coordinators. Three of his former assistants have left Oklahoma State to become head coaches (Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, Larry Fedora at Southern Miss and now North Carolina, and Tim Beckman at Toledo and now Illinois).
Under Gundy, OSU has gone to six straight bowl games (an OSU first) and won at least seven games in six straight seasons (another school first) and at least nine games in four straight seasons (yet another first).
The 23 wins during 2010 and 2011 are most ever by OSU in a two-year stretch.
Under Gundy, OSU has reached the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for a school-best four straight seasons.
Last season, OSU reached its highest ranking ever when it checked in at No. 2 in both major polls. The Cowboys eventually finished third in the final AP poll, USA Today poll and in the final BCS standings.
Gilbert Moves Up
Justin Gilbert has continued to enhance his reputation as one of America's top kick return men. He is currently No. 10 nationally an average of 29.9 yards per return. He is second all-time at OSU with 1,705 kickoff return yards, trailing only current San Francisco 49er Perrish Cox (2,804 yards). Cox also holds the Big 12 record. Gilbert is tied for the NCAA lead with four career kickoff returns for scores.
Passing To Run
Under Mike Gundy, OSU has developed some of the best receivers in school history, including All-Big 12 wideouts D'Juan Woods and Adarius Bowman, as well as All-Americans Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon. It's easy to forget that Gundy has also coached five 1,000-yard rushers in his seven seasons. Three different backs have reached the 1,000-yard in the last three seasons (Keith Toston, Kendall Hunter and Joseph Randle).
The "All" People
Under Mike Gundy, OSU has had an All-Big 12 selection at every offensive position on the field.
Over the last four seasons, Oklahoma State has had a Ray Guy Award winner (Matt Fodge in 2008) and a Lou Groza Award winner (Dan Bailey in 2010). In senior Quinn Sharp, the Cowboys could have the best of both worlds. Sharp is a legitimate contender for both national awards in 2012 (he has already been a semifinalist for each).
Sharp is the reigning Big 12 special teams player of the year.
He has already earned first-team All-America honors as both a punter and a kicker (in two different seasons).
A year ago, Sharp was third nationally with a punting average of 46.3 yards and he was seventh nationally in field goal percentage (22-of-25).
Sharp was fifth nationally a year ago in scoring (11.5 ppg) and tops among America's kickers.
Sharp has led the nation in kickoff touchbacks each of the past three seasons.
He's currently No. 5 nationally, scoring 12.3 points per game.
For his career, Sharp has hit 29 of his 34 field goal attempts. That percentage of 85.3 is third among all active players.
Lunt Makes A Statement
OSU had several issues in the loss at Arizona. However, most anyone in attendance would attest the issues did not rest with true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, who was making his first road start. Lunt set a Big 12 and OSU record for freshman passing yards with 436, including 317 in the second half. His 436 yards represent the fourth best single-game total in OSU history and the fifth best passing game in the country this season.
INTs With An Asterisk
Wes Lunt will be credited with three interceptions in the loss to Arizona. However, those picks should come with a footnote. One interception came after a pass went through the hands of an OSU receiver and another came when a Cowboy receiver slipped and fell coming out of his break on a pass pattern.
Through two games, a couple of other notes regarding the true freshman quarterback...
Lunt completed the first 12 passes of his career.
He engineered six touchdown drives on his first six possessions as a quarterback.
He has a 42-yard completion in each of his first two games.
At Arizona, he hit three different receivers for gains of at least 28 yards.
In his college debut vs. Savannah State, Lunt pitched the only "perfect game" in OSU history with an 11-for-11 effort against the Tigers.
Oklahoma State sported a new look in 2011 - actually 13 new looks. OSU partnered with Nike to play in Nike Pro Combat uniforms. OSU has its choice of 48 different combinations with helmets of white, black and gray, jerseys of black, gray and orange (for home games), and pants that are black, white, orange or gray. A player panel has made the game selections for the 2012 entire season.
The Throne Room
For the first time since 1977, Oklahoma State enters a season defending a conference title. The Cowboys claimed the Big 12 championship last year with an 8-1 conference record. The 12-1 season included a Fiesta Bowl victory over No. 4 Stanford. OSU concluded the year with its highest finish ever in the Associated Press, coaches' poll, and BCS Standings (third in all three). Oklahoma State just missed an appearance in the national championship game as Alabama edged out OSU for the second spot in BCS national championship game by the closest margin (between second and third) in the history of the process.
Seniors Among Seniors
Four members of the OSU roster enter 2012 with a college degree in hand. Center Evan Epstein has a degree in business management. Receiver Isaiah Anderson has earned his degree in education, defensive lineman Cooper Bassett has a degree in health promotion and holder Wes Harlan has a degree in business marketing.
A Second Ever
Oklahoma State had some historical numbers at Arizona. The game was the just the second in school history in which the Cowboys had a 400-yard passer (Lunt passed for 436 yards), a 100-yard rusher (Joseph Randle rushed for 123 yards) and two 100-yard receivers (106 for Tracy Moore and 105 for Blake Jackson). The only other time that OSU had four players reach triple digits in those categories was in last seasons' 66-6 win at Texas Tech. In that contest, Brandon Weeden passed for 423 yards, Hershel Sims rushed for 109 yards, Justin Blackmon had 103 receiving yards and Josh Cooper had 106 receiving yards.
Mike Gundy is just the fifth coach in Oklahoma State history to reach his eighth season as the Cowboy head coach and the first to do it since Pat Jones coached his 11th and final season in 1994. Only Gundy, Jones and Cliff Speegle have coached at least eight years at the school in the post-World War II era. Gundy's tenure is now the fifth longest in the new Big 12, trailing only Bill Snyder, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops and Gary Patterson.
Moore Of Everything
OSU senior receiver Tracy Moore made his season debut one to remember at Arizona. After not playing in the opener due to a coaching decision, Moore caught eight passes for 106 yard with four touchdowns against the Wildcats. He joins Buffalo's Alex Neutz as the only receivers in the country with four TD receptions in a game this year. He is the first Cowboy to accomplish the feat since Dez Bryant had four TD catches in a 2008 win over Iowa State. Moore is now No. 17 all-time at OSU with 1,173 receiving yards. He has 12 career TD grabs.
60 Times Seven
Since 1916, OSU has had 13 games in which it has scored at least 60-points. Seven of those games have come since the 2010 season opener as OSU cracked the 60-point mark twice in 2010, three times last season and two more times in the first three weeks of 2012.
600 Times Three
Oklahoma State reached another milestone in 2012. This year is the first time the Cowboys opened a season with three straight games with at least 600 yards of total offense. In fact, three of the top 14 total offense outputs in school history came in the first three games of 2012.
OSU began the year with 682 yards of offense against Savannah State, including 395 yards on the ground. That total is tied for the eighth best output in school history.
The 636 yards against Arizona could have been substantially higher without the 167 yards in penalties OSU suffered. The Cowboys still outgained the Wildcats by 135 yards. The 636 total is 14th all-time at OSU.
The 742 yards against Louisiana set a school record and showed dominance on the ground (330 yards) and through the air (412 yards). OSU has now set a new record for total offense three times since the beginning of the 2010 season.