November 11, 2007

Rocked and Chalked

STILLWATER - It started out as a game where neither offense could move the ball.

That didn't last, however, as Kansas broke the early stalemate first, which proved to be the difference in a 43-28 win for the Jayhawks in front of 39,848 at Boone Pickens Stadium. Aside from a late spurt from the Cowboy offense, the Jayhawks were in full control most of the game.

It turned out to be an ugly night for the Cowboys. What started out as a night where OSU had a chance to take out a Top 10 team and BCS bowl contender melted down into an evening where KU effectively picked apart a listless and seemingly unfocused Cowboy squad.

Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy gave credit to the Jayhawks (10-0 overall, 5-0 Big 12) after the game.

"They did tonight what they've done all year long," Gundy said. "Not make mistakes, very few penalties, take care of the football and did a nice job on offense mixing the run and pass. It's really simple."

KU played pretty clean in Stillwater. They had zero fumbles, one interception and three penalties for 18 yards. Overall, they put up 529 yards of total offense. Most of that came through the air, as Todd Reesing went 27-of-40 for 308 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, Brandon McAnderson ran for 142 yards and two scores.

"It was one of those games where we knew that it was going to be a fight, it was going to be a battle," KU head coach Mark Mangino said. "We told our kids all week that it was going to be a battle. The kids kept their poise on both sides of the ball. I am very proud of the way that they just kept fighting. Oklahoma State tried to get back in the game and we would always seem to find a way to shut the door."

When things seemed about over for the Pokes late in the third quarter, the offense suddenly came alive. Down 33-14, Zac Robinson was able to engineer an 82-yard drive, finishing with a 39-yard pass to Tommy Devereaux. Then, early in the fourth, OSU was able to score again, this time via Robinson's legs, as he was able to run it in for a three-yard score. That left the Pokes down only 33-28 and in position to take the lead on the next possession. But KU was able to handle the shift in momentum and answered the Cowboys on the very next drive. The Hawks pushed the ball down the field and scored on a four-yard run pass from Reesing to Marcus Henry, who had 199 yards receiving and three touchdowns. The Pokes didn't answer, as Robinson threw an interception on OSU's next drive and KU was able to kick a field goal, making the score 43-28 with 5:31 left in the game.

"Any time a team turns the ball over like we did, it is going to hurt," said Robinson, who was 22-of-37 for 276 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also had 90 yards rushing and one score. "Kansas did a great job taking care of the football and not making any mistakes. We knew coming into the game that it would be important to take care of the ball because they are good at taking care of it themselves."

OSU (5-5, 3-3) did have a few bright spots, including the 18-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant (who had eight catches for 155 yards and a TD), the score by Julius Crosslin and a solid outing all-around from the special teams unit. Other than that, it was just a very sloppy, unimpressive performance from a team coming off a punch-to-the-gut loss to Texas the weekend before.

OSU suffered another loss Saturday night, aside from the game: Adarius Bowman. He was hurt on a reception when a Jayhawk defender clipped his legs. It appeared the impact was on his left leg. He was able to get off the field under his own power, but soon after left the field for the locker room. He came out mid-way through the third quarter in street clothes. His status is uncertain at this point.

"He's out obviously," Gundy said. "We'll find out tomorrow (Sunday). "We just don't know right now. Possibly (out) for the year."

What exactly was the nature of the injury?

"Something that has to do with a knee or an ankle, a leg," Gundy said. "In fact, I don't even know which leg it is. But it was enough that when I turned around and looked over there he was in sweats. So obviously I knew he wasn't coming back tonight. Hopefully we'll get him back this week but I just don't know yet."

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