Kansas running back Tony Pierson (3) is pulled down by Rice safety Julius White (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas Welcomes Oklahoma State To Memorial Stadium Saturday
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas (1-4 overall, 0-2 Big 12) looks to even the overall series between the two schools when it hosts Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12), under first year head coach Charlie Weis, on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. The Jayhawks and Cowboys will play for the third-straight season, with Kansas looking to snap a two-game losing streak to OSU when the two teams do battle in a game that will be shown live on Fox Sports Net.
What To Watch For ...
• Kansas trails Oklahoma State, 30-29-3, in the all-time series between the two schools. OSU has won two-straight in the series, including a 70-28 win over KU in Stillwater in 2011.
• KU trails the all-time series vs. OSU in Lawrence 17-15-1--with its last win coming in the form of a 24-14 win in 1994.
• KU’s defense has forced 13 turnovers in the first five games. The Jayhawks have recovered seven fumbles and picked off six passes. Kansas ranks second the Big 12 in forced turnovers and is tied for 16th in the NCAA.
• Kansas ranks third in the NCAA in fewest yards penalized per game at 27.80. The Jayhawks are fourth nationally in fewest penalties per outing at 4.00 per game.
• KU is 9-4-1 all time in games played on Oct. 13. KU first played a game on Oct. 6 in 1906 with a 35-7 win over Arkansas. KU faced OSU on Oct. 13 in 1923, posting a 9-0 win over the Cowboys in Lawrence.
• Saturday’s game versus OSU will mark KU’s fifth-straight national broadcast as the game will air on FSN.
• The Jayhawks boast an all-time record of 573-573-58 (.500 winning percentage).
• A portion of all tickets sold to the KU-OSU game will be donated to the Jayhawks for a Cure fund. The Jayhawks for a Cure fund supports cancer treatment and prevention at the KU Cancer Center and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. For every ticket sold, $5 will go directly to the Jayhawks for a Cure fund.
Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis
Charlie Weis (Notre Dame, 1978) is in his first season at the Kansas helm, after being named the University’s 37th head football coach on Dec. 9, 2011. Weis, who is 1-4 in his first season at the helm of the program, arrived at Kansas after spending the 2011 season as the offensive coordinator at the University of Florida. Prior to that he spent the 2010 season in the same position for the Kansas City Chiefs, where he helped guide the team to a playoff appearance and mentor three Chiefs players to Pro Bowl Honors. Weis came to KC after spending five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Notre Dame. During his five seasons in South Bend, Weis compiled a 35-27 mark, leading the Irish to back-to-back BCS Bowl Games in 2005 and 2006. Weis has coached 16 years in the NFL and owns four Super Bowl rings, three as the offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots (2001, 2003, 2004) and one as a defensive/special teams assistant with the New York Giants (1990).
Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy
OSU head coach Mike Gundy was the 2011 winner of the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Coach of the Year Award and the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America after leading Oklahoma State to an 12-1 record, its first-ever Big 12 championship and BCS bowl game appearance in 2011. Since 2009, Oklahoma State’s 20-6 record against Big 12 opponents is the best mark in the league. Gundy first arrived on the Oklahoma State campus in 1986 when he became a four-year starter at OSU (1986-89), and led the Cowboys to a pair of bowl wins. Gundy ended his career as the Big Eight Conference’s all-time leader in passing and total offense. After graduation, Gundy joined the Oklahoma State football staff. He coached the receivers in 1990, the quarterbacks from 1991-1993 and in 1995, and served as offensive coordinator during the 1994 season in the final year for Gundy’s college coach, Pat Jones. Gundy has coached in Stillwater under each of the three previous Cowboy head coaches (Jones, Bob Simmons and Les Miles). He spent one season at Baylor (1996) as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator before heading to the ACC, where he coached at Maryland (1997-2000). He returned to Stillwater in 2001 as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, and he also coached OSU quarterbacks.
Oklahoma State Scouting Report
Oklahoma State is off to a 2-2 start to the 2012 season, including an 0-1 ledger in Big 12 play after falling to Texas, 41-36, in its last outing. Despite their 2-2 record, the Cowboys boast one of the most potent offenses in college football, having outscored their opponents 223-124 through four games. The Cowboys rank first in the NCAA in total offense (659.00) and scoring offense (55.8) and rank fifth in both passing offense (359.00) and rushing offense (300.00). OSU is led by Joseph Randle on the ground as the junior RB averages a Big 12 best 133.5 yards per game. Randle has six touchdowns on the season. J.W. Walsh, filling in for injured starter Wes Lunt, has completed 52-of-78 passes on the season for 797 yards and eight TDs. Lunt has completed 51-of-75 passes for 588 yards and four TDs. Both quarterbacks are listed on the OSU depth chart for the game against Kansas. Josh Steward leads the Oklahoma State receivers with 24 catches for 289 yards and three TDs, while Tracy Moore has 17 grabs for 221 yards and four TDs. Defensively OSU is led by Daytawion Lowe with 21 tackles. Lowe also has 2.0 TFLs to his credit for a loss of nine yards. Alex Elkins is right behind Lowe with 20 tackles, including 17 solo stops, while James Castleman leads the team with 4.0 TFLs for a loss of 11 yards. Three different Cowboys have an interception to their credit.
Kansas has three Oklahoma natives on its roster: Gavin Howard (Owasso), Jake Love (Tonkawa) and John Williams (Tulsa). Oklahoma State fields four Sunflower state natives on its roster in Trace Clark (Wichita), Brian Reber (Leawood), Devin Hedgepeth (Derby) and Joseph Randle (Wichita). Randle’s older brother, John, played at Kansas (2003-04). OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young spent six seasons in the same position at Kansas (2002-07). OSU defensive graduate assistant Jermial Ashley played at Kansas (2004-05). KU Co-Defensive Coordinator Buddy Wyatt was an OSU assistant in 1996. Murphy Grant, who is KU’s Director of Sports Medicine, served for five years as OSU’s athletic trainer for men’s basketball. Matt Herrill, an assistant athletic trainer for KU football, came to Kansas after working as the athletic trainer for OSU wrestling.
Trio Of Runners Shine For KU Offense
Kansas is one of four schools in the NCAA who has had three different running backs eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark in a game this season. Jayhawk HB Tony Pierson has two 100-yard games, while fellow HBs Taylor Cox and James Sims each have one 100-yard rushing game to their credit this season. California, Tulsa and Middle Tennessee are the other three schools to have three running backs hit the century mark.
Heeney Honored By CFPA vs. KSU
Kansas sophomore LB Ben Heeney was cited by the College Football Performance Awards for the first time in his career after his standout performance versus Kansas State. Heeney was all over the field for the Jayhawk defense, collecting a career-best 14 tackles in the loss. He was credited with 11 solo stops and also had 2.0 TFLs for a loss of four yards. Additionally, he had a forced fumble. Among his 14 tackles was a touchdown saving stop at the one-yard line just before the end of the first half.
Jayhawk Formation Finding Success
KU senior WR Kale Pick and junior WR Christian Matthews have seen success come their way in running the ‘Jayhawk’ formation for the Kansas offense. The duo of former quarterbacks-turned-receivers has done a nice job of moving the KU offense, while manning the QB position during ‘Jayhawk’ plays. While the duo has only run the ball for a total of seven plays for 48 yards, they have also handed the ball off on numerous plays that kept the Kansas offense marching down the field.
Heeney Making Plays
Starting MLB Ben Heeney has put together back-to-back career performances in KU’s last two outings. The sophomore from Hutchinson, Kan., recorded a then career-best 11 tackles at Northern Illinois and followed that up with a new personal best 14 tackles at Kansas State. Heeney had 11 solo stops to his credit versus the Wildcats and also had 2.0 TFLs for a loss of four yards and a forced fumble. Heeney leads the KU defense with 41 tackles on the season.
The Jayhawks will travel to Norman, Okla., to take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Oct. 20. Game time is slated for 6 p.m., at Memorial Stadium and a live broadcast will be available on Fox Sports Net. Kansas is traveling to Oklahoma for first time since the 2008 season, when the Sooners claimed a 45-31 victory in a shootout. In that contest, the Jayhawks and Sooners combined for 1,165 yards of offense, including 825 through the air. OU leads the all-time series with KU, 69-27-6. The Sooners are also 36-13-3 against the Jayhawks at home. KU’s last victory at Memorial Stadium in Norman came in 1996.