University of Kansas

Kansas prepares to face a motivated Oklahoma team

Updated: 2013-10-14T18:55:48Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

— Five days before No. 18 Oklahoma comes to town, and Kansas coach Charlie Weis already has a pretty clear understanding of what his team will be facing.

It started with a little research after previously unbeaten Oklahoma took a tumble against Texas in the annual Red River Shootout on Saturday in Dallas.

“If you go back and look at Coach Stoops’ record coming off the Red River Rivalry,” Weis said, “… the numbers are almost astounding.”

Astounding is one way to put it: In his first 14 seasons at Oklahoma, Bob Stoops is 14-0 with an average victory margin of 27 points coming off the Texas showdown at the Cotton Bowl. The trend will be expected to continue on Saturday, when Oklahoma faces Kansas at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Last season, Oklahoma blitzed Kansas 52-7 in Norman, and the Jayhawks have lost the last four games in the series by an average of more than 27 points. Kansas is coming off a 27-17 loss at TCU, another loss marked by a scuffling offensive attack. And for the second straight week, Kansas (2-3 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12) will attempt to solve one of the Big 12’s better defenses.

“Two weeks in a row,” Weis said, “you’re playing against a team that I call ‘pretty salty’ on defense.”

Oklahoma, of course, didn’t look so salty while giving up 36 points to Texas. And Stoops said Monday that his team has to move on from the Longhorns and focus on Kansas. For years, the Sooners (5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12) have managed it quite well.

“That’s what you have to do,” Stoops said. “Our season, win or lose through this (Texas) game, isn’t the end-all. It never is. So we go back to doing our work, like we always do. We’ve got six more conference games to go.”

No update on Heeney

Weis gave no update on Monday when asked about the injury status of linebacker Ben Heeney and receiver Andrew Turzilli, who both went down against TCU.

Weis said after the game that Heeney had suffered a knee injury during the first half and was unable to keep playing. When asked about the injuries on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference, Weis said he would address them at his weekly news conference on Tuesday.

“I’ll talk about them tomorrow at the press conference,” Weis said. “like I do every other week.”

In most cases, Weis is usually vague and non-committal on the severity of injuries. But he has addressed injuries on the Big 12 teleconference in the past. Last week, he gave an update on running back Tony Pierson, who had suffered a concussion against Texas Tech and was described as “day to day.”

Heeney, a junior from Hutchinson, entered last weekend as the Big 12’s leading tackler at 10.2 tackles per game.

Television time set for Baylor

Kansas’ home game against Baylor on Oct. 26 will kick off at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. The Jayhawks’ road game the following week at Texas is already set for a 2:30 p.m. start.

Looking back

It was four years ago on Thursday that Kansas, ranked 17th in the Associated Press poll, traveled to play at Colorado after beginning the season with a 5-0 record. The Jayhawks fell 34-30 in Boulder and have now lost 34 of their last 35 Big 12 games.

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/rustindodd.

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