When/where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence
TV/radio: Fox Sports 1; KCSP (610 AM)
The series: Oklahoma State leads 34-29-3
The line: Oklahoma State by 24
What’s at stake
Kansas looks to snap a long losing streak against Oklahoma State at home. The Jayhawks have lost all six matchups between the teams in Lawrence since the Big 12 was formed in 1996. The Jayhawks’ last home victory against the Cowboys came on Oct. 29, 1994, when Glen Mason was KU’s coach.
Cheers if …
KU rediscovers its passing offense. Oklahoma State allows 8.4 yards per attempt, which is second worst in the Big 12 ahead of only Texas. Will KU be able to take advantage? The Jayhawks mustered just 134 passing yards against Baylor last week, and KU coach David Beaty didn’t put his full backing behind Ryan Willis, who has combined for seven turnovers in his last two games.
Jeers if …
Turnovers cost KU another game. Statistical studies from SB Nation’s Bill Connelly have found that turnovers cost college football teams an average of five points of field position. If we follow that math out, the Jayhawks have cost themselves about 110 points with their nation-leading 22 turnovers (to compare, KU has scored 132 total points this season). A KU quarterback doing an Alex Smith impression would be a major compliment at this point.
Jesse Newell’s pick: Oklahoma State 31-21
On paper, there’s a lot of reasons to like KU in this matchup. It’s another sleepy 11 a.m. start on the road for a Big 12 opponent, and KU has tended to play with much more emotion at home. The Jayhawks’ pass defense also is better than their run defense, and the Cowboys are primarily a throwing team. Expect KU’s defense to return to its pre-Baylor form, even if it’s not enough to overcome a subpar showing from the offense.
Three things about Oklahoma State
1 Oklahoma State is tied for second in the nation with only two interceptions thrown. KU, meanwhile, is second to last with 12 interceptions.
2 The Cowboys are tied for the national lead with four blocked kicks.
3 Since 2010, Oklahoma State leads the nation with 39 non-offensive touchdowns.
KU’s quarterbacks vs. interceptions: Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has lifted the program with lots of help from turnovers. The Cowboys have led the Big 12 in turnover margin in three of the last five seasons while also ranking third this year at plus-five. The Jayhawks are likely to have some success moving the football Saturday, but the question will be whether a couple of bad plays offset those gains.