OSU vs. Kansas Report Card

It's getting more and more difficult by the week to hand out anything but A's, and that's not a complaint. OSU gets another set of high marks for another impressive performance in its 70-28 victory against KU.

First Quarter — A+

Methodical might be the best word to choose in describing OSU's 35-point first quarter on Saturday. The OSU defense forced two turnovers in the game's opening stanza and some Cowboy offensive players had outings that could easily have been confused with final game statistics. OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden was 16-of-18 passing for 223 yards with four touchdowns while receiver Hubert Anyiam had five catches for 85 yards with two scores. Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper combined had eight receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns, as well. All in all, the Pokes surpassed their previous game's point total against Texas A&M with 12 seconds remaining in the quarter. None of the Cowboys' first-quarter scoring drives lasted longer than 1:49 and three of them took less than a minute.

Takeaways — A

Oklahoma State's starting defense is required to force five turnovers in every practice or it is forced to run. It looks like the emphasis is paying off in a big way. One of the main reasons the Cowboys were able to pour 56 points on the Jayhawks in the first half was because the Pokes' starting D forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles). The Cowboys have already forced eight turnovers in their first two conference games.

OSU Reserves — B+

Oklahoma State's second and third-string played the entirety of the second half and the end of the first to tie the Jayhawks' starters 21-21 for the remainder of the game. Freshman running back Herschell Sims had the first rushing touchdown of his career and backup quarterback Clint Chelf had an efficient performance, going 14-of-21 for 206 yards with two touchdowns. Freshman receiver Josh Stewart had five catches for 64 yards and sophomore Michael Harrison hauled in four catches for 81 yards and a score. OSU also received solid contributions from reserve defenders Tyler Johnson, Deion Imade and Larry Stephens, who finished first, second and fourth on the team in tackles, respectively.

Todd Monken — A+

A good portion of the talk leading up to the Kansas game was about how OSU could exploit the Jayhawks' porous run defense, which was the third-worst in the nation prior to the game. OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken had other plans. By the end of the first quarter, the Cowboys had completed 16-of-18 passes and led 35-7 and the Pokes had only run the ball five times for 35 yards and one of those was a 38-yard scoring burst from Jeremy Smith. That's called imposing your will instead of simply playing to your opponent's weakness.

Cowboy Crowd — A-

The second largest crowd in OSU history (58,030) would normally receive an A+, especially given the quality of opponent, but the grade takes a minor hit given that only a handful of people stayed after halftime and even fewer were still in their seats when the near-record crowd was addressed by the PA announcer. It gave the remaining KU fans their only chuckle of the day. That said, Boone Pickens Stadium was pretty electric during offensive onslaught that unfurled during the first half.

Jerseys — A+

When I said last game's grey helmet, white jersey and grey pants combo was easily the best OSU had trotted out, I think I was right … until this week. The Pokes' matte black helmets, black jerseys and orange pants looked phenomenal in person. And, for the first time this season, contained enough orange to make most people happy.

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