Sunday Rewind: Turnovers Were The Difference

I'm not sure you could find anybody that covers, follows or predicts college football that was expecting anything other than a shootout Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium in a game won by unbeaten Kansas 43-28 over Oklahoma State. The Cowboys and their high-powered offense were expected to be the biggest challenge thus far for the Jayhawks.

A lot of the numbers from the game would reflect that it should have been the fourth-quarter, last-possession-of-the-game shootout projected.

Kansas: 529 total yards (177 rush, 352 pass), 6.9-yards per play, 100 percent red-zone offense (6-for-6)

Oklahoma State: 471 total yards (195 rush, 276 pass), 6.4-yards per play, 100 percent red-zone offense (3-for-3)

The number that kept it from being a shootout was turnovers. The nation-leading Kansas Jayhawks hawked the ball, committing zero turnovers, while the Cowboys turned it over four times.

"Exactly what I said last night," said OSU head coach Mike Gundy. "You give them four more chances with turnovers and when you do that the score ends up what it was, 43-28. If there had been just a couple then they score 35 or 31 points, and you have a chance to get to 35 or 31 points. When you turn it over four times, you don't have any chance to win the game."

As a result the Cowboy defense, which again gave up more than 500 yards and over 40 points looked like the same unit that has struggled, but Gundy said they actually played better at times.

"At times they played pretty well," said Gundy. "But when the score was 33-28 with eight minutes left and we're within one score, and they let them go 90 yards then there was a letdown. If you kickoff and they don't go 90 yards then a lot of things can happen, but you have to remember the offense put them in three bad spots earlier in the game with turnovers."

Gundy admitted that his team is depleted on defense with the absence of Jeremy Nethon and Chris Collins at linebacker. For the second week Donovan Woods had to move to inside linebacker and Andre Sexton moved up from safety in a nickel-type personnel group to play Woods' normal position. There is an adjustment for those players. The good news is Gundy hinted that Nethon could be back for the Baylor game.

While Dez Bryant, with a spectacular eight receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown showed, the future of the wide receiver position will be in good hands, the offense was stymied during the game by the loss of leading wide receiver Adarius Bowman.

Bowman went out on a hard tackle after a missed block on a wide receiver screen. A clean play, Kansas corner Aquib Talib made a low hard tackle on Bowman that injured his knee. Bowman went to the locker room before halftime and surfaced after the second half began in street clothes. Bowman was telling teammates he was okay and thought he would be back this week. Gundy was more ambiguous.

"I don't know," Gundy said Sunday when asked about Bowman. "I haven't seen him yet or the people (trainers) down there. He (Bowman) usually comes around later at night. I'm also not going to address injuries. I'm trying to make it clear. He is a pretty big part of our offense and it's in our best interests not to let them (Baylor) know if he is going to play."

Gundy also revealed that starting wide receiver Jeremy Broadway, who suited up Saturday night, was suspended for the game for violating team rules. Gundy said Broadway will be back in full standing as of Monday.

The focus now moves toward Baylor and solidifying bowl eligibility with the sixth win. The Cowboys are currently expected to be in line for a trip to the Insight Bowl and a possible matchup with Penn State in the Dec. 31 game in Tempe, Ariz. Gundy said nobody had said anything about that (bowl games) to him, but had this to say about bowl eligiblity.

"You can't presume anything," said Gundy of beating Baylor, a team OSU defeated 66-24 last season but lost to 44-34 in Waco in 2005. "You look at the scores in the conference each week and you see that you have to be ready to play every week."

GoPokes Top Stories