Created: 11/09/2013 8:35 PM
(AP) STILLWATER, Okla. - Kansas coach Charlie Weis knew that for his underdog team to have a chance against No. 15 Oklahoma State on Saturday on the road, it needed a strong start.
The idea was to keep it close early, perhaps get a break here or there and the Jayhawks could be in line for an upset.
Not only did things not go as planned, they went bad immediately, as Justin Gilbert returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a Cowboys touchdown and Kansas trailed 7-0 en route to a 42-6 defeat.
"When you start a game trying to keep it within a certain point-range, and you start off with that one, it was a little bit deflating," said Weis, whose team lost its sixth straight contest. "It was still just one play, but can you pick a worse way to start a game? It was the absolute worst way."
About four minutes later, Jayhawks quarterback Jake Heaps threw an interception that eventually led to another Oklahoma State touchdown, this one a 3-yard run by Desmond Roland, and midway through the opening quarter, Kansas (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) trailed 14-0.
Clint Chelf would go on to complete 19 of 37 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns, while Roland gained 44 yards rushing and another touchdown on a 19-yard reception early in the second quarter that made it 21-0.
"It was a good win for our team," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "I thought our defense was consistent in our play. Offensively, we were good at times and very sluggish at times. We have a lot of work ahead of us."
Next weekend, Oklahoma State plays at Texas, with subsequent games against No. 5 Baylor and No. 12 Oklahoma.
OSU already lost a game they were expected to win this year, a 30-21 defeat at West Virginia back on Sept. 28, and they were determined not to let it happen again.
"Coming off the West Virginia loss, that was a game we were supposed to win," said senior receiver Tracy Moore, who caught six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns on virtually identical fade passes. "Coach Gundy was telling us all week to stay focused, ignore the record and realize Kansas is better than people give them credit for. We came out ready to play."
The Cowboys (8-1, 5-1) extended their advantage to 28 points with just 15 seconds left before halftime, when Chelf lofted a fade pass to the left corner of the end zone, where a leaping Moore held on for a 4-yard touchdown.
"I thought the first half, we were moving the ball fairly well, to be honest with you," Weis said. "But at the end of the day, it’s not about how you’re moving the ball, it’s about point production."
Weis eventually replaced starting quarterback Jake Heaps with Montell Cozart, who threw for 58 yards while rushing for 55 on 18 carries. Tony Pierson returned from a three-game absence due to a concussion and gained 87 yards on six rushes.
"Whenever Tony touches the ball and we get him in space, you can see that’s like our passing game," Weis said. "That’s where we get our chunks. He had two long runs - that’s like our form of throwing the ball down the field. And when Cozart started playing more, he kind of bailed us out a number of times in the run game."
Oklahoma State overcame the loss of top receiver Josh Stewart, who was injured on a punt return less than three minutes into the game and did not return. Utilizing their depth, OSU had eight different receivers make catches, including sophomore David Glidden, who had a career-high six receptions for 73 yards.
"You’re always trying to get Josh the ball, but you adapt and you overcome," Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. "We’re really proud of our team for responding, because one guy goes down and then the next guy’s got to step up. With a little adversity comes some opportunity."
Kansas finally got on the scoreboard midway through the third quarter on Ron Doherty’s 40-yard field goal.
Another perfect fade pass from Chelf to Tracy Moore for an 11-yard touchdown early in the fourth put OSU back ahead 35-3.
"It’s something me and Clint work on after practice," Moore said of the fade passes. "It’s kind of hard to simulate it in practice, what you’re going to get in a game, especially with a guy that’s 6-1 like the corner was tonight, but credit Clint, he threw the ball well."
Four minutes later, Doherty’s 29-yard field goal made it 35-6.