Oklahoma State routs Kansas 58-17
Kansas football was unable to contain the Big 12’s top scoring offense Saturday, falling to then-No. 18/21 Oklahoma State 58-17 in the Jayhawks’ season finale at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3 Big 12) totaled 661 yards of offense against the Jayhawks (1-11, 0-9 Big 12), led by senior quarterback Mason Rudolph, who finished the game 31-of-43 passing for 438 yards and two touchdowns. He had 309 yards and one score in the first half.
On the Cowboys’ first play from scrimmage, Rudolph found redshirt freshman wide receiver Dillon Stoner for a 15-yard completion, then connected with redshirt senior wide receiver Marcell Ateman two plays later for a 54-yard score, giving Oklahoma State a 7-0 lead with just 2:55 taken off the clock.
Oklahoma State added to its lead with a 43-yard field goal with 6:22 remaining in the first quarter after Kansas was held to three-and-outs on its first two possessions.
The Jayhawks answered with a field goal, as redshirt junior kicker Gabriel Rui hit a career-long 50-yard attempt to make the score 10-7.
Rudolph and the Cowboys wasted no time after the Kansas field goal and completed a 10-play, 75-yard drive to extend their lead to 17-3. Rudolph completed five-of-seven attempts on the drive, and moved Oklahoma State to the Kansas 12-yard line before sophomore running back Justice Hill carried it in for the score with 13:41 remaining in the half.
Kansas closed the half with a nine-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Peyton Bender to sophomore wide receiver Evan Fairs. The touchdown was the first for Bender since Oct. 7, against Texas Tech, and it marked Fairs’ first-career score.
However, it came after Oklahoma State stretched its lead to 31 with three-straight scores: a 76-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to Stoner, a 36-yard field goal and a 1-yard touchdown run from redshirt freshman running back LD Brown.
The Jayhawks received the kickoff to open the second half, but Bender was unable to keep his rhythm from the final drive of the first half going and threw an interception on the third play, giving Oklahoma State the ball on the Kansas 30-yard line.
The Cowboys took advantage of the short field position, and Rudolph threw his second touchdown of the game on the ensuing play, a 36-yard strike to senior wide receiver James Washington, to make the score 41-10.
Junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr., who became just the fifth player in Kansas football history to reach 2,000 career receiving yards earlier in the game, sparked the Jayhawk offense with a 35-yard punt return to the Oklahoma State 41-yard line after the Kansas defense held Oklahoma State to its second three-and-out.
Following two rushes from junior running back Deron Thompson to pick up a first down, Bender hit Sims with two consecutive passes for 13-yard gains, then threw him a screen pass two plays later from the Oklahoma State 2-yard line. Sims fought his way to the end zone for his sixth touchdown of the season, making the score 41-17 with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter.
The Sims touchdown was the last time the Jayhawks scored, as Oklahoma State closed the game on a 17-0 run for the 58-17 final.
Bender finished the game 17-of-32 with 172 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception, and Sims hauled in nine of those passes for 69 yards.
Kansas junior running back Taylor Martin totaled 60 yards rushing on 17 attempts.
Redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. tallied nine tackles, including seven solo stops and two tackles for a loss, to join sophomore cornerback Hasan Defense as the Jayhawks’ leading tackler in the game. Dineen’s two tackles for loss gave him 23 this year, which tied Charleton Keith for most in Kansas single-season history. Keith set the mark in 2005.
Junior defensive tackle Daniel Wise recorded a team-high three tackles for loss and finished the season with 17.5.
Kansas sophomore safety Daylon Charlot, a Patterson High alum, finished the game with two kickoff returns for 26 yards with a long gain of 15 yards.
This season, he had five kickoff returns for 82 yards with a long gain of 23 yards. He averaged 16.4 yards per return.
The sophomore, who made the switch from wide receiver to safety this season, played in 11 games and recorded one unassisted tackle. He also had one catch for no gain.