Kansas State pays Friday visit to struggling Oklahoma State

Field Level Media

October 03, 2023 at 7:48 pm.

Oklahoma State has historically handled Kansas State at home in football. That history will be put to the test Friday night as the Wildcats visit the Cowboys in Stillwater, Okla.

The Cowboys have won seven of the past eight home meetings since 2003, when they broke a nine-game overall losing streak to the Wildcats.

Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) is on a two-game skid, losing 33-7 at home to South Alabama on Sept. 16 and 34-27 at Iowa State in its most recent game on Sept. 23.

They are struggling on both sides of the ball, ranked 13th in the 14-team conference in scoring and 12th in total offense. The Cowboys are also ninth in scoring defense and 11th in total defense.

Against Iowa State, OSU allowed Rocco Becht to pass for 348 yards and three touchdowns. The Cyclones entered that contest averaging just 16.7 points per game, the worst among Power 5 schools.

Now the Cowboys face a K-State team that is in the top 5 in offensive and defensive scoring, total offense and defense, rushing offense and defense, and passing offense.

“We had good practices,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said of the week off. “Hopefully, the guys got rested up a little bit. (Kansas State) is the best team that we’ve played overall, so we’ll really need to step up and compete in all three phases. But the players are excited about practicing and their attitudes have been great, so that’s been encouraging as a coach.”

Kansas State (3-1, 1-0) also had last weekend off in preparation for a rare Friday game. The only area the Wildcats have seriously struggled is in pass defense, where they’re last in the conference — partly because of too many big plays.

K-State coach Chris Klieman won’t let OSU’s early-season struggles affect his team’s preparation.

“We know we have a big task ahead playing in Stillwater,” he said. “We’ve got to have another really good day.

“In the bye week, we tried to focus on the younger guys. That’s the group we focus on every bye week. Whether or not their future is now or in another year, we have to continue to evaluate.”