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No. 18 Oklahoma State heavy favorites over lowly Kansas

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) passes under pressure from Kansas State defensive end Reggie Walker (51) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- A week after a devastating loss that pretty much ended any hope No. 18 Oklahoma State had to win the Big 12, potentially the biggest issue for the Cowboys could be still feeling down about what they let get away against Kansas State.

Oklahoma State (8-3, 5-3 Big 12, CFP No. 19) is a 40-point favorite against Kansas (1-10, 0-8) on Saturday.

"I know what their record is, but they've had times, either in offense or in defense, where they've played pretty good," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "You watch the Oklahoma game, if (Baker Mayfield) wasn't playing, how many points would they have?"

Oklahoma State is second in the nation in offense (567.9 yards per game) and points (45.2). Mason Rudolph directs the country's top passing offense (383.1 yards per game) and James Washington is second in the nation with 1,317 receiving yards.

Kansas ranks 110th in FBS in total offense (337.0 yards per game), and 121st in scoring (18.8), 111th in total defense (450.8 yards) and 127th in scoring defense (42.1). It's been really bad in Lawrence, Kansas, this season, though the university president recently came out in support of third-year coach David Beaty. It appears the only thing the Jayhawks need concern themselves with is the Cowboys.

"We've got a really, really big challenge this week against a really, really good football team, a passing quarterback combo that I haven't seen in a long, long time," Beaty said. "You just get done playing one of the best quarterbacks you've ever seen in your life, and you go and play another one that's really, really good."

Some things to watch for Saturday as Oklahoma State tries to avoid an even bigger upset than it suffered last week.

  1. SHAKE IT OFF: The four Kansas captains who refused to shake Mayfield's hand during the pre-game coin toss last week were removed from their roles. Linebacker Joe Dineen, defensive end Dorance Armstrong, defensive tackle Daniel Wise and injured receiver Jeremiah Booker, all juniors, will be replaced as captains by Jayhawks seniors playing in their final game. "(It is) an attempt to give these (seniors) the proper honoring that they deserve," Beaty said. "As a matter of fact, the (captains) were the ones who actually brought it up to me, which I was really impressed with."
  2. STILL ALIVE? Oklahoma State enters the weekend in a four-way tie for third in the Big 12, and needs second-place No. 10 TCU to lose to 1-10 Baylor Saturday to create a multi-way tie for the final spot in the Big 12 Championship Game against No. 3 Oklahoma. But because the Cowboys lost to TCU, 44-31 on Sept. 23, there is almost no plausible scenario in which Oklahoma State wins any tie-breaker and makes it into the title match on Dec. 2.
  3. WASHINGTON WIZARD: After recording eight receptions for 159 yards last week, Washington, a senior, is now second all-time in Oklahoma State history with 4,240 yards, sitting 174 behind Rashaun Woods (1999-2003) for the career record. "It never crossed my mind that I could break that when I got here," Washington said. "Every time I step on the field, I just try to do my job. It would be nice to break it."
  4. TACKLING MACHINE. Dineen has led the Jayhawks defense all year, and his 7.6 solo tackles per game leads the entire nation, while his total of 11.5 tackles per game tops the Big 12 and is fifth in the country. He is also first in the Big 12 and fourth in the nation with 1.9 tackles for loss per game.
  5. RUNNING DOWN HILL. Cowboys running back Justice Hill topped 100 all-purpose yards last week (91 rushing, 21 receiving) against Kansas State for the seventh time in the last eight games. Hill, a sophomore, is the Big 12's top rusher with 1,289 yards, tied for 13th in the nation, and his 13 rushing touchdowns also leads the conference.

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