8:00 PM ET, November 10, 2007
Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Marcus Henry was an under-appreciated underdog who turned into something special, the epitome of No. 4 Kansas' remarkable run from nowhere to a legitimate national title contender.
Henry had a career-high 199 yards receiving and three touchdowns, Brandon McAnderson ran for 142 yards and two scores, and the Jayhawks (No. 5 AP) stayed unbeaten with a 43-28 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night.
A skinny receiver who no one else wanted, Henry turned in the game of his career in his return to his home state as Kansas (6-0 Big 12) moved to 10-0 for the first time since 1899. The Jayhawks are now the only unbeaten team left in the six conferences with an automatic bid to the BCS after top-ranked Ohio State was upset by Illinois earlier in the day.
"Our whole team has been overlooked, and for us to be performing as good as we can, it's pretty good," Henry said.
The senior from Lawton had the fourth-highest receiving total in school history and caught more than one touchdown pass in a game for the first time in his career. Not bad for a kid who only got a look after a standout performance in an all-star game and got a late invite to training camp.
"He's a young man who just wanted an opportunity to play Division I. We gave him the opportunity and he's made the most of it," Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino said.
Kansas was fourth in last week's Bowl Championship Series standings and will be moving up again when the new numbers come out Sunday. The question is no longer whether the Jayhawks deserve to be in the national title discussion. It's whether this band of underdogs can keep winning and get to New Orleans for the title game.
"We're not a bunch of superstars on this team. We're just a bunch of regular guys who love to play football," quarterback Todd Reesing said. "That's how we like it. We'd rather have 22 guys that no one's ever heard of that are winning every ballgame than a few superstars that everyone focuses on.
"A lot of guys may have been overlooked in high school and weren't highly rated, but they're great players, they fight hard and I wouldn't trade any of these guys for anybody else in the world."
Reesing completed 27 of 40 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns in another solid effort for the methodical Jayhawks. He went without an interception for the fifth straight game and has thrown 179 passes since his last pick. Kansas has no turnovers in its last three games.
"They did tonight what they've done all year long: Not make mistakes, very few penalties, take care of the football," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said.
Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson threw for 271 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, keeping the Cowboys (5-5, 3-3) in the game even as top receiver Adarius Bowman -- who set a Big 12 record with 300 yards receiving and four touchdowns against Kansas last season -- missed the second half with an apparent knee injury.
Dantrell Savage had the highest rushing total for any Kansas opponent this season, with 106 yards on 18 carries.
The Jayhawks started pulling away just after halftime when Henry caught a slant pass from Reesing and zipped past cornerback Jacob Lacey for an 82-yard touchdown reception that was the longest play from scrimmage for Kansas this season. McAnderson's 12-yard touchdown run on the Jayhawks' next possession made it 33-14.
Robinson rallied the Cowboys with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Devereaux, and a his 4-yard TD run got Oklahoma State within 33-28 with 13:08 left.
Henry once again had the answer. He kept Kansas' ensuing drive going with a diving third-down catch that set up a first-and-goal, then got open running across the back of the end zone on another third down for a 4-yard TD catch to make it 40-28.
The Jayhawks' star cornerback, Aqib Talib, set up a 22-yard Scott Webb field goal with his fourth interception of the season but the game wasn't in hand until the Cowboys' quick-strike offense was stopped on downs with 3:08 to play.
That allowed the thousands of Kansas fans who made the trip to celebrate the win with a "Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk" chant that's becoming as common at football stadiums as it has in storied Allen Fieldhouse.
"To be at this point in the season and be undefeated and start to get some more recognition for the program is awesome. We're enjoying and loving every second of it," Reesing said. "But we know what's at stake."
The Jayhawks play Iowa State at home next week and can clinch a spot in the Big 12 title game with a win against No. 7 Missouri on Nov. 24 in Kansas City, Mo. This from a team picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 North.
"Now the tables have turned," Henry said, "and I think the nation's going to know now."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Kansas broke open the game midway through the second quarter. By the time the deluge of touchdowns stopped, the Jayhawks owned a commanding 33-14 lead.
Gameball goes to... Todd Reesing, Brandon McAnderson. Reesing threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns. McAnderson carried the ball 25 times, rushing for 132 yards and two TDs.
Stat of the game... 4. Oklahoma State was its own worst enemy against Kansas, turning the ball over four times (three fumbles, one INT) and racking up four penalties (giving up 50 yards.)
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-15||7-17|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||2-4|
|TD||06:35||Marcus Henry 5 Yd Pass From Todd Reesing (Scott Webb Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 52 yds, 2:52
|TD||03:29||Dez Bryant 18 Yd Pass From Zac Robinson (Dan Bailey Kick) |
Drive: 9 plays, 71 yds, 2:57
|FG||00:37||Scott Webb 30 Yd |
Drive: 5 plays, 37 yds, 1:42
|TD||10:17||Julius Crosslin 1 Yd Run (Dan Bailey Kick) |
Drive: 12 plays, 80 yds, 5:14
|TD||07:17||Brandon Mcanderson 5 Yd Run (Scott Webb Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 80 yds, 3:00
|FG||02:24||Scott Webb 42 Yd |
Drive: 10 plays, 69 yds, 2:20
|TD||12:33||Marcus Henry 82 Yd Pass From Todd Reesing (Scott Webb Kick) |
Drive: 3 plays, 89 yds, :54
|TD||08:56||Brandon Mcanderson 12 Yd Run (Two-Point Conversion Failed) |
Drive: 5 plays, 46 yds, 1:57
|TD||00:54||Tommy Devereaux 39 Yd Pass From Zac Robinson (Dan Bailey Kick) |
Drive: 6 plays, 82 yds, 1:30
|TD||13:08||Zac Robinson 3 Yd Run (Dan Bailey Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 89 yds, 1:07
|TD||08:26||Marcus Henry 4 Yd Pass From Todd Reesing (Scott Webb Kick) |
Drive: 11 plays, 89 yds, 4:37
|FG||05:31||Scott Webb 22 Yd |
Drive: 5 plays, 19 yds, 2:01