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Schedule Preview: Oklahoma State Hosts the Reigning Big 12 Champs, Kansas State in Week 6

The Cowboys suffered a historic shutout to the Wildcats last year.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Oklahoma State got thumped by Kansas State on the road last year, which ended up being the beginning of the end for the Cowboys’ Big 12 hopes after a fast start to 2022.

The Cowboys draw a short straw this year, with an early bye following their conference opener in Ames, Iowa. That means the Pokes will end the season with eight-straight weeks of Big 12 play without a break, and they’ll start it against the reigning conference champs.

Week 6: Kansas State

When: Oct. 6
Where: Stillwater, Okla.

Series history: 42-24

The Cowboys had won three straight against the Wildcats, and five of seven, before last year’s loss in the Little Apple. Mike Gundy is 8-6 against K-State during his tenure. The Cowboys will look to avoid consecutive defeats at the ‘Cats’ paws for just the second time since 2002.

Last meeting: The Cowboys got shut out 48-zip in Manhattan, the worst loss in Gundy’s tenure. That’s when the wheels came off. OSU came in 6-1 with its only loss coming by a touchdown to a TCU team that would end up in the national championship game. For the Cowboys, that historic loss would start a 1-5 finish to their season.

Kansas State in 2022: In Year 4 at the helm, Chris Klieman captained Kansas State to a 10-win season, a conference championship and a New Year’s 6 appearance. The Wildcats’ four losses came to ranked teams and they were able to avenge one of those in style — and pick up some hardware — dishing out some payback to TCU in the Big 12 Championship. It was K-State’s third Big 12 title and first in a decade.

Kansas State in 2023: The ‘Cats will be without All-American running back Deuce Vaughn, now a Dallas Cowboy, but do return Will Howard for Year 9 (?) in Manhattan. At running back, K-State returns DJ Giddens (an honorable mention for Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year) and brings in Florida State transfer Treshaun Ward (an All-ACC Honorable Mention who rushed for 649 yards and seven TDs last year). And they do return the offensive line that paved the way for Vaughn.

The Wildcats should be pretty stout up front defensively, despite losing elite pass rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah. They return linebacker Daniel Green who decided to stick around for his “Super Senior” season instead of testing draft waters. But K-State is looking at a near complete rebuild in the back end with All-Big 12 safety Kobe Savage being the only DB to return with starting experience.

Key matchup: If there’s a weak link for the Wildcats, it’s that secondary. The Cowboys’ offense will look quite a bit different than it has the last four seasons. But with a proven passer in Alan Bowman and a handful of lethal deep threats for him to throw to, the Cowboys should be able to challenge that rebuilding group.

Be sure to check out our previous schedule previews: Weeks 1-3 | Week 4

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