5 takeaways from Oklahoma State's blowout win against Kansas

Scott Wright

STILLWATER — By game’s end, quarterback Ethan Bullock had made his first appearance since the season opener of 2020, and running back Jaden Nixon had made the first appearance of his Oklahoma State career.

It was one of those nights for the 15th-ranked Cowboys, who got a much-needed rout of Kansas, 55-3 on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Second-string quarterback Shane Illingworth entered late in the second quarter and completed six of 10 passes for 70 yards with touchdown throws to Bryson Green and John Paul Richardson. 

Starters and backups alike made big plays in the blowout.

Here are four more takeaways from the Cowboy victory:

OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders sharp in first half

OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders played himself into a half a night off. 

The redshirt junior was 12-of-19 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 53 yards and another score. He also leveled a Kansas defender on a touchdown run by Brennan Presley on a reverse.

In all, it was a stellar performance for Sanders, and it ended before halftime. Second-stringers, including Illingworth, entered for the final possession of the first half.

More:Oklahoma State football: What to know about the Cowboys' 2021 schedule, roster and more

Another dominant defensive outing from OSU football

Kansas had 49 yards and no first downs when the halftime gun fired. That’s about all you need to know about how well the first-team Cowboy defense played.

Kansas didn’t get a first down until the 9:16 mark of the third quarter, with backup quarterback Miles Kendrick in the game. And the Jayhawks didn’t surpass 100 total yards until the fourth quarter, finishing the game 0-for-13 on third downs.

Jason Taylor II and Kolby Harvell-Peel each had interceptions in the first quarter, and reserve Nick Session added another in the fourth quarter. 

More:OSU report card: High marks in Kansas blowout

Oklahoma State rushers up and running

Four players had at least 50 rushing yards for the Cowboys, who were able to give running back Jaylen Warren a light workload. 

Dominic Richardson led the team in carries and yards with 11 rushes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Warren added nine carries for 69 yards and Sanders had seven for 53 yards and a TD. 

Nixon, a true freshman, got 11 carries for 53 yards in mop-up duty. 

Oklahoma State's Jason Taylor II (25) and Malcolm Rodriguez (20) have helped the Cowboy defense become one of the best in the nation on third downs.

Iowa State loss helps OSU football

OSU’s path to the Big 12 championship game got a little clearer with Iowa State losing to West Virginia. The loss dropped Iowa State to 3-2 in conference play, with games left against Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and TCU. 

OSU improved to 4-1 in Big 12 play and regained full control of its destiny. OSU will play for the conference title if it wins out, regardless of what else happens in the league. 

OSU is tied for second in the conference standings with Baylor, but already holds the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over the Bears. So as long as the teams stay tied, OSU would go to the title game. 

Baylor still has games against TCU, OU, Kansas State and Texas Tech. 

OU remains in first place in the conference at 6-0. If the Sooners beat both Iowa State and Baylor, OSU could withstand one more loss over the final four games and still reach the Big 12 title game.