Streaks, the wrong kind of streaks, are a hot topic in Lawrence.
Kansas ended an 11-game losing streak with its 31-14 victory over South Dakota. During their weekly team meeting Tuesday, coach Charlie Weis asked any player who had won a road game as a Jayhawk to raise their hand.
Hands down; Kansas has a 19-game road-losing streak and last experienced a victory away from home on Sept. 12, 2009 at University of Texas at El Paso. The Jayhawks aim to stop that skid and start 2-0 when they play at Rice Saturday.
“This is another step in the maturation process of our team,” junior defensive lineman Keon Stowers said. “If you want to be a factor you have to win on the road, there’s no excuses, this is a must-win game.”
In his second year at KU, Weis has retooled his roster and now believes the Jayhawks have the talent and depth to be competitive. The opener was won in workmanlike fashion with the running game again leading the way.
Junior quarterback Jake Heaps, who transferred from BYU, threw for just 110 yards against South Dakota but his receivers dropped at least five passes. While with the Cougars, Heaps was part of four road victories.
“There’s nothing better,” he said. “You have the opportunity to go down and make that whole environment about your team, and you feel the crowd kind of give in and you know, at that point, you’ve won the game.”
The Owls won in Memorial Stadium last year, overcoming a 24-13 deficit with a late field goal for a 25-24 victory.
“We had that game…we kinda just didn’t finish,” junior linebacker Ben Heeney said. “That was the big thing last year, just not finishing games. This is a really pivotal game for how our season is going to go. That’s the focus this week, winning on the road.”Saturday's games
All time Central
Tulsa at Oklahoma
Need to know: 11 a.m., Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, ESPN2
Records: Oklahoma 2-0, Tulsa 1-1.
Scouting Tulsa: The Golden Hurricanes have five turnovers in two games and will challenge an Oklahoma defense that has allowed just one touchdown in two games. Tulsa favors a balanced attack and quarterback Cody Green is a powerful runner. Junior receiver Keyarris Garrett is out for the season after suffering a broken leg last week.
Scouting Oklahoma: Junior quarterback Blake Bell will make his first career start. He replaces Trevor Knight, who suffered a bruised knee late in the first half. The Sooners' running game has gone over 300 yards in both games but the passing game has struggled. OU is completing just 44.4 percent of its passes. Linebacker Corey Nelson and safety Gabe Lynn have been keys to a stingy defense.
This and that: Oklahoma has outscored Tulsa 280-50 in winning all six meetings since Bob Stoops took over as coach in 1999. … Tulsa senior linebacker Shawn Jackson is on the verge of setting the school career record for tackles and sacks. … The Golden Hurricane hasn't won in Norman since 1996 and is 3-11-1 in the series when playing at Oklahoma and 1996 is the last time Tulsa beat a top 25 team.
Georgia State at West Virginia
Need to know: 11 a.m., Milan Puskar Stadium, Mountaineer Network
Records: Georgia State 0-2, West Virginia 1-1.
Scouting Georgia State: The Panthers are in their fourth season playing football. They're allowing an average of 253 yards per game rushing in losses to two FCS teams. Second-year sophomore Ronnie Bell is Georgia State's quarterback while seniors Travis Evans (running back) and Albert Wilson (wide receiver) are the top offensive threats.
Scouting West Virginia: Redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress will start for the Mountaineers. Junior Paul Millard has started the first two games while junior Clint Trickett, who transferred from Florida State, saw action in Game One. West Virginia has scored four touchdowns thus far and is averaging 398 yards per game in total offense.
This and that: Ford Childress will be the eighth redshirt freshman to play for West Virginia this season; six freshman have seen action. … Trent Miles is in his first year as Georgia State's coach. … Last year, playing an FCS schedule in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Panthers were 1-10. This is their first season as an FBS school. Georgia State is in the Sun Belt Conference.
Iowa at Iowa State
Need to know: 5 p.m., Jack Trice Stadium, FS1
Records: Iowa 0-1, Iowa State 0-1.
Scouting Iowa: The Hawkeyes feature a power running game with a buryly offensive line and fullback Mark Weisman leading the way. Through two games, Weisman has 50 carries and tallied 284 yards with two touchdowns. Iowa prefers to control the clock and keep the score under 30. Quarterback Jake Rudock is effective throwing on the move.
Scouting Iowa State: The Cyclones had a week off to lick their wounds after losing the opener to Northern Iowa. The defense allowed 228 yards and hope that some changes on defense will make a different. Redshirt freshman Luke Knott will start at linebacker. Sophomore quarterback Sam Richardson had 316 yards of total offense in the opener.
This and that: Both starting quarterbacks – Iowa's Jake Rudock and Iowa State's Sam Richardson – are from the state of Florida. … The Cyclones last started a season 0-2 in 2007. … The Cyclones will sport throwback uniforms from the 1920s, similar to what Jack Trice wore 90 years ago in his only season with the Cyclones in 1923.
Massachusetts at Kansas State
Need to know: 6 p.m. Bill Snyder Family Stadium, K-StateHD.tv
Records: Massachusetts 0-2, Kansas State 1-1.
Scouting Massachusetts: The Minutemen are hurting. They enter Saturday's game coming off a shutout loss at Wisconsin and a 24-14 loss to Maine. Out of 125 Division I FBS teams, their offense ranks 118th and their defense ranks 119th. Massachusetts is changing quarterbacks for K-State. A.J. Doyle, who completed seven of 17 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the second half against Maine, will make his second career start.
Scouting Kansas State: While junior Jake Waters remains the starting quarterback, it appears that Wildcats coach Bill Snyder is willing to use sophomore Daniel Sams (an explosive runner) in certain situations. While K-State bounced back from its season-opening loss, Snyder wasn't happy that his team didn't play a complete game in the victory over Louisiana Lafayette.
This and that: Massachusetts is a member of the Mid-American Conference. … K-State junior receiver Tyler Lockett has 15 catches for 224 yards through two games. … The Wildcats have won 57 of their last 60 non-conference home games. … Wildcats running back John Hubert is off to a slow start with just 79 yards rushing.
Kansas at Rice
Need to know: 6:30 p.m., Rice Stadium, CBS Sports Network
Records: Kansas 1-0, Rice 0-1.
Scouting Kansas: The Jayhawks were content to keep things simple and run the football to win their opener. Quarterback Jake Heaps passed for just 110 yards but was victimized by five dropped passes. Kansas allowed just 67 yards passing to South Dakota last Saturday and a big factor in that was an effective pass rush.
Scouting Rice: The Owls use a spread attack similar to those used by several Big 12 teams and were able run up 509 yards in total offense in its season-opening loss at Texas A&M. Quarterback Taylor McHarque, running back Charles Ross and receiver Jordan Taylor are the top offensive producers. Corner back Phillip Gaines, the consensus preseason player of the year in Conference USA, returns after being suspended for the opener.
This and that: The Jayhawks have lost 19 straight on the road - and 22 straight away from Lawrence. … Taylor McHarque needs 48 passing yards to become the second Rice quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000. … Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan was an assistant coach on KU's 2007 Orange Bowl team.
Lamar at Oklahoma State
Need to know: 6 p.m., Boone Pickens Stadium, FSW/FCS
Records: Lamar 1-1, Oklahoma State 2-0.
Scouting Lamar: Quarterback Caleb Berry threw for 272 yards and a touchdown against Louisiana Tech but his offensive line was ineffective and he was sacked five times. The Cardinals will have to provide much-improved protection if they expect to have a chance. Against Louisiana Tech, Lamar had two sacks and forced seven punts against a high-powered offense.
Scouting Oklahoma State: In Week One, the Cowboys' running game was dominant then lasts week they threw for 500 yards for just the third time in school history. Sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh set a single-game record for completion percentage, missing on just three of 27 attempts. Oklahoma State, whose defensive reserves gave up 28 fourth-quarter points to UT-San Antonio, has four interceptions in two games.
This and that: Oklahoma State has won 17 consecutive home openers and is also 13-1 in their last 14 non-conference games, since the start of the 2010 season. … Lamar is a member of the Southland Conference and last week was competitive in a 27-14 loss at Louisiana Tech. … Lamar's football program is in just its fourth season after ceasing operations in 1989.
Ole Miss at Texas
Need to know: 7 p.m., Darrell K. Royal/Memorial Stadium, LHN
Records: Ole Miss 2-0, Texas 1-1.
Scouting Ole Miss: Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace, a junior-college transfer, was considering Texas before choosing Ole Miss before last season. He's a run/pass threat. The top receiving threat is 6-3, 215-pound Laquon Treadwell. He set an Ole Miss freshman record with nine catches for 82 yards in the season opener. Another freshman, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (6-4, 294 pounds), is considered one of the naton's top freshmen defenders.
Scouting Texas: The Longhorns hope to hit the reset button. Greg Robinson takes over as the defensive coordinator after one of the most embarrassing losses in UT history. Junior quarterback David Ash (shoulder/neck injuries) is a game-time decision. If he can't go, senior Case McCoy will get the start with freshman Tryone Swoopes as the backup.
This and that: Texas has won six of the seven games in this series, including last year's 66-31 victory in Oxford. … The Longhorns haven't started a season 1-2 since 1998, Mack Brown's first season in Austin. … Ole Miss hasn't started a season 3-0 since 1989.