STILLWATER, OKLA. Kansas University freshman quarterback Adam Barmann left Saturday's game against Oklahoma State midway through the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury.
Brian Luke replaced Barmann and led the Jayhawks to 10 first-half points, and KU trailed OSU by just six, 16-10, at halftime at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Both quarterbacks played in the second half, but neither could muster enough offense as the Jayhawks fell, 44-21, to the Cowboys.
"We did some good things on defense, and then we give up some big plays on defense," KU head coach Mark Mangino said. "We consistently make good plays, and then give up a big play. That's just concentration. On the offensive side of the ball, we moved the ball at times, but once again we get the ball down in the red zone but don't get it in the end zone. We've got to get the ball in the end zone."
Barmann, who was 5-of-6 passing for 38 yards before leaving, limped off the field in the middle of the Jayhawks' first scoring drive after being sacked by Greg Richmond for the second time during the possession. Barmann's right ankle was taped, and he left the field for a few minutes before returning to the sideline.
Luke was 10-of-18 passing for 86 yards and a touchdown in the first half, and also finished KU's first scoring drive, which ended on a 20-yard field goal by Jerod Brooks. That tied the game at 3-all, as OSU kicker Luke Phillips had given the Cowboys a 3-0 lead early in the quarter with a 34-yard field goal.
"Adam did a good job for us," Mangino said, "but he's banged up, and it's hard for a true freshman to play on two feet, let alone one, and he did his best. Brian Luke did some good, positive things."
OSU (8-3 overall, 4-3 Big 12 Conference) appeared to strike back just a few seconds later with a 69-yard scoring pass from Fields to Rashaun Woods, but the play was called back because of an illegal block. After two runs by Vernand Morency, KU's Charles Gordon, playing cornerback for the second straight week, stopped the drive with a sack.
Luke slowly but surely moved KU (5-6, 2-5) across midfield on the ensuing possession, but threw behind Denver Latimore on third-and-four from OSU's 44-yard line. Curtis Ansel's punt was downed at the Cowboys' 16-yard line.
OSU had no problems moving the ball from deep in its own territory, scoring 10 plays later on a five-yard run up the middle by Morency, who carried the ball four times for 38 yards on the drive.
Luke tied the game 14 plays and more than five minutes later with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Moderick Johnson, who grabbed the ball with one hand while falling into the end zone. The touchdown was the first of Johnson's career.
The OSU Cowboys regained the lead with a 20-yard field goal by Phillips that was set up by a 32-yard pass from Fields to Chay Nease that put OSU inside KU's 10-yard line. Woods was wide open in the end zone on third-and-goal from the three-yard line, but Fields overthrew the standout wide receiver.
KU couldn't do anything offensively on the next drive and ran little time off the clock, as Green rushed for two yards on first down before back-to-back incompletions by Luke. Ansel's punt went 43 yards, but was returned 44 yards by Lindsay, who was helped by an illegal block on Nick Reid that was not flagged. OSU could muster only a 24-yard field goal by Phillips, though, and led by six points at half.
Barmann started the second half for the Jayhawks, taking over after Kenneth Thompson intercepted Josh Fields deep in OSU territory on the Cowboys' first possession of the half. Barmann was just 1-of-3 passing on the scoring drive, which ended with a 21-yard field goal by Jerod Brooks.
That was KU's best possession of the period, as the Jayhawks gained just 49 yards and three points in the third quarter, compared to 207 yards and 21 points for the Cowboys.
Morency led OSU's third-quarter attack, rushing 12 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 25 carries for a career-high 269 yards and three scores.
His second and third touchdowns both came in the third quarter, one on a 19-yard run and the other on a six-yard scamper. OSU fullback Shawn Willis scored the Cowboys' other touchdown of the period, a four-yard run up the middle sandwiched between Morency's scores
The Jayhawks were moving on their possession after Morency's third touchdown, but Barmann threw an interception to Ricky Coxeff at KU's 32-yard line. Three plays later, Fields hit Woods for an eight-yard touchdown.
Barmann started the next drive, but Luke relieved and led the Jayhawks to inside OSU's 10-yard line before throwing an interception. Mark Simmons tipped the pass, and Thomas Wright caught the ball in the end zone for a touchback.
KU capitalized on its final possession, as Luke hit Simmons with a 19-yard touchdown pass, and then found Latimore for the two-point conversion.
The Jayhawks need to defeat Iowa State next Saturday at home to be bowl-eligible.
"I think our kids are still hungry and want to win," Mangino said, "want to get that sixth win. I told our kids in the locker room, next Saturday will define the 2003 Jayhawk team. You play well and win that game, and all is forgotten about all the bumps in the road. I'm confident that our kids will play extremely well. Our kids are anxious to get on the bus, get back to Lawrence, and get to work on the next opponent."
Luke finished 22-of-38 passing for 193 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs. He rushed three times for 18 yards. Barmann was 8-of-14 passing for 66 yards and an interception.
Clark Green led KU with 77 rushing yards on 18 carries. John Randle added 22 yards on six carries.
Gordon caught nine passes for 72 yards, Mark Simmons had four catches for 56 yards and Latimore had 32 yards on four receptions. Johnson's three catches and 35 yards were both career highs.
Fields was 14-of-21 passing for 190 yards and a touchdown. Woods had four catches for 38 yards, and Chay Nease caught three passes for 64 yards.
¢ Greg Heaggans was replaced on the kickoff return team. John Randle and Harold McClendon were the returners.