Kansas University’s game against Oklahoma is a reunion of sorts for KU wideout Justin McCay.
McCay, a junior who has been in and out of the first-team spot at X receiver throughout the season, came to KU last year after transferring from Oklahoma to be closer to his family in Kansas City, Mo.
McCay left OU after red-shirting one season and playing very little the next, and he said this week he harbors no ill feelings toward his former teammates, coaches or the program. Because of that, he’s not treating today’s showdown as anything more than the Jayhawks’ sixth game of the season.
“I look at every game as next opponent up,” McCay said this week. “I’m not holding any grudge match or anything like that. It’s just the next opponent. Let’s get a win.”
McCay said he still keeps in touch with a handful of Sooners, and earlier this week he heard from one of them via text message.
“I texted (OU cornerback) Julian Wilson this week, and he texted me and said, ‘Be ready,’” McCay said of the guy he often matched up against in practice. “I texted back, ‘I’m always ready.’”
For the third consecutive week, KU faces the challenge of jump-starting its struggling offense against one of the top defenses in the Big 12.
Oklahoma, which ranks first in total defense (309 yards per game), scoring defense (16.8 points against per game) and passing defense (172 yards against per game), may be the toughest of them all.
Despite the tough task ahead, the Jayhawks have maintained a positive outlook.
“We love the challenge, actually,” wide receiver Josh Ford said. “And we don’t really look at the rankings and things. We like to go against them because if we expose them, it only makes us look good.”
Added quarterback Jake Heaps: “We’re looking forward to the opportunity of having the 18th-ranked team on (our) home field on ESPN. Oklahoma’s a great defense. They fly around, they have a lot of energy, and they do a lot of great things. As an offense, we just have to step up to the challenge in front of us.”
What’s the difference?
Much was made earlier this week about Weis giving up some of the game-planning duties to quarterback coach Ron Powlus and tight ends coach Jeff Blasko.
Despite the small tweak, Heaps said he did not expect things to change much on game day.
“As players, we won’t really notice the difference,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes, but since it hasn’t happened yet, we haven’t really experienced it so we can’t comment about what it’s going to be like on game day. As far as practice this week, coach Weis has been very involved with the wide-receiver and quarterback meetings, and he’s very on top of that.”
Oklahoma leads the all-time series between these two schools, 70-27-6. That includes a 32-14-3 mark in games played in Lawrence.