Oklahoma State will look to break a two-game slide that derailed a promising season when the Cowboys host Iowa State in Big 12 play on Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.
The Cowboys (6-3, 3-3) are coming off a 37-16 loss at Kansas last week for their third loss in the past four games after opening the season 5-0. Iowa State (4-5, 1-5) ended a five-game losing streak with a 31-14 win over visiting West Virginia.
Oklahoma State’s downward spiral can be traced to quarterback Spencer Sanders’ injured right throwing shoulder, which has nagged him the past month before causing him to miss the loss to the Jayhawks.
Sanders has thrown for 2,177 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions, in addition to running for 343 yards and eight scores.
Garret Rangel was 27-of-40 passing for 304 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his first career start at Kansas.
With Sanders out, the Cowboys’ quarterback situation is unsettled, with Rangel and Gunnar Gundy, who is the son of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, in the mix to start against the Cyclones.
“First thing is, I’m not going to say we’re going to start anybody the rest of the year at any place,” said Mike Gundy, who also refused to put a timetable on Sanders’ return. “We could very well do either (have Rangel or Gunnar Gundy play). We haven’t had that discussion.”
The Cyclones are coming off their best win of the season as they work toward becoming bowl-eligible for the sixth straight season.
“Obviously, to feel the sense of victory and to understand why we won the football game and to the reasons why over the last couple of weeks we’ve been pounding away, I think those are huge growth steps when you’re talking about a young football team,” Iowa coach Matt Campbell said.
The Cyclones, who are seeking back-to-back wins over the Cowboys for the first time since 2000-01 after a 24-21 victory last year, need quarterback Hunter Dekkers and receiver Xavier Hutchinson to shine Saturday.
Dekkers has completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 2,370 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Hutchinson’s school-record 87 catches this season lead the FBS, while his 953 receiving yards rank fifth.
–Field Level Media