The Kansas State Wildcats are coming off of a 35-21 victory of the Mean Green of North Texas. The Wildcats were underwhelming against the one-win Sun Belt team, but were able to finish of North Texas by the end of the game. K-State will look to make a statement against a tough Oklahoma Sooners team by avenging a 58-17 loss at home last year.
Under Bob Stoops the Sooners are 14-0 against top 15 ranked opponents. The closest game at home the Sooners have had came against Kansas State in 2001 where the Sooners won 38-37. The last time K-State defeated OU was in the 2003 Big 12 Championship game, and that remains Bill Snyder’s lone win against Stoops.
A Look at Oklahoma
Oklahoma has a very experienced offense. Oklahoma has slumped since they lost Ryan Broyles due to injury last season, but is still a very dangerous unit. Landry Jones is setting records of OU, and they have a very experienced WR unit. Oklahoma does need to improve on the ground game, but have shown strides of doing so early in the season.
Quarterback – SR Landry Jones will be starting for the Sooners on Saturday. He is in his fourth year as the starting QB for Oklahoma where he has passed for 12,853 and 97 touchdowns. So far this season Jones has passed for 474 yards with 4 interceptions and 1 interception. Jones is a prototypical pocket passer. In his career he has rushed for -294 yards. Jones has also had struggles when throwing under pressure, having thrown for 42 interceptions in his four year career.
SO Blake Bell will also play for the Sooners, but in a more of a “wildcat” package. Bell has thrown 9 passes in his career completing 5 of them. But he has had 13 rushing touchdowns on 52 rushes
Running Backs – Oklahoma returns SR running back Dominique Whaley. Whaley was a walk-on who had previously played at Langston College. Last season he was injured on the first play of the game between K-State and OU. Up to that point in the season he had 627 rushing yards with 9 touchdowns. So far this year he has 21 carries, 117 yards with a rushing touchdown.
JR halfbacks Brennan Clay and Damien Williams will be backing up Whaley. Williams currently leads the team in rushing with 259 yards and 5 touchdowns (13 yards per carry). Also starting at FB will be 2011 first team all big 12 selection Trey Millard. Millard had a career long run of 61 yards against K-State.
Receivers & Tight Ends – Kenny Stills is the leading returning receiver for Oklahoma. The JR receiver has started since his freshman season and has accounted for 1876 yards and 15 touchdowns. So far this season Stills has 16 catches for 241 yards with 2 touchdowns. Also starting for Oklahoma at receiver will be SR Justin Brown. Brown is a transfer from Penn State where he started the previous two seasons. He has 79 catches on his career for 1134 yards.
The final starting receiver is true freshman Trey Metoyer. Metoyer was a five star prospect out of the state of Texas. So far this year Metoyer has 7 catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Starting at the TE position will be Geneo Grissom. Grissom moved over from the defensive line.
Offensive Line – The Oklahoma offense is a dangerous and experienced unit. The lone inexperienced unit in the Oklahoma offense is their young offensive line. The offensive line only has one senior starter (6’7 303 lb LT Lane Johnson). Johnson started 12 of 13 games last season, and was an academic all-big 12 selection. Adam Shead (6’4 307 lb SO) started five games last season, and will be Oklahoma’s starting LG. Shead was a four star prospect out of high school.
SO Daryl Williams (6’6 299 lbs) will start at RT for Oklahoma. He did not start last season but did appear in 5 games. Williams was also a 4 star prospect out of high school. At RG will be JR Bronson Irwin (6’5 307 lbs). Irwin didn’t start last season, but did make 13 appearances on the special teams. The star returner on the offensive line is center Gabe Ikard (6’3 288 lb JR). Ikard was a first team all big 12 selection last season and is in his third season as a starter.
Oklahoma has always been a team that makes a statement with their defense. Over the past couple of years they have not met “Oklahoma” standards. But with former DC Mike Stoops returning to his old position it appears that this unit can get Oklahoma back to their high standards.
Defensive Line -The defensive line is a strong and experienced unit for Oklahoma. Three seniors make up the defensive line for OU. They are RE RJ Washington, RT David King, and LT Jamarkus McFarland. At LE will be Sophomore Chucka Ndulue. Washington had five sacks last season, while King and McFarland both started in a combined 12 games.
Linebackers – The linebacker unit is also an experienced defensive unit for Oklahoma. A couple of Juniors (Corey Nelson, Tom Wort) make up the linebacker unit for Oklahoma. Nelson started 11 games last season with 60 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Wort is in his third season as the Sooners Oklahoma’s starting MLB. He has 8 sacks in his career and 149 tackles.
Secondary – Oklahoma has a strong secondary as well. Starting at the nickel position will be Gabe Lynn. Lynn started two games last season, and has 25 career tackles. At the righter corner position will be JR Aaron Colvin. Colvin started all 12 games last season making 84 tackles. At the left corner will be Demontre Hurst and he is on his third season as a starter. Hurst has two interceptions and 125 career tackles.
At the safety positions will be SR Javon Harris. Harris started 8 games last season and he had 3 interceptions. Harris already has an interception this season. JR Tony Jefferson will stat at the FS position. He is in his third season as a starter. He has 6 career interceptions and 150 tackles.
Oklahoma returns SR punter Tress Way who has started for Oklahoma since 2009. He is a two time all-american and three time all-big 12. He has 206 career punts for an average of 43.9 yards per punt. Michael Hunnicut returns for his second season as the starting kicker. Last year Hunnicut kicked 21 of 24 field goals. He was an honorable mention all big 12 kicker. Returning kicks for Oklahoma will be Roy Finch and Kenny Stills.
3 Keys to a Wildcat Victory
- Get pressure on Landry Jones – Landry Jones has had problems when the d-line has got to him. The defensive line has to take advantage of a relatively inexperienced offensive line.
- Offense matches Oklahoma’s – K-State has to play up to Oklahoma’s offense. If Oklahoma scores at will against K-State, Collin Klein and the wildcats have to answer.
- Avoid a slow start – Last year K-State started well against Oklahoma. At half time it was only a one score game. But the start of the third quarter was hands down the worst quarter k-state played last year, and by the time it was over the game was over.
Oklahoma is a match up problem for Kansas State. Oklahoma has an experienced defense, and a highly explosive offense. They haven’t looked overly impressive so far this season, but they haven’t needed to. I think K-State gives Oklahoma a scare, but can’t pull off the full upset.
Oklahoma Wins 34-24
On the year Brandon 23-2 Deante 23-2 Jordan 23-2 Paul 22-3
|Brandon Starkey||DeAnte Mitchell||Jordan Bayless||Paul Badke|
|Virginia @ TCU||TCU 31-13||TCU 28-20||–||TCU 28-14|
|Maryland @ WVU||WVU 37-13||WVU 42-17||–||WVU 48-20|
|KU @ NIU||NIU 27-21||NIU 28-24||–||NIU 30-21|
|K-State @ OU||OU 34-24||K-State 31-28||–||OU 41-34|