Oklahoma vs. Kansas State prediction and game preview. The Sooners and Wildcats will meet at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a Big 12 showdown.
Oklahoma vs. Kansas State Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 15 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Oklahoma may have lost a pair of games to fall out of playoff contention almost a month ago, but the program remains very much in the Big 12 hunt. In fact, it might be the favorite. The Sooners have rebounded from their low point, a 45-24 loss to Ohio State, to hold off TCU and Texas in consecutive shootouts. OU returns home with renewed optimism that 2016 can be salvaged after all. If K-State wants to remain in the conference hunt, an upset this week is a must. The Wildcats are fresh off an important win of their own, defeating Texas Tech, but they suffered a heartbreaking one-point conference loss to West Virginia the week prior.
What to Know About Oklahoma
The defense is vulnerable, but a surging offense is picking up the slack. Think better version of Texas. The Sooners have surrendered at least 40 points in each of the last three games, yet they won two of them because of the play of the offense. Largely out of necessity, Oklahoma is willing to outgun teams this season. QB Baker Mayfield is heating up, aided by the emergence of WR Dede Westbrook, who’s caught 17 balls for 390 yards and five scores the past two weeks. And then there’s Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, who trampled the Horns for his fifth career game of at least 200 yards rushing.
What To Know About Kansas State
The Cats’ calling card is defense, which no one else in the Big 12 is playing these days. Sure, the offense perked up last week, aided by a special teams and defensive score, but that had more to do with facing the Red Raiders than anything else. However, K-State’s calling card will be a veteran unit that leads the league in run D, total D and scoring D. The Sooners won’t find obvious holes in a group bolstered by DE Jordan Willis and DT Will Geary up front, Elijah Lee and Charmeachealle Moore on the second level and SS Dante Barnett patrolling the back end.
Offense: Oklahoma. The Sooners are humming, while Kansas State is saddled with one of the Big 12’s least explosive attacks.
Defense: Kansas State. This is a veteran, well coached group that’s already held West Virginia and Texas Tech below their season scoring average.
Special Teams: Kansas State. Manhattan is home to one of the Big 12’s most complete special teams units, from the kicking of Matthew McCrane to Byron Pringle in the return game.
Coaching: Oklahoma. Both staffs are excellent, but the Sooners rate an edge at the top, with Bob Stoops slightly over Bill Snyder.
Intangibles: Oklahoma. The Sooners enter Week 7 with momentum and the added motivation of being back in Norman for the first time since the Ohio State debacle.
Matchup To Watch
Westbrook vs. Kansas State CBs Duke Shelley and D.J. Reed
Westbrook is one of the hottest receivers in the country, routinely taking the top off defenses. He and Mayfield have found a rhythm, which could create headaches for Shelley and Reed, who’ll be giving away three inches in this matchup. The Wildcats have already held the top receiver from West Virginia and Texas Tech in check, but Westbrook may be the best field-stretcher they’ve seen so far.
Spread: Oklahoma -10.5
Over/Under: No line (as of posting)
Oklahoma vs. Kansas State Prediction
Oklahoma won’t score with the same potency as it did earlier this month. Won’t be necessary to get to 4-2. Kansas State will be dangerous all year, because of the way it plays defense and special teams. However, it lacks the consistent quarterback, Jesse Ertz, and general offensive execution to stay with the Sooners. Yards and touchdowns will be hard-earned, which could mean more Austin Seibert field goal attempts. But when OU grabs a lead, K-State will labor to close the gap, even against Mike Stoops’ leaky defense.
Oklahoma vs. Kansas State Score Prediction: Oklahoma 36, Kansas State 24