No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 4
Date/Time: Saturday September 22nd, 2012. 7:50PM Eastern
Where: Memorial Stadium Norman, O.K
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Kansas State Wildcats +14/Oklahoma Sooners -14
Over/Under Total: 58.5
Week 4 on the college grid iron will be highlighted by an intriguing Big
12 pairing this Saturday night when the no. 6 Oklahoma Sooners
welcome the no. 15 Kansas State Wildcats into Norman. So far this season,
Oklahoma has not been challenged outscoring their previous two opponents
by a combined score of 93-20 against the inferior talents of UTEP and Florida
A&M. The Sooners jumped out to a quick 2-0 start and most recently had an
off week to start preparation for conference action. This week the competition
level picks up when the Sooners host Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats
in a Big 12 conference opener for both teams.
Oklahoma has had the upper hand over Kansas State winning the last 5 meetings that have stretched for over the last 9 years. The 6th ranked Sooners sport a flashy offense that can post big time numbers in yards and scoring. The Wildcats on the other hand have an offense that likes to wear opponents down with a consistent run game and control tempo with ball control. Of course Kansas State’s style of play could work in their favor, if they can keep the Oklahoma offense on the sidelines. The 3-0 Wildcats were in a similar situation this time last year with a perfect 7-0 mark hoping to pull off a similar size upset. However, Oklahoma blistered the Kansas State defense for 680 total yards in route to a 58-17 victory. Needless to say, the Wildcats defense hopes to avoid that type of repeat performance when they take the field this Saturday night.
Offensively, Kansas State has the talent level to move the football on any Big 12 defense they face this season. QB Collin Klein has been pretty solid in his limited role behind center completing 73% passing for 609 yards with 5 scores and 2 picks. Klein is also a running threat in Snyder’s zone reads that the Wildcats run pretty regularly. Klein is currently 2nd on the team in rushing with 210 yards and leads the team with 4 touchdowns on the ground. Kansas State’s safe haven is running the football and the team currently averages a strong 251 yards per game on the ground (18th in FBS). Tailback John Hubert leads the team with 296 rushing yards through the first 3 games.
It will be extremely important that Kansas State can move the football on the ground against Oklahoma’s strong defense. The Wildcats typically try to control the tempo of the game and Snyder would like to have Klein throw just 15-20 passes per game. However if Oklahoma gets out to a fast start, it will be interesting to see how long Kansas State sticks to their ground efforts. If the Sooners somehow manage to get out to a two score lead, that Oklahoma defense could put a lot of pressure on Klein with their pass rush in obvious passing situations. For Kansas State’s hopes, they must avoid turnovers in those situations and come up with some big plays to match the Sooners’ firepower on offense.
If Kansas State’s offense does not pull through with big play opportunities, Oklahoma could be in store for another big win if they get their offense in rhythm. Unfortunately for Sooners’ fans, Oklahoma’s offense has had tendencies to be hot and cold at times over the last few seasons. Just take the season opener for example, the offense failed to get going posting just 427 total yards against UTEP. QB Landry Jones was a bit erratic in that performance and Oklahoma’s offense was just not “clicking.” The very next week against Florida A&M the offense was in full rhythm posting over 650 yards of total offense. Jones was sharp completing nearly 70% passing and running back Damien Williams was making things happen on the ground with 156 rushing yards.
When Oklahoma’s offense has that type of balance with both passing and run games running efficiently, they are one of the toughest teams in the country. The key for the Sooners’ is getting that type of consistency on a weekly basis. This week it will be important for Jones and the passing game to get a good start and put pressure on the Kansas State offense. A few quick scores would likely get the Wildcats’ offense out of their comfort zone. Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills is one of the best receivers in the entire nation and Oklahoma must get him involved quickly to set the tone for the Sooners offense. If this offense gets rolling, I do not believe Kansas State has the firepower to pull off the victory.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I do not have a big lean in this game. I believe Oklahoma will have to get some help from the run game with tailbacks Damien Williams and Dominique Whaley. If both backs can make plays in the run game, I could see Oklahoma’s offense controlling this game. Still, that is a big question mark. I still think Kansas State’s offense will have plenty of success moving the football so I can see this game going a few different ways. If I had to choose a side, I would lean towards the Wildcats and points. Good luck!
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