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Wildcats vs. OU Sooners Pick.
No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS) at No. 10 Kansas State Wildcats (7-0 SU, 6-1 ATS), Saturday October 29th, 2011. 3:30PM EST, College Football Week 9, Bill Snyder Stadium Manhattan, Kan.
By Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Okl -14/KSU +14
Over/Under Total: OFF
The Texas Tech Red Raiders shocked the college football world last Saturday night by upsetting the then no. 3 Oklahoma Sooners 41-38. The Oklahoma loss possibly derailed the Sooners chances to play for the National Championship and they will have to regroup quickly as they will face another big test this Saturday by way of the no. 10 Kansas State Wildcats.
The Wildcats have been the surprise story in the Big 12 this season with a perfect 7-0 start and have crept into the Big 12 Championship picture as well. Still, most ‘experts’ believe the Wildcats will falter as they have the toughest part of their schedule over the next few weeks with 4 straight games against opponents ranked in the Top 25. For the Wildcats, they will get the opportunity to show just how good they truly are over the next 4 games and even if they do not challenge for the Big 12 Championship their selves they could still have a big impact on who does win the Big 12 Title this year.
For the Sooners, the National Championship hopes may be out of the picture but the Big 12 Championship still must be a priority. The loss last week to Texas Tech will definitely sting, but the Sooners have to regroup or they could be an upset victim for the 2nd week in a row. Another Sooners loss would destroy their chances to win out and battle Oklahoma State in the season finale for an outright shot at the Big 12 Championship.
Last week, the Sooners defense gave up big chunks of yards against the pass and could not find an answer to the Red Raiders passing attack that racked up 452 yards in the game. Luckily for Oklahoma, they may not face a passing offense as good as Texas Tech until their showdown with Oklahoma State in the finale. However, this week that Sooners defense will have to overcome an extremely talented Kansas State rushing offense in attempt to get back onto the winning path.
The K-State rushing attack as previously stated has been a dynamic force on the ground this season. The Wildcats rank 19th in rushing averaging a healthy 213 yards per game on the year. QB Collin Klein and RB John Hubert have both contributed big to the rushing attack. Klein leads the team with 670 rushing yards, but Hubert is closely behind with 637 rushing yards. Together the two have combined for 1,307 yards and 16 scores on the ground. This week both players will attempt to set the tone for the Kansas State offense as they look to remain unbeaten.
For the Kansas State passing offense, Klein has been decent throwing the football by completing 59% passing for 934 yards with 8 scores and 3 picks. Though the Wildcats rarely throw the football, WR Chris Harper is the “go to” guy in the receiving game in passing situations. Harper leads the team with 306 receiving yards and 23 catches on the season. Of course Kansas State’s intentions are to stay away from those passing situations as they hope the ground game carries the offense this Saturday.
On the other side of the field, Oklahoma will definitely attack through the air. After being held to just 7 points at the half last week against Texas Tech, QB Landry Jones rallied the passing offense to 31 2nd half points while racking up 412 yards on the night. For Jones, he has been stellar this season completing 65% passing for 2,589 yards with 21 scores and 7 picks on the year. Of course it helps to have the best receiving corps in the Big 12 at your disposal. WR Ryan Broyles is among the top wide outs in the nation. So far this season Broyles has caught 67 passes for 899 yards with 9 scores to lead all Oklahoma Sooners.
While Broyles may get the majority of the passes thrown his way, wide outs Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds are both homerun threats in the receiving game as well. Therefore expect Oklahoma to attack, in the only way they now how, through the air when they meet the Wildcats this Saturday. So far this season the Wildcats pass defense has given up big yards through the air by giving up 287 yards per game on average (87th in NCAA). Therefore, expect the Sooners to put up their fair share of points this week just as they have done all season long which means the pressure will be on the Sooners defense to come up with the stops needed to secure the victory.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I still don’t think Kansas State is getting the respect deserved. The Wildcats have covered 6 straight games and now get a huge game with Oklahoma at home where they can make a statement win. Even if the Wildcats do not come up with the victory, I think they hang around in this one. Kansas State may be getting as much as +14.5 or more by game time. I think those points look appetizing and I will back the Wildcats in this one.
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