The #9 Oklahoma Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) head into a tough road battle in Big 12 action as they take on the undefeated #8 Kansas State Wildcats this afternoon, with their hopes of having a perfect season dashed last weekend at home against Texas Tech and the prospects for a BCS title this season fading for the preseason #1 team in the nation. Falling for the first time at home in 39 games dating back to 2005, the Oklahoma Sooners will seek to continue their 8-year winning streak against Kansas State alive, while at the same time preventing the Wildcats from chasing their best start to the season since 1999, when they won their first 9 games of the season. No doubt the Wildcats will themselves look to change a little history in this match-up by becoming the first team to hand Oklahoma back-to-back conference losses for the first time since 1998. In order to do so however, Kansas State will have to find a way to keep up with the scoring juggernaut of the Sooners, led by quarterback Landry Jones, who has OU at 4th in the nation and total yards and 7th overall in team scoring.
Keys for the Kansas State Wildcats will be finding a way to keep a check on the Sooners offense, which has been averaging a massive 545.6 yards per game through 7 contests. Averaging 10 points per game more than the Wildcats, the Sooner offense has thrived on poor pass protection, and if their last meeting two years ago is any indication of how this game will play out (Landry Jones threw for 294 yards, 4 TDs, no INTs), the K-State defense could be in for a long day trying to stop this offensive monster. However, ranked 23rd in the nation this season allowing just 19.7 points a game, if the KSU defense can keep star Sooners wide receiver Ryan Broyles (67 catches, 899 yards, 9 TDs) in check and plug the gaps to limit running back Dominique Whaley’s production (113 carries, 627 yards, 9 TDs), Kansas State could find themselves in a tight game so long as the offense finds similar success on the ground against Oklahoma as did Texas Tech and Kansas. The Wildcats start to look like a great underdog pick this afternoon, especially with the betting lines showing them at a 13 point disadvantage in this match-up, but all Kansas State eyes (and those wagering on an upset here) will be on their total package quarterback Collin Klein, who while not horribly impressive in the passing game this season (934 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs), has been a force on the ground leading the Wildcats in the rushing attack to the tune of 670 yards on 151 carries with an amazing 14 touchdowns.
Oklahoma is without question a more potent offensive team, and will have to take control of this game early on to get the rowdy home KSU crowd out of contention. Where the battle will truly lie this afternoon however is in the defensive game, which for the Sooners completely collapsed last week in their 41-38 loss at home, due to the surrender of 572 total yards to Texas Tech (who coincidently KSU beat, on the road 41-34). While both the Sooners and the Wildcats come into this match-up having two of the best defenses in the conference (K-State actually ranks #1 in total defense in the Big 12), each has had defensive vulnerabilities in areas where the other side excels offensively. KSU has shown telling signs of weakness in this match-up to come by giving up an average of 335.5 yards passing in the last two weeks, while the Sooners have surrendered an average of 132 yards rushing over their last two weeks, and their once stout defense certainly has to have some questions and a loss of confidence dropping a game at home last week. That said, this rebound match-up for the Sooners is theirs to either win or lose, having equal footing on defense with the Wildcats, and one of the most potent offensive attacks in the country led by undoubtedly one of the best Sooners’ quarterbacks to ever play for Oklahoma.
Betting Lines for #9 Oklahoma vs. #8 Kansas State
Though the Sooners are on the road, their superb offensive power combined with their record of success against K-State finds them as 13 point favorites to win this match-up today on the betting lines at Sportsbetting.ag. However, those looking for an underdog to pick up today could do a lot worse than Kansas State, who have come to thrive in the role of the lesser team, and the Wildcats look strong to at least cover the spread today, keeping this game within 2 touchdowns at home. Kansas State is a large +400 underdog on the money line, while the Sooners come in at -500 odds to win, and to expectations the over/under on this game between two very good defenses sits at 57.5 points, with expectations that neither team may clip through the 30 point barrier today in a war of attrition.
Our Pick to Win:
We’re very tempted to take Kansas State to upset at home in this match-up, but with the Sooners being a perennial Top-10 and knowing exactly what is needed to recover from a tough loss, Oklahoma looks strong as the eventual winner of this game. That said, Kansas State looks to put up a serious fight for their undefeated record, and smelling blood in this match-up look for the Wildcats to be jacked up to take on the Sooners this afternoon. While Oklahoma has just a little too much offense for K-State to overcome, and the Wildcats will hedge too much on the running game behind QB Collin Klein, a valiant effort should lead KSU to cover the points spread, giving NCAA Football fans a great afternoon game to watch and wager on at Sportsbetting.ag. Oklahoma pulls through by a touchdown and a field goal, 30-20.