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Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kansas State Wildcats Preview and Prediction

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield

Jesse Ertz, Kansas State

While the Oklahoma Sooners were holding off the Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl last week, the Kansas State Wildcats were stumbling to a grand total of six points in a decisive loss to TCU.

Is OU shaping up for a letdown? Can KSU bounce back?

If both answers are “yes,” conditions will be ripe for an upset in Manhattan this weekend.

Oklahoma at Kansas State

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: Oklahoma -14

Three Things to Watch

1. K-State’s quarterback

Per usual, Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder played coy about injured quarterback Jesse Ertz’s status for this weekend. If Ertz does give it a go, OU’s defense will be coming after him early and often.

More likely, Alex Delton will get the call under center again this week. In that case, the Sooners should prepare for a healthy dose of the QB running game.

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2. KSU’s defensive line vs. OU’s offensive line

Rugged plugger Will Geary leads K-State’s defensive front, which is the Wildcats’ strength on that side of the ball. KSU relies on that defensive line to control the action on the ground, allowing the Wildcats to focus on the aerial attack on the back end.

KSU’s linemen will have their work cut out for them with OU’s offensive line, which is one of the best in the country. Once the Sooners get their running game going, the Wildcats won’t have much chance of slowing them down.

3. Weather

Saturday’s forecast for Manhattan currently calls for thunderstorms. Aside from raising the likelihood of a game delay, that means the conditions could make both teams miserable.

A sloppy, wet field might favor Kansas State, whose offense doesn’t require the same precision as what OU runs.

Final Analysis

Kansas State has the right idea when it comes to beating a high-octane team such as Oklahoma. The Wildcats play ball control on offense and bend like a ballerina on D, a style that tends to frustrate the spread-happy squads in the Big 12.

College Football Top 25 Rankings: Oklahoma

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they have to be able to throw the ball well enough to punish opponents for gearing up to stop their ground game. With Jesse Ertz likely out of commission or severely limited, it appears unlikely that K-State can muster enough firepower through the air to keep the Sooners honest on defense. If the Wildcats can’t play keep away, OU’s offense will eventually overwhelm them.

OU hasn’t lost on KSU’s home turf since 1996. All things being equal, this doesn’t look like the year the streak will end. The likelihood of bad weather presages an ugly game.

Prediction: Oklahoma 28, Kansas State 14

— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.