Friday, October 24, 2008

OU KState Preview

Today we’re bringing you our Willie and Friends vs LandThieves preview, hopefully with the medication wearing off:

  • Overall: The last time the Wildcats defeated the Sooners in Manhattan was 1996, when Snyder’s Cats beat Blake’s Sooners 42-35. K State was won 6 of the last 11, but that’s a little misleading. Stoops is 1-5 against K State, with the sole loss being that butt kicking in the Big 12 Championship game in 2003. Ron Prince has yet to coach against the Sooners.
  • When OU has the ball: The Sooner offense is 3rd in points per game, and fourth in yards per game. The Sooners utilize their talented offensive weapons even more with the hurry up offense. The Wildcats are 82nd in points allowed and 106th in yards allowed. Their pass defense is bad (94th) but they offset that with an even worse rushing defense (101st). I look for the Sooners to throw enough to get Sam 300+ yards, but run the ball as well. At the end of the day, I think the Head Visor wants to just run the ball and control the clock, and the Wildcat defense is fertile soil for that theory. Advantage: Sooners
  • When OU punts: tough to envision that. However, Mike Knall is one of the best actors in all of Big 12 special teams. K state has already blocked 4 kicks and returned them for scores this year. Look for Knall to get a couple of running into the kicker calls this week. Or for the Sooners to actually have one blocked. Advantage: Wildcats
  • When Kansas State has the ball: The Wildcats aren’t completely unfortunately looking, but they could use some ball control (82nd in turnover margin) and some serious red zone conversions (54th). Josh Freeman, alleged NFL #1 pick, QBs the offense. He is 21st in the country in QB pass efficiency rating, which is 8th in the Big 12. His favorite target is Brandon Banks, who has 34 catches for 668 yards, and has caught 6 of Freeman’s 12 TD passes. The KSU rushing attack is Josh Freeman and Logan Dodd, and they have the 61st best rushing attack in the country. The Sooner defense is allowing big chunks of yards lately, but to highly competent offenses. Texas and Kansas have superior offenses to the Wildcats, so look for the Sooners to be able to slow the Wildcats down enough to pull away. Advantage: Sooners
  • When Kansas State punts: not much happening here. K State is 77th in net punting and OU is 73rd in returns. Advantage: Even
  • When OU kicks off: I close my eyes. Aubrey Quarles is Kansas State’s leading KR, at 22 yards per return. Look for him to improve upon that this week. Oklahoma is 110th in KR defense, beating out Syracuse, Illinois, Colorado State, Idaho, UTEP, Toledo, West Virginia, North Texas and Colorado for the bottom spot. Advantage: Wildcats
  • When Kansas State kicks off: Most teams kick to Demarco Murray, who has not been up to par this year returning kicks. I was surprised to see him as ranking 43rd in the country, averaging 24 yards per return. The Wildcats are 4th in the country in KR defense, allowing a mere 16 yards per return. Advantage: Wildcats.

So, I guess in summary, the Wildcats should excel on special teams, but the Sooners offensive dominance should propel them to their second straight victory. I predict 52-28, Sooners.

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