Who: #20 Oklahoma (8-2 Overall, 5-2 Big 12) vs. Kansas State ( 6-4 Overall, 4-3 Big 12)
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium; Manhattan, Kansas
When: Saturday, November 23, 11 a.m. CST
TV: Fox Sports 1
One of the Big 12 Conference’s better games of the season was last week, when Kansas State defeated TCU in the final seconds last Saturday with the leg of placekicker Jack Cantele who knocked in the 41-yard FG attempt to send the Wildcats bowling under Head Coach Bill Snyder.
Now, Kansas State stands at 6-4 overall, and at 4-3 in conference play. Their final home game of the season is against #20 Oklahoma Sooners.
Big plays on offense was the theme for the Wildcats last week, mainly through the air, as quarterback Jake Waters had two big strikes, one to Tyler Lockett for 74 yards, another in the third quarter when Waters found a wide open Tramaine Thompson 79 yards.
Kansas State hoped to put the game away early in the third quarter but that was not the case as the Wildcats got off to a slow start after intermission. Eventually, TCU would take the lead in the later 3rd quarter, and from there it became a battle of which team wanted it more. There were five lead changes in the second half, and finally Cantele sealed the win for Kansas State.
Turn the page forward to Saturday’s game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It will be Senior Day as the Wildcats take on the always tough Oklahoma Sooner led by Head Coach Bob Stoops.
K-State will not have Senior Ty Zimmerman on the field due to another leg injury suffered last week.
Zimmerman got hurt around this same exact time frame, with two games left last year. He will be missed. In last season’s matchup with the Sooners, Zimmerman picked off a pass from Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones in the thrilling 24-19 upset win on the road.
For Kansas State to knock off the Sooners in Manhattan on Saturday they need to get off to a good start like they have in the last couple of games against Texas Tech and TCU.
As good as Oklahoma usually is, they struggled in the first half last week against Iowa State at home before pulling it together. They started slow against Kansas a few weeks ago as well. If the Sooners repeat this trend, the Wildcats need to jump on Oklahoma early.
The Wildcats will need to use the crowd, with its Senior Day atmosphere, to find more motivation to beat Oklahoma. Also, Snyder needs to find a way to get John Hubert involved in the offense more so than he was last week.
What to Watch For:
Run, Run, Run: One of the keys to last season’s big upset in Norman was the way K-State ran the football with John Hubert, and Heisman candidate Collin Klein. For the Cats to have a legitimate shot to take down Oklahoma, they must use Hubert more on the ground along with the always dangerous Daniel Sams, and even Jake Waters. Kansas State, if they can move the ball on the ground successfully with help of good offensive line play, should have a great chance to take down the Sooners.
Knight Stopper: Ryan Mueller and company will face off against quarterback Trevor Knight. Knight was a big factor against Iowa State last weekend at home. This will be a different road test for the Sooners. Kansas State has the opportunity to rattle the young quarterback. Containment will be the biggest key of them all. The Wildcat defense cannot allow Knight to run it down their throats, or it will be a long game. Setting the tone early against Knight could go a long way toward winning the game.
Big plays: A few more big plays on both sides of the ball was the difference in Norman last season for Kansas State. The Cats will need to deliver that same performance at home Saturday of they hope for the same results. They need to duplicate their aptitude for the big play the displayed last week against the Hordned Frogs. The defense must find a way to come up with some big turnovers against the OU offense as well. The team with the most big plays will win.
X-Factor: Daniel Sams’ tough performance on the ground last week was well earned. Sams is fast, and can be very physical when running the football. Though he doesn’t do it all that often, he can throw the ball well at times too. It is that fast and physical Sams that will come into play against a talented Oklahoma defense. If the Sooners have a breakdown defensively while Sams is on the field, then he could make them pay. Daniel Sams has been a definite impact player this season for Kansas State, and he needs to have an impact against the Sooners.