The Oklahoma Sooners saw their dreams for a national title most likely slashed by Texas Tech last week, and teams that had a realistic chance of winning it all almost always come out flat the following week after getting those chances crushed. Meanwhile, it is the Kansas State Wildcats that enter this game undefeated at 7-0.
The oddsmakers do not seem to care, as they have installed the Sooners as double-digit (-13½) favorites in this game despite it being on the road in Manhattan vs. an unbeaten team. The posted total sits at 58½.
Oklahoma-Kansas State Offenses: Now we get that Oklahoma is capable of lighting up the scoreboard if it brings it best effort, as the Sooners are averaging 44.3 points and 545.6 total yards per game and have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Landry Jones. That said, they may be going up against the second best defense they have faced all year here, and remember that they scored a season low 23 points vs. the best defense they faced at Florida State.
Also, you cannot discount the expected malaise that the Sooners are expected to display early on after getting basically eliminated from title contention with so many teams still undefeated, so the offense may take longer than usual to get on track.
Kansas State has not put up Oklahoma numbers offensively and the Wildcats have a one dimensional running attack, but that has obviously served them well to this point. They have gone 7-0 by rushing for 213.5 yards per game, and they are extremely capable of shortening this game by consistently moving the chains with that running game and keeping the potent Oklahoma offense on the sideline.
Also, it is not as if K-State cannot score if they have to, as they scored 36 points to beat Baylor, 41 to beat the same Texas Tech team that toppled Oklahoma and 28 to beat the Miami Hurricanes. The Cats scored a season high 59 points last week, although that was vs. a dreadful Kansas club.
Oklahoma-Kansas State Defenses: Kansas State does have the defense to at least keep Oklahoma in check, especially if the Sooners come out as lethargic as we expect. The Wildcats are allowing just 19.7 points and 337.1 total yards per game, and those averages drop to a more minute 14.8 points and 270.8 yards here at home, where they are allowing just 2.6 yards per rush and 6.6 yards per pass attempt. Keep in mind that this includes games vs. the high-octane Baylor and Texas Tech offenses.
We have felt all year that the Oklahoma defense would hold them back from winning the national championship, and that came to fruition much earlier than expected when the Sooners allowed 572 total yards to Texas Tech with that outing at home in Norman no less. They now must prepare for a completely different style of offense and this game is in hostile territory.
Oklahoma-Kansas State Prediction: The crowd should be raucous in Manhattan for this game, as a win by Kansas State would allow them to overtake Oklahoma in the polls and probably the BCS Standings, which nobody would have predicted before the year. Look for the Wildcats to do just that in another upset.