Oklahoma might be better than they were a year ago

The one aspect that was missing for the Sooners last year in the Big 12 title game might be what makes this Sooner team better than they were a year ago - a running game. K-State hopes its No. 66 ranked run defense steps up to the challenge and shows OU can be beaten again.

Though Oklahoma lost one offensive starter and a slew of defensive stars from last season's team, these Sooners appear as strong as ever, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said.

"I think they are every bit as good, and in many cases better than they were a year ago or at the end of the season," he said. "I think Adrian Peterson is really a tremendous dimension for their football team. It's not that their other running backs are not adept. I think there running game has been enhanced a great deal by Adrian, but also by the maturity of their offensive line.

"I think they have grown and it's the same people from last year and a year of experience has certainly benefited them as well. They still have the same receivers and the same quarterback, so their ability to throw the ball is enhanced even more, because they have become even more adept at the running game. I think they've gotten better."

Part of the reason OU seems to be better on offense than a year ago is truly because of what Peterson, a true freshman running back, has been able to do this season. But perhaps the biggest thing to come of Peterson's contributions is that quarterback Jason White hasn't had to carry the load like he did last season when he won the Heisman Trophy.

"I think Oklahoma has it in the right perspective and I think he does to," said Snyder of White's season. "I think he is that kind of a young guy who says, ‘whatever I can do to help our football team win.' There have been times when they have had to rely on him to do it, and he's done it. That's not necessarily the case right now. They've got a lot of ammunition so to speak, so they can do a lot of different things and he doesn't have to carry the burden of it. He's very willing to distribute the ball and play his role. His role can be dominant when it has to be and very sharing when it has to be."

But despite all the hype that surrounds the No. 2 Sooners as they enter Manhattan for the 11 am kickoff on ABC television, K-State defensive end Scott Edmonds said he has his eyes on the prize.

Part of Edmonds' focus and game plan relies on getting pressure to White and perhaps reminding him of the view he had last season in the Big 12 Championship game- from his back.

"We know Jason has two bad knees and we are going to try to rattle him a little bit," he said. "We are going to try to get into his head and get some pressure on him."

Overall though, Edmonds says the key is to, "have to focus on getting three-and-outs and getting turnovers."

 

K-STATE STAT NOTES

 

  • Darren Sproles has 684 yards rushing this season with two touchdowns. He's averaging 5.1 yards per carry, but his longest run of the season is for just 35 yards.
  • Dylan Meier is 67-of-107 passing this season with 821 yards and seven touchdowns. While averaging 164 aerial yards a game and completing over 62 percent of this passes, Meier has thrown just three interceptions.
  • Yamon Figurs is leading the Wildcat receivers with 15 receptions for 256 yards, while averaging over 17 yards a reception.

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