vs. Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas
Thomas is the guy that the Kansas State defense revolves around. They will use plenty of power O, zone, and stretch plays. They will also use zone read or stretch-arch-read plays to try and get Thomas into the secondary. Much of their passing game has play action at the beginning.
Thomas is also featured in the "Wildcat" and has show he is quite capable of throwing the ball as well as running in that formation. At 6-2, 228 pounds, he is big and physical but also has good speed for a back of that size. Stop Thomas and you shut down the Kansas State offense.
Last week Lemon and Gent and the other Cowboy tacklers missed a number of tackles (reportedly 33) and a lot of that was going for the big hit. No big hits, just solid tackles by wrapping up is the order of the day against Thomas.
Edge: Too Close to Call
vs. Kansas State cornerback David Garrett and the rest of the secondary
Garrett is the best tackler, the swiftest player, and the best cover skills defender in the Wildcat secondary. Tysyn Hartman is also a good player but not as good on coverage and not as fast as Garrett.
Weeden will go through his progressions and need to find the most open receiver and make sure he doesn't allow turnovers. This is not something you want to make a habit, leaving home your top receiver and scorer, but it is something that in one week can stretch your team and induce new playmakers. Look for veterans like Josh Cooper and Bo Bowling to try to pick up the slack.
Edge:> Big Advantage to Weeden
vs. Kansas State kickoff return team and William Powell
Edge: Powell and KSU.
My guess is Kansas State will get more agressive with its safeties and make more of an effort against the run with Blackmon out. This offense should be able to counter that move. The other matchup is a matter of toughness. I don't see Kansas State throwing for 323 yards like Nebraska did last week. They have been close to 300yards twice this season, with 290 versus Missouri State and 298 yards last week at Baylor. Other than that they have not had more than 200 yards passing in any other games. The key is stopping Daniel Thomas and if you can curtail his success then you have severely limited the K-State offense.
Big 12 Predictions
Iowa State 38, Kansas 7
@ #14 Nebraska 27, #8 Missouri 25
Texas Tech 31, @Texas A&M 28
@ Texas 23, #25 Baylor 20
@ #11 Oklahoma 42, Colorado 21
Robert Allen's Record for the Season
Straight Up: 50-15
Against the Spread: 29-27
Not all games have a spread - Games with Big 12 teams involving FCS teams do not have spreads.