vs. Kansas Double or Bracket Coverage including Free Safety Chis Harris
Harris is now at free safety where he can get to more of the field and have a larger impact on the defense, but his cover skills are still good and will be put to the supreme test when he is playing over the corner on Oklahoma State soon-to-be All-American Justin Blackmon. This should be a good show.
Blackmon is both fast and physical and has yet to be contained. Harris will have to hope he gets the appropriate help from the cornerback in front on the coverage. It is just too much and Harris will be overmatched physically. That does not diminish how good a player the Bixby, Okla., product has been for the Jayhawks. Nobody has stopped Blackmon and he is getting better and more confident every week.
Edge: Solid Edge to Blackmon
Now the Cowboy defensive front gets an offensive line that has struggled much of the season and may be barely holding together here at the end. The Kansas run game is averaging 3.5 yards per play, second lowest in the league, and the Cowboys are limiting opposing offenses to 3.7-yards per play making that look like a match.
OSU has 20 sacks while Kansas has given a conference-high 30 sacks, tied for the most in the Big 12 with Iowa State and Texas A&M. My sack margins for both teams, Oklahoma State a healthy +10 and Kansas a paltry -20. Enough said as this becomes a potential mismatch.
Edge: Solid Edge to OSU Offensive Line
vs. Kansas Tight End Tim Biere
Lewis and Thomas are used to picking up backs out of the backfield and watching for "wheel routes" but the tight end drag has not been something they have seen much of. Both players are physical enough and certainly have the qucikness to keep up with the 6-4, 260-pound Biere.
In the middle of the field this matchup is not as important unless Kansas uses it in its package of plays specifically for this game. It is in the red zone and near the goal line that Lewis and Thomas need to see No. 86 and keep an eye on where he is at all times.
Edge: Edge to OSU's Lewis and Thomas.
This Oklahoma State team is pretty trap-game proof. The reasons are the Cowboys have great work ethic and practices this week were as energetic and physical as they were last week for Texas. The Tuesday practice may have been more so than last week before Texas.
This football team relishes every opportunity it gets to play in the games. The offense has a standard they have established and each week strive to hit the mark to keep that standard up there. The defense is improving and loves to shut opponents down as much as possible. Defensive coordinator Bill Young says he is not about stats, but they do like the fact the stats are really looking better late in the season.
Finally, this team understands that it is about the journey and a strong positive step this week makes it easy to stay in step next week. There's no looking ahead but just connecting the dots all the way to a Big 12 Championship. Kansas is playing hard but so is Oklahoma State and the Cowboys have way too much firepower for the Jayhawks.
Big 12 Predictions
Colorado 31, Kansas State 24
Texas Tech 47, Weber State 17
Texas 35, Florida Atlantic 13
No. 16 Missouri 24, Iowa State 21
No. 14 Oklahoma 42, Baylor 23
No. 9 Nebraska 28, No. 19 Texas A&M 26
Robert Allen's Record for the Season
Straight Up: 60-22
Against the Spread: 37-36
Not all games have a spread. Games with Big 12 teams involving FCS teams do not have spreads.