OSU-Kansas: Key Match-ups & Prediction

The latest news concerning Oklahoma State football is about the 2013 season opener. The Cowboys will be at Reliant Stadium in Houston to participate in another Big 12-SEC opening week showdown as Oklahoma State will take on Mississippi State. The long rumored event is now officially set up and it will be televised somewhere in the ESPN managinery of networks.

That is a long way off as the Cowboys find themselves coming out of the worse stop and start scheduling in the program's history, and needing to climb out of a 2-2 beginning.

The Cowboys are coming off the second and final bye week of the season and the opponent is right in Kansas. Oklahoma State has Kansas overmatched and this needs to be a walk-in-the-park confidence booster as the team prepares to face Iowa State and TCU in back-to-back games at Boone Pickens Stadium.

The OSU-Kansas match-ups should not matter but we have picked out three.

1. OSU's Defensive Line
vs. Kansas' Offensive Line
How often is it that Oklahoma State fans have pointed to the defensive line as a key reason for victory? Maybe not that long ago but this defensive line is showing signs of being pretty good. A little depth at tackle might help some, but Calvin Barnett and James Castleman are pretty good and the ends with Nigel Nicholas, Ryan Robinson, Cooper Bassett, and Tyler Johnson are solid and getting better. More big plays need to be made for sure.

The Kansas offensive line is a half and half proposition with the right side not so good and the left side pretty good. The Jayhawks have majored in running to the left, or when they go right they have moved some of the left side around with G blocking or traps.

Edge: Heavy to OSU Defensive Line

2. OSU Offensive Tackle Parker Graham
vs. Kansas Defensive End Toben Opurum

I think Opurum is a former running back, but they found the right place for him last season. He is a bright spot this year with 21 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss along with two caused fumbles.

Look for KU defensive coordinator Dave Campo to try to do something special to help Opurum become a difference maker on Saturday. The Jayhawks badly need a difference maker on defense. Opurum is a senior, which means he did not go through that Sunday practice. I am just questioning how that made the seniors like Opurum feel.

Parker Graham is really coming along and has played well. He played well in the Texas game against their defensive ends.

Edge: Slight to Graham

3. OSU Running Back Joseph Randle
vs. KU's Defense

I know Wichita, Kan., is closer to Stillwater than it is to Lawrence, but the two communities do share the same state and there are a bunch of Randle's friends going to school at KU. He was eager to carry the rock and get after it his freshman season, and I expect he will this trip as well.

Randle is a prideful young man and it means something to him since his brother once ran up and down the turf in Memorial Stadium at Kansas. He will be the focal point of the Jayhawks defensive game plan.

Edge: Huge to Randle

OSU-Kansas Prediction
The weather could be a problem with thunderstorms, some possibly severe, dominating the forecast. That might mean more running and less throwing, and that might not be bad for the Cowboys.

In other circumstances this might be a game where you are less than your best. But for a Cowboy team that has sat on a sour taste of a hard fought loss to Texas for two weeks and a team badly needing a victory, Kansas can't be overlooked. I really see OSU jumping on the home team early and often on Saturday.

Oklahoma State 59, Kansas 6

No. 10 Oklahoma 35, No. 15 Texas 31

No. 5 Kansas State 41, No. 25 Iowa State 27

No. 4 West Virginia 66, Texas Tech 28

Baylor 45, No. 23 TCU 35

Last Week
No. 7 Kansas State 48, Kansas 6
Actual Score: 56-16 Kansas State

Iowa State 28, No. 15 TCU 24
Actual Score: 37-23 Iowa State

No.17 Oklahoma 27, No. 24 Texas Tech 21
Actual Score: 41-20 Oklahoma

No. 8 West Virginia 49, No. 11 Texas 45
Actual Score: 48-45 West Virginia

A perfect week both straight up and against the spread!

Record: SU 35-3/ATS 22-7 (Games involving FCS teams don't have point spreads.)

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