OSU-Kansas State Matchups & Predictions

After last week this feature is officially on probation after we were so bad last week on our matchup projections. I just read that last sentence and let's forget we and substitute "I." I was bad and if I keep that up then we will drop this feature and go to something else. My predictions over the years have been pretty good but this is embarrassing.

I do believe after a good week of practice this Oklahoma State team gets back on the stick. A word of warning, this team has now shown some serious issues that it needs to deal with and may need to deal with on a weekly basis. Creativity will come into play.

1. OSU cornerbacks Kevin Peterson, Justin Gilbert and Tyler Patmon
vs. KSU wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson
Earlier this week we called Peterson, Gilbert and Patmon (sounds like a quality law firm) the Most Important Players for the game on Saturday. If Kansas State is going to score the upset on Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium then it will have to be sparked by the combination of Tyler Lockett and/or Tramaine Thompson.

Unfortunately, teams have to defend those two explosive playmakers in two areas, on offense where they usually line up wide and on special teams where they both return kickoffs and Thompson returns punts.

In this case, we're talking offense. The Cowboys corners gave up a few plays and also had a few pass interference penalties called on them last week. But they also had a pair of interceptions and Patmon is really looking forward to one more go against Lockett. The Oklahoma State corners are bigger and more physical and that has to come into play, along with the pass rush from the defensive front.
Advantage: OSU cornerbacks Kevin Peterson, Justin Gilbert and Tyler Patmon

2. OSU right guard Position
vs. KSU defensive tackles Chanquil Reed and Travis Britz
The first question is who plays right guard? My guess is Chris Grisbhy gets the start but he must play better than last week at West Virginia. The other options are Travis Cross, who also played some last week against the Mountaineers, Brandon Garrett, Paul Lewis, or maybe Zach Veatch.

Regardless of who it is, he will have plenty of support coming from his fellow offensive linemen and from offensive line coach Joe Wickline. OSU's right guard may be the most watched offensive linemen in college football this week.

Reed and Britz for Kansas State each have one sack and not a multitude of tackles in four games. These guys aren't very experienced and if the right guard flounders here then there would need to be a new one before the game is over and groomed for the next game in two weeks against TCU.
Advantage: Too close to call and we need to see who is at right guard

3. OSU kicker/punter Kip Smith
vs. KSU kick returner Tyler Lockett and punt returner Tramaine Thompson
I like Smith and I think he has been for the most part really good, but if he feels a 13- or 16-yard punt coming on I would appreciate it if he would tell somebody so Oklahoma State can keep the offense out there and go for it on fourth down.

In the opener Smith was very directional with his kicks and this week is huge for that. He must play keep away from Lockett and Thompson and that will be a huge help in winning the game. You can't kick out of bounds on kickoffs but the ball needs to go to one side or the other or hang up a pooch kick to around the 15-yard line. Punts can be put out of bounds with the preference of 35 yards or more on distance and you could live with that.
Advantage: KSU Returners Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson

Oklahoma State-Kansas State Prediction
No. 20 Oklahoma State 35, Kansas State 20
It's just the opposite of a week ago which gives all of us reason to feel confident after the upset loss to West Virginia. The Mountaineers were good on defense and not so good on offense. Kansas State is good on offense and not so good on defense.

That matchup looks better for the Cowboys. The offense needs a bounce back week and should get it against a defense that struggles to stop the run and struggles to get off the field on third downs.

In case you are wondering, West Virginia is third in the Big 12 in total defense, sixth in rushing defense, and fifth in opponents' third-down conversions. Kansas State by comparison is eighth in total defense, eighth in rushing defense, and 10th and last in opponents' third-down conversions. Forget shoot out and scores in the 40s and 50s, the first team to 30 wins this edition of Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State.

Big 12 Predictions
Texas 30, Iowa State 14
The pressure is still on Mack Brown and the Longhorns have to win this game. A loss could cause an early end to Brown's regime now that USC has been willing to make the move.

No. 22 Texas Tech 34, Kansas 20
Tech and KU played overtime last season in Lubbock, but this result shows how far Kingsbury has taken the Red Raiders.

No. 20 Oklahoma State 35, Kansas State 20
The Cowboys find running game and get back in step heading into another bye week.

No. 11 Oklahoma 28, TCU 14
Sooners stop one dimensional Frogs and go to 2-0 heading to Red River Rivalry.

No. 16 Baylor 63, West Virginia 10
This is not a mistake, but instead a reason to be fearful as Baylor will be out to make a statement against a foe everybody knows.

Last Week - Straight Up: 2-2; Against the Spread: 1-3
For the Season - Straight Up 26-9; Against the Spread: 11-14

Last Week
Tulsa 27, Iowa State 21
Actual Score: Iowa State 38, Tulsa 21

No. 11Oklahoma State 44, West Virginia 13
Actual Score: West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21

TCU 28, SMU 17
Actual Score: TCU 48, SMU 17

No. 12 Oklahoma 26, No. 22 Notre Dame 21
Actual Score: Oklahoma 35 Notre Dame 21

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