OSU vs. The Big 12: Kansas State

We continue our series with Oklahoma State heading into the final four games against the better teams in the Big 12. Of course, we have no idea with injuries, player development, and other factors will affect the game, which in this case will be played Nov. 1 in Manhattan, Kansas. We are looking at how Oklahoma State and Kansas State stack up right now as the two teams head into the summer.

We'll do this differently than we have the others and skip around because if Oklahoma State and Kansas State played today there would be a marquee match-up between the Kansas State offensive line that features the likes of all-conference competitors such as center B.J. Finney, guard Boston Stiverson and do-everything offensive lineman Cody Whitehair.

That is a good anchor for the Cats to bring back, and matching that crew up with the likes of Oklahoma State tackles James Castleman and Ofa Hautau plus defensive ends like Jimmy Bean, Emmanuel Ogbah and newcomer out of redshirt Vili Levini.

K-State also has a veteran tight end in Zach Trujillo and jumbo fullback Glenn Gronkowski to join in that matchup. Ryan Simmons and a young group of linebackers will also be involved. It will be interesting. That might be as good a trench matchup as you could see in the league next year and it is hard to say who to favor.

Jake Waters returns at quarterback, He did not play a lot against the Cowboys last season. Running back is a mystery right now for KSU head coach Bill Snyder, but receiver is not where Tyler Lockett is the standout of the corps and Curry Sexton is a tremendously reliable option to move the chains.

The Sams experiment moving from quarterback did not work and he has transferred to McNeese State. Lockett matched up with Cowboys corners, and the matchup with Kevin Peterson may be as good a matchup as the ones in the trenches.

On defense, Kansas State returns the most effective defensive end in the league last year in Ryan Mueller and a good balancing compadre in Marquel Bryant on the opposite side. Travis Britz is a solid inside player at tackle.

Jonathan Truman is the only returning starter at linebacker. But the defensive front for K-State, especially with Mueller, will be a test for a young Cowboys offensive line that should have gained in experience and confidence by the time they see the Wildcats in the fall. Right now you would have to try to get Daniel Koenig on Mueller and hope that the line holds up against a really good veteran group from K-State.

The Wildcats secondary is not brand new but it is also not totally established as safety Dante Barnett is a star and senior Dylan Schellenberg slides in where all-everything safety Ty Zimmerman has been for seemingly past decade. The Oklahoma State passing game could truly have success especially with quick routes and then an occasional stretch the field play that would catch a corner off balance.

Lockett is back on special teams, so that would also be a concern. I would say this, it is a good thing OSU does not have to match up with Kansas State now or this summer. They will need time to catch up as I believe the Wildcats are one of the top three teams in the Big 12 as it stands right now. Yes, I know they have no answer at running back but I like a lot of their other answers.

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