I felt the offensive line showed improvement but still badly needs more consistency. In the running game it would be nice to get Desmond Roland, who has been solid, to be more spectacular. There was reason to be encouraged by Tyreek Hill, who on 14 carries against the Mountaineers showed better vision especially on zone plays.
The defense needs to tackle better and get off the field on third downs to give the offense enough possessions to have a chance to win. The best thing about playing Kansas State is the Wildcats are more of a safe, conservative team that will beat you but won't run off and leave you unless you just let them.
Oklahoma State cornerback Kevin Peterson
vs. Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett
Yes, Peterson has only one interception, but it is just like last season when then Texas Tech offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, now at TCU, said there was a reason that Justin Gilbert had all those interceptions and that was because nobody wanted to throw at Peterson. Peterson shuts down TCU top receiver Koby Listenbee two weeks ago, his first game this season without a catch. Then last week Peterson takes Big 12 and national receiving leader Kevin White and holds him to two catches for eight yards. He shut White up.
A word to the Thorpe folks, when people don't throw at you even when you are covering their top receiver then guess what, you might be one of the best cornerbacks in the country. Lockett is good and a different style of receiver as he is smaller and has more wiggle along with great speed. Peterson is eager for the challenge and I know Lockett, so I know he is up for the challenge as well.
Edge: After shutting out Listenbee and White, Peterson makes it three with the edge over Lockett.
vs. Kansas State left tackle Cody Whitehair
Ogbah has a speed advantage and they are both equally strong. Jakes Waters' ability to run gives Whitehair a little help as Ogbah and the Cowboys edge rushers will be on caution so as to not let Waters have a major escape route to get out on the run. This will be fun and both these guys really play with passion.
Edge: Slight Edge to OSU and Ogbah.
vs. Kansas State fullback Glenn Gronkowski
Last season the Gronk got loose on Oklahoma State and you have to watch him leaking out of the backfield in that concept that OSU calls the "quarterback choice." It is an option look pop pass where the quarterback even advances toward the offensive line before he unloads with the pass.
It's the play that OU defensive coordinator MIke Stoops screamed "bloody murder" on because K-State had some offensive linemen that were too far downfield. The Big 12 saw it and the Wildcats have since been on better behavior upfront when running the play. Gronk is a strong blocker and will protect Waters with ferocity when that is his assignment.
Edge: Too Close to Call
That kind of sounds like West Virginia last week. Oklahoma State had a shot at that one until the Mountaineers owned all the time in the third quarter and the Cowboys let loose with a few mistakes in the fourth. The road makes it harder as Kansas State fans create a very tough environment. I hope I'm apologizing next week for this pick. The Cowboys, despite what many would like you to think, have a chance in this one.
Big 12 Predictions
This Week's Games
#20 Oklahoma 31, @Iowa State 20
#10 TCU 45, @ #22 West Virginia 24
Kansas 13, @ #12 Baylor 54
@ Texas Tech 32, Texas 21
Last Week: 3-0 (straight up) / 3-0 (against the spread)
Season Total: 45-7 (straight up) / 31-13 with a push (against the spread)
Note: Not all games have point spreads as FBS vs. FCS games often don't.
Last Week's Results
#25 WVU 34, @ Oklahoma State 24
Actual Score: 34-10 West Virginia
@ #11 Kansas State 34, Texas 24
Actual Score: 23-0 Kansas State
@ #10 TCU 52, Texas Tech 27
Actual Score: 82-27 TCU