Oklahoma State-Kansas State: Matchups and Prediction

Robert Allen shares what he are believes are going to be the key matchups for Saturday's Big 12 showdown between Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

After a completely weird game in Austin, Texas, but fortunately for the Cowboys a 30-27 win to remain unbeaten, there is nothing better than returning home to play in front of your favorite fans in your favorite stadium. There is a distinct comfort to being at home in college football.

That said, you still have to play the "old man," actually the genius Bill Snyder, and Kansas State has had an open week to add a few wrinkles, get healthy, and rested up. Interesting that Snyder's teams are 18-7 after an open week on the schedule. Snyder was asked about that success and he replied, "what success? We lost seven of those games."

Oklahoma State gets a Kansas State team that plays good team football but is really lacking a dynamite big-play athlete on either side of the football. After facing Texas, a not so good team with plenty of explosive athletes, I have to admit I am anxious to see what the situation bares.
Key Matchups
Oklahoma State DE #38 Emmanuel Ogbah
vs. Kansas State LT #55 Cody Whitehair
Here is the marquee matchup as I know Ogbah will line up on the other side against right tackle Matt Kleinsorge, but when it is Ogbah versus Whitehair it will be a future NFL pass rushing defensive end against a future NFL offensive lineman and maybe a guard. Whitehair can play in any one of the four spots (guards and tackles). I think he might even be able to play center. Ogbah is so athletic and explosive and Whitehair is so tough and determined. Fans should look for this and when they see 38 vs. 55 then ignore the ball and watch those two get after it.
Oklahoma State OC #71 Brad Lundblade
vs. Kansas State DT #95 Travis Britz                           
Notice I list the OSU center, Lundblade, and not the guards. But while I think Oklahoma State might be cautious with how much they run the ball inside I do think you still have to do it and you have to protect the quarterback. I'm anxious to see how Lundblade and even guards Paul Lewis and Michael Wilson do against Britz, who I think is one of the most underrated defenders and defensive tackles in the Big 12. Britz is a little undersized, but he is athletic and plays with an engine stuck on full throttle.

Oklahoma State Cowboy FS #13 Jordan Sterns
vs. Kansas State QB #8 Joe Hubener 
You can always match up a quarterback with anyone of several players on defense such as a middle linebacker and either safety. K-State lost its starting quarterback on the first play of the opening game of the season. That is a lousy sign heading into the campaign but Hubener, who had never started at quarterback at any level of football, has jumped in and played fine. He does not make mistakes, but he also is not a quarterback that is going to make "wow" plays. He's like that faucet that is leaking and is coming down a drip at a time. That drip won't miss but it is also going to take a long time to fill up your glass. Jordan Sterns is the leading tackler in the Big 12 and the kind of athlete along with his fellow defenders that can cause a quarterback, even one that hasn't made mistakes to make one.
The point totals in our predictions have progressively gone down as I train myself, my eyes and my brain to watch this Oklahoma State football team. It is a team that has a defense that can be dominant and plays with a hungry and aggressive, even violent, personality. The offense has playmakers and can be explosive but so far they haven't show the ability without extreme help in the turnover department to be explosive and point gathering throughout a complete game. Our feeling is that is because there is not a consistent running game and eventually opposing defenses get more aggressive about stopping the pass knowing they can stop the run with moderate resources committed. I just can't decide if the offense is going to come out blazing on Saturday or if this Saturday will feature more of a delayed fuse and a second-half surge by the offense. 
Kansas State 13, @#19 Oklahoma State 28
Big 12 Predictions
Last Week: (Straight Up) 5-0 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point spreads) 3-2
Season:  (Straight Up) 28-4 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point spreads) 15-12-1

Texas 28, @#3 TCU 48
#21 West Virginia 34, @#14 Oklahoma 31
Kansas 26, @Iowa State 35
Texas Tech 27, #4 Baylor @Arlington 59

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