GoPokes TV: OSU-KU Matchups & Prediction

Oklahoma State will be looking to get its running game on track against a young Kansas defense

The popular joke is that Oklahoma State is getting two bye weeks in the middle of the season, one last week with no opponent and another this week with an opponent. That is the kind of thinking that gets teams beat in monumental upsets that really never get forgiven.

Kansas head coach David Beaty says the reason his team played Texas Tech so competitively in losing 30-20 last weekend was his players finally had enough of the jokes and the ridicule and enough of the empty feeling from losing Saturday after Saturday. The Jayhawks right now aren't good enough to get that changed on their own but if a team would like to help by playing sloppy and not putting their full attention to their business kind of like Texas Tech did last week in Lawrence then they will be more than happy to point that out to them in a very dramatic fashion.

It's homecoming and the Cowboy players talked of feeling guilty for losing last year's homecoming game to West Virginia. They are coming off a bye week with so much to play for in an unbeaten season so far that I cannot see that cooperation coming on Saturday. The matchups may not mean much as Oklahoma State should have Kansas overmatched but we will give it to you anyway.

OSU-Kansas Key Matchups

Oklahoma State FS #31 Jordan Sterns
vs. Kansas QB #13 Ryan Willis

Kansas was really smart last week as offensive coordinator Rob Likens cut down the offense as far as routes and kept the run game simple for the new KU quarterback in freshman Ryan Willis. It worked great and while I expect Likens to add some more flavor to the offense for Willis to draw on this Saturday, it should not be a lot more. The Cowboys are veteran on defense and saw firsthand the issues that are involved with a young quarterback when their teammate Mason Rudolph started his first game at Baylor in the 11th game of the season last fall. Jordan Sterns is the ring leader and the Big 12 tackles leader in that secondary that will likely show a few disguises and tricks that could help teach a young quarterback some lessons.

Oklahoma State Offensive Line (LT #73 Victor Salako, LG #74 Michael Wilson,
OC #71 Brad Lundblade, RG #57 Paul Lewis
or #64 Jesse Robinson, RT #60 Zach Crabtree)
vs. Kansas DL (DE #10 Ben Goodman, DT #99 Corey King,
DT #96 Daniel Wise, DE #56 Anthony Olobia)

I have to believe from my conversations with right tackle Zach Crabtree that all of his fellow offensive linemen are flat out tired of the talk. It has to get old hearing that the offensive line is not getting push and the run game is struggling. Kansas is really young and really vulnerable on defense. Even though they held Texas Tech to just 23 points last week, that last touchdown was a pick six by the Red Raiders on defense, the KU defense allowed 584 yards of total offense and 225 rushing yards to a team that prides itself on the Air Raid offense and isn't exactly three yards and a cloud of dust. This is the opportunity that the Cowboys have been waiting for on offense. It won't come easy. It will still be work, but it's doable.

Oklahoma State Cowboy RBs #32 Chris Carson and #23 Rennie Childs
vs. Kansas LB #5 Marcquis Roberts

This matchup is predicated on the offensive line for Oklahoma State winning the battle with the Kansas defensive line. If they do then Carson and Childs will be looking for Roberts, who is a solid tackler for the Jayhawks on the second level. He had eight stops last week against Texas Tech and is ranked in the top 20 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State's big runs have been for five, six, seven, eight yards. If Carson and Childs break free from Roberts and his young helpers on the back end of the KU defense then Oklahoma State could have five or six of their top 10 runs for this season all break out in this game.

OSU-Kansas Prediction

Call me Pollyanna but I really believe that the break is going to be just what was needed to get this football team to play better and to open up again and win a game convincingly. I think the Cowboys will strike fast and often, and I think the run game will have better, yet not completely spectacular, results. Word is the running backs have a chip on their shoulder and that often will cause a running back to be faster and run harder rather than weight them down. I also think a young quarterback could be a bad matchup for Kansas going against this veteran Cowboys defense. I advise people not to play the college games. I don't agree with gambling on college kids, but if you must, don't touch a game with a 33 1/2-point spread.

Kansas 10, @ #12 Oklahoma State 42

Big 12 Predictions

Last Week: (Straight Up) 4-0 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point spreads) 2-2
Season:  (Straight Up) 40-6 (Against the Spread-Not all games have point spreads) 22-19-1

Iowa State  21, @ #2 Baylor 65

Kansas State 14, @ Texas 34

Texas Tech 20, @ #15 Oklahoma 31

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