OSU-Kansas State Matchups

Boy, how things change in a week. A week ago OSU was lousy following the loss to Houston. On the other hand, Kansas State, with just one loss to highly ranked Louisville, was still considered a threat to win the Big 12 North. Now, the Cowboys are more respected as Houston went to Miami and gave the Canes a run for their money, and K-State traveled to Waco and lost its Big 12 opener.

Now Oklahoma State is favored to win in Manhattan, and anything less than a win in the Big 12 opener dooms the Cowboys as the Wildcats are the Baylor of today.

With the perception created by the Kansas State loss at Baylor comes some pressure above and beyond what was there a week ago. Remember, this is a road game, still something Oklahoma State has struggled with as the Cowboys have lost five of their seven road trips under Mike Gundy and all four of their Big 12 road games.

Enough for the negative trends. A real positive is what has been accomplished in the two weeks of practice with the open date. The Cowboys have worked plenty on Kansas State and the return to fundamentals has gone well. This past week has been an excellent week of practice. The belief in that you play the way you've practiced is a positive for the Cowboys.

The team will leave at 11:15 a.m. Friday and bus up to Kansas State. I like that, time for the team to come together and establish more camaraderie. By the way they will fly home after the game on Saturday. "Take your time going and hurry back."

Kansas State could use a bus trip with all the depth chart changes and the back-to-back losses it appears the foundation is cracking some in "the little apple."

Now, to the key matchups.

OSU Defensive Line
vs. Kansas State Offensive Line

With the addition of Brock Unruh at right guard that now makes it two redshirt freshmen on the offensive line and a third may soon take over. The Wildcats offensive line must keep the OSU defenders of Peterson, Fountain, DeGrate, McBean, Brown and company off freshman quarterback Josh Freeman, who is making his first start. Not only that, but the holes may need to be bigger in the run game with true freshman Leon Patton replacing senior running back and leading rusher Thomas Clayton.

The Oklahoma State defensive line is chomping at the bit as Houston's offense limited its impact on the game two weeks ago. They are very hungry to have some success and they are made up of five seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. The experience trumps that on the K-State offensive line. This has to be a win for the Cowboys and it sure looks like one on paper.
Big Edge to OSU

OSU Offensive Tackles
vs. Kansas State Defensive Ends

Kansas State's defense has 40 tackles for losses, 16 sacks, seven fumbles recovered, and six interceptions. Top defensive ends Ian Campbell, Rob Jackson, Eric Childs and Moses Manu have 14.5 of the tackles for losses, nine of the sacks, forced or recovered two of the fumbles, and no doubt helped force some of those interceptions. The defensive ends are a major threat on the defense. The two best -- Campbell and Childs -- are undersized and rely on their quickness. The Cowboy offensive tackles must do a good job of footwork and turn those guys loose as little as possible. The positive is that Corey Hilliard and Brady Bond are athletic and can move. Keep an eye on Bond as this is a major game for him in his continued progress at left tackle.
Edge slightly to Kansas State

OSU Wide Receivers
vs. Kansas State Secondary

The Houston game and the way the Cougars secondary played the Cowboys proves that opponents now know Adarius Bowman and they are no longer doubling coverage or bracketing coverage on D'Juan Woods. The Wildcats really love to employ cover two, but they will get aggressive and go some with cover one and even, cover zero. Baylor burned them twice with Trent Shelton and Dominique Ziegler. Bowman and Woods are better than that pair. Free safety Marcus Watts is a great player, but the others are closer to average. Bowman and Woods should eat average up.
Big Edge to OSU


If I knew the score after the first quarter I would tell you the final score. The Cowboy way in this one is a couple of early scores that put pressure on the freshman quarterback Josh Freeman and the offense to respond. That added pressure might be a reason the Wildcats will make mistakes on offense. A close score at the end of the first quarter, or any point further in the game, and hold on to your hats. I'm going to guess it's 14-0 after the first quarter.

Oklahoma State 27, Kansas State 6

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