OSU-Kansas Matchups

Most Oklahoma State fans are calling this a "must-win" game if the Cowboys are going to have a chance to go bowling in 2006. I don't think it is a must-win game in terms of they have to have KU as one of their six wins. There will still be six games left on the schedule after the Kansas game and OSU could win any five of those six games if they were to play at its best.

That said, I still think Kansas is a must win-game in terms of if the Cowboys are going to win a desired number of games in the backhalf of the schedule they need some momentum. Any momentum generated from the 3-0 start is long gone and faded into the humidity of Houston and blew away in the winds of Manhattan. Kansas represents a bowl team from last season that is a solid football team, and a win against the Jayhawks on their home field would inflate the Cowboys ego enough to feel good coming home for shots at Texas A&M and Nebraska.

Bottom line, it's a must win to build some momentum and erase the frustration of Houston and Kansas State.

OSU Offensive Line
vs. Kansas Defensive Line

Kansas has not allowed a running back to rush for 100 or more yards in 19 games. That sure looks like a challenge, and the Cowboy offensive line better take it as such. OSU will have to run the ball and do it effectively, but beating Kansas means being balanced because the opportunity to throw the ball over the bunched up Jayhawks in the box is too sweet to pass up. The better you run, the better you throw. I'm not sure how well it works in reverse against Kansas. The offensive line has to block the veteran front every play. While experienced, KU's defensive line is not overly talented. If you can make the rest of the KU defense be the deciding factor then you have a much better chance for success.
Edge: Even

OSU Defensive Line
vs. Kansas Offensive Line

Much like the situation with the Cowboys on offense and the KU defense, the Oklahoma State defensive line is the most veteran group on defense. They are also pretty talented. Lately, it's been one standout a week with Victor DeGrate being the most consistent. if the Cowboys can get two or three tackles and/or ends flying around making plays then the pressure on the linebackers and secondary will be greatly reduced. Kansas has a solid offensive line, so the chore won't be easy. When is it ever easy in the Big 12?
Edge: Slight to OSU

OSU Wide Receivers
vs. Kansas Secondary

While it is important to run against KU with some semblance of success, going over the top against a young secondary is a ticket to chunk plays the Cowboys have enjoyed in victory. The way you have to figure it is that Adarius Bowman and D'Juan Woods owe their teammates some nice chunkers. They won't see a secondary this tempting the rest of the season.
Edge: Solid to OSU

OSU Linebackers
vs. KU's Jon Cornish

Before Kansas State revved up its two-minute offense Leon Patton ravaged the Cowboy for yards, many coming after linebackers should have made tackles. Patton proved to be an above average freshman, but Jon Cornish is a real deal running back that will run all afternoon unless stopped. Allowing Cornish to control the game would spell certain defeat without some odd and unusual circumstances coming into play. It's time to start making good hard-hitting, fundamental tackles.
Edge: Solid to KU's Cornish

Prediction
The good thing about Kansas is the Jayhawks really can't blow out anybody except a Division I-AA team. They play a lot of close games and they lose more of those close ones than they win. Despite all the doom and gloom, OSU matches up well and is quite capable of winning. Hopefully, some serious urgency has been conveyed and will be present on the Cowboys sidelines and in their effort. All that said, Kansas is the home team. When a game is this close you almost always have to go with the home team. Everybody else is, but being the homer that I am I will stick with the Cowboys on this one (as far as a prediction, I'm always on their side in spirit). Special teams must be totally clean, a snafu would make the difference.

Oklahoma State 26, Kansas 24

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