OSU-Kansas State Matchups & Prediction

Robert Allen breaks down Saturday's game against Kansas State and gives his thoughts on the three key matchups in the game.

Three Most Dangerous Wildcats
1. Jordy Nelson, WR
2. Ian Campbell, OLB
3. (tie) Marcus Watts, FS and Deon Murphy, WR

Three Key Matchups vs. Kansas State
1. OSU Rushing Offense vs. Kansas State Run Defense
Overall, Kansas State probably has the advantage on paper in more match ups for Saturday than Oklahoma State. The good thing for the Cowboys is that this match up, who can run the ball, is often a determining factor, especially if there are no turnovers or huge plays in the kicking game.

Kansas State destroyed Texas on the strength of turnovers and returns in both the kick and punt game. With Dantrell Savage, Kendall Hunter, quarterback Zac Robinson, and the short yardage skills of Julius Crosslin working behind the OSU offensive line the Cowboys will be able to run the football. Throw that advantage out there early and the team that can run, can control the game.
Advantage: OSU Rushing Offense

2. OSU Secondary vs. Kansas State WRs Jordy Nelson and Deon Murphy
Both players can hit you two-fold as they are also involved on punt and kickoff returns. On offense, Nelson is the "go-to" guy for quarterback Josh Freeman while Murphy has the electric speed that can create a big play. Kansas State hasn't had as many of those as they would like.

The Oklahoma State secondary gets a chance to show it has improved in defending the pass. Neither A&M nor Nebraska really tested the OSU defensive backs, but Kansas State will as they throw the ball roughly 65 to 70 percent of the time. With a solid pass rush up front the secondary has a chance to show decided improvement, but our projection is Nelson and Murphy will pop a few big plays.
Advantage: Nelson and Murphy

3. OSU Punt Team vs. Kansas State Punt Return
The punt team has been much improved in its coverage since the Troy game and the return for a score that was a back breaker. Also, punter Matt Fodge has improved his directional punting this season and the Cowboys may do some kicking away from the return specialist.
Advantage: Kansas State Punt Return

The Cowboys take control early with the run offense and give Kansas State a scenario they have not dealt with this season, falling behind early in a game. With the Cowboys ability to run the football if they do jump out to an early lead as they have the past two weeks at A&M and Nebraska then they have a better than average chance of maintaining the lead. Firmly establish the run and the Cowboys will likely be able to hit some big gains in the passing game as well.
OSU 38, Kansas State 24
OSU Prediction Record: 4-3
Last Week: OSU 35-27 (vs. Neb) (OSU won 45-14)

Big 12 Predictions
Oklahoma 42 @Iowa State 6
Texas 35 @Baylor 0
Texas Tech 41 @Missouri 31
@Nebraska 21 Texas A&M 20
@Colorado 27 Kansas 21
Big 12 Prediction Record: 49-9

OSU Nonconference Opponents Predictions
Georgia Off
Florida Atlantic 31 @La-Lafayette 14
@Troy 42 North Texas 17
@Sam Houston State 20 Northwestern State 13
Opponents Prediction Record: 15-5

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