Setting the stage: No. 14 KSU at No. 11 OU

OU's three-week gauntlet comes to a close with the showdown vs. KSU.

SoonersIllustrated.com is going to set the stage every week breaking down Oklahoma’s game during the 2014 season.

No. 14 KSU (4-1, 2-0) at No. 11 OU (5-1,2-1)

When: 11 a.m. CST

OU’s biggest question going into the game

Will OU’s passing game be able to find its groove? The exact same question as last week because it has not been answered.

Another subpar game in the passing department has OU fans pointing the finger at co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and quarterback Trevor Knight.

Knight talked a lot this week about how crucial it is to start fast and doing that by getting the first completion right off the bat. OU has a tendency to throw deep, obviously hurting the completion percentage so it will be intriguing to see if that is changed this week.

As much as fingers were pointed at Knight, wide receiver has been a bleak spot, too, lately for OU. Jay Norvell talked about taking the training wheels off some of the younger guys, and Saturday will be the first time to see if that’s true.

Kansas State’s biggest question going into the game

Can Tyler Lockett do it again? Lockett was sensational in defeat last year for the Wildcats, torching the OU secondary at will in the first half.

The Sooners are still experiencing a lot of communications issues defensively, and one slip up against a player like Lockett usually means six points.

It will be interesting to see if OU tries to have Zack Sanchez stick with Lockett no matter where he lines up or if OU will stick with Sanchez on one side and Julian Wilson on the other.

The weather is going to be unseasonably warm for a mid-October game so no doubt the passing game will play a role.

Quotable

“Our job is to win games. For us as coaches it’s a one game season every single week. We have to improve. Got to be more efficient on first down to help us on third down. Got to run better routes, make better reads and protect better on third down. I don’t think anybody here doesn’t think things aren’t fixable.” - OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell on offensive struggles

Breakout player

Going back to the well and saying wide receiver Durron Neal. After the last couple of weeks, have to believe the OU wide receivers are sick of hearing how they’re the weakness of the team. Neal has made some plays this season, but he’ll make his best ones during this one, including catch his first career touchdown.

Prediction

OU 24, Kansas State 20. Won’t be easy Saturday against the Wildcats, but the Sooners will do just enough to keep their championship dreams alive. The offense still sputters but is able to make enough plays, while the defense seals the deal in the fourth quarter with a big turnover in the final five minutes.


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