The Cowboys spent much of the season in the AP Top-25, but were knocked out of the rankings after a tough loss to a 1-3 Iowa State team. Kansas State seems to have finally settled on a starting quarterback, but they enter riding a three-game losing streak since the start of Big 12 conference play.
Cowboys can’t stop third-string Cyclones’ third-string QB
The Cowboys are coming off of a disappointing 48-42 defeat versus the Iowa State Cyclones last week. Oklahoma State trailed for most of the game and the defense failed to get stops all night, as they were man-handled by third-string quarterback Brocky Purdy, who diced up the defense for 318 yards and four touchdowns on the night while adding 84 yards and a TD on the ground. Cowboys quarterback Taylor Cornelius had a solid game, finishing with 289 passing yards, four touchdowns, and one interception on the night. He added 46 yards and a touchdown on the ground to his stat line to finish with five total scores on the night. Normally the bread-and-butter of the Cowboys’ offense, the run game was relatively ineffective against Iowa State. Oklahoma State ran for just 126 yards on 43 attempts (2.9 yards per carry) and dynamic junior running back Justice Hill was held to just 66 yards on 24 carries (2.8 yards per carry) in the loss.
Cornelius has thrown for 1,825 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions so far this season, while Hill leads the team in rushing with 643 yards and seven touchdowns. Last week was just the second time that Hill was kept under 100 yards this season and he’s managed to find the end zone at least once in every game so far this year.
Oklahoma State enters Week 7 scoring 44 points per game while averaging more than 523 total yards per contest. They are averaging more than 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards per game while limiting opponents to just 28 points and 390 yards of total offense per game.
Kansas State settling on Thompson as starting QB
The Wildcats are fresh off of their second straight heartbreaking loss after losing on the road at Baylor 37-34. Kicker Connor Martin connected on a 29-yard field goal with eight seconds left to propel Baylor to victory in a back-and-forth affair that featured eight lead changes and 37 combined fourth quarter points. A week after Skylar Thompson came in after halftime and sparked the Wildcats in a narrow loss to Texas, the sophomore quarterback returned under center and played the entire game this week. He finished 15 of 26 for 149 yards and a touchdown through the air, while adding 50 rushing yards and score on the ground as well. While Thompson left much to be desired under center, the offense was able to move the ball effectively all night thanks to a career-best effort from junior running back Alex Barnes, who rushed for 250 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. Ultimately though, turnovers came back to haunt the Wildcats, as Baylor forced three takeaways and turned them into 21 points in a three-point win.
✅ 55-yd run by Barnes in the 1st Q
✅ 34-yd run by Barnes in the 2nd Q 👀⤵️
— K-State Football (@KStateFB) October 6, 2018
Barnes comes into this week with 607 rushing yards and five touchdowns already this season and he’s averaging a healthy 5.8 yards per carry in the process. He will likely be relied upon once again as the team transitions to playing with Thompson under center as the full-time starter.
Kansas State comes in scoring 22 points per game, but allowing 27.2 per game on the other side of the ball. Opponents are out-gaining the Wildcats by nearly 80 yards per contest this year and the defense is allowing a whopping 422 yards of total offense per game.
- Wildcats are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
- Wildcats are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Cowboys are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games following an ATS loss.
- Cowboys are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in October.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Wildcats have new coordinators on both sides of the ball, so many expected them to struggle this season, but they’ve also faced a very tough schedule. Their only loss to a team currently not ranked in the Top-25 came last week in a last-second loss against Baylor. Thompson has been the better quarterback all season, so the move to him as the full-time starter is going to help this program, but they aren’t ready to compete against quality Big 12 opponents right now. They are allowing 422 yards of total offense this season and the Cowboys enter averaging 523.3 yards per game on offense, so I expect Oklahoma State to cover the spread on the round in this matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Pick: Oklahoma State -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Cowboys are undoubtedly the better team here, but their defense has been caught slipping in recent weeks. They’ve allowed 39 points per game over their last three contests, including a season-worst 48 points in a home loss to Iowa State last week. Meanwhile, Thompson seems to have sparked this Wildcats offense, so I’m leaning towards the over in this Big 12 battle at the Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Over 60.5
Half-Time Side Pick
The Cowboys might be one of the toughest teams in college football to get a read on right now. They knocked off No. 17 Boise State and followed that up with a 24-point loss at home to Texas Tech before getting beaten by Iowa State’s third-string quarterback last week. The move to Thompson as the full-time starter should help Kansas State build some confidence on the offensive side of the ball. Eventually, I think this Cowboys offense is going to overwhelm Kansas State, but I like the Wildcats’ chances of covering the first half number in this spot on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Kansas State +4
Half-Time Total Bet
Both teams are allowing around 400 yards of total offense to opposing teams so far this year. Cornelius has been terrific under center for the Cowboys and he should be able to pick apart a Wildcats’ defense that surrendered 37 points on the road at Baylor last week. Meanwhile, Kansas State has looked better with Thompson under center all year and he provided a second half spark in the team’s loss to Texas a couple of weeks ago before helping the Wildcats put up 34 points last week. Take the over in the first half of this Big 12 battle on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Over 31