Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#181 Oklahoma vs.
#182 Kansas State
Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#181 University of Oklahoma
#182 Kansas State University
7-0
4-2
4-3
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3-4
2-4
50
30
19
18

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When and where: October 26, 2019, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS, 12:00 PM ET

The Jalen Hurts Show continues for the Oklahoma Sooners in Saturday’s anticipated clash with the Kansas State Wildcats. A phenomenal defensive showing against TCU has the Wildcats riding a tidal wave of confidence heading into a Big 12 Conference meeting with the Sooners. Perhaps they have the blueprint to slowing down Hurts and the Sooners’ high-flying offense. Oklahoma, who is coming off a 52-14 win over West Virginia, is averaging 612.9 total yards per game.

A big defensive test for Hurts

Kansas State isn’t going to be taken seriously ahead of this match-up, but they do boast a strong enough defense to give Hurts and the Sooners' offense problems. This isn’t the type of game where the Heisman candidate is going to flawlessly go 16-of-17 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns like he did last week against a bad West Virginia defense.

Kansas State has the No. 1-ranked passing defense in the conference and is allowing only 152.5 yards per game. They have only given up three passing touchdowns so far this season, setting the stage for a frustrating day for Hurts. This could be the game when he hammers home the notion that he’s deserving of the Heisman Trophy if he’s able to carve up this defense through the air like he has previous opponents.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Sooners have steadily improved every week, which is downright terrifying for the rest of the country. Everyone has already seen how potent they can be on offense. Adding a legitimate defense to that group could be checkmate to every opponent left on their schedule. They are only allowing 19.4 points per game, and they’ll be facing a Kansas State team that hasn’t shown the ability to consistently move the ball well on offense. It’s an offense that relies heavily on protecting the football, short-yardage plays and time of possession.

The Sooners will be without linebacker Jon-Michael Terry, who suffered a season-ending lower leg injury in practice. Hurts could also be without tight end Grant Calcaterra for a third straight week as he continues to work his way back from an upper-body ailment.

OU head coach Lincoln Riley hopes that Calcaterra will return after a bye week. The tight end has 41 catches for 637 yards in his career with the Sooners.

"Won't play this week," said Riley on Wednesday in a news conference. We're going to get him through this week and then obviously into the bye week and hopeful to have him after that," Riley said. "But we're going to use the bye week to our advantage to get him a bit more rest."

Can the Wildcats offense show up?

Quarterback Skylar Thompson has been able to get by being mostly a game manager playing opposite of Kansas State’s stout defense. However, if they have any hope of upsetting the Sooners, he’s going to have to come out of his shell. Of course, that’s easier said than done when facing a Sooners defense that ranks second in the conference behind the same TCU team he conquered last week.

The only difference is Oklahoma has the best offense in the country to go along with their defense. It doesn’t matter how well the Wildcats’ secondary has held up against the pass. Hurts is going to figure out a way to move the ball down the field at some point, and it will fall on Thompson and the Wildcats offense to respond.

Playing keep-away will likely be a big part of the game plan heading into Saturday. The best defense is keeping the Sooner offense on the sidelines. It won’t help matters that running back Jordon Brown, along with receivers Phillip Brooks and Malik Knowles, are all questionable for the game with injuries. This is an all hands on deck kind of contest for the Wildcats’ skilled positions.

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Baylor is the only team to score more than 26 points against the Wildcats so far this season. That isn’t to say Oklahoma won’t be the second team on Saturday. It’s more of a generalized statement that serves as a reminder of how good Kansas State is on defense. They can line up and compete with the Sooners’ offense, which tends to struggle if they can’t consistently move the ball through the air.

Granted, Hurts has already racked up 705 rushing yards this season, and he should bedevil the Wildcats’ defensive front with his ability to take off from the pocket. But the Wildcats also have a legitimate shot at slowing the game down and limiting the explosive passing plays from the Sooners’ offense.

Thompson won’t be able to go blow-for-blow with Hurts, but he can eat up the clock with a steady diet of running plays and short throws. Expect most of their offense to stay within the numbers and less than 10 yards to avoid giving the Sooners a short field with turnovers. It’ll be an ugly, yet effective brand of football to ensure they cover the lopsided spread.

Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats (+23.5)

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Kansas State will give the Sooners offense trouble, but they won’t be able to shut them down. Hurts will steal extra time in the pocket with his legs and eventually find open receivers. However, the Kansas State offense will be the biggest surprise on Saturday. They’ll put a dent in the Oklahoma defense at home, despite ultimately coming up short in the end. I’m taking the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (57.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.