When and where: November 16, 2019, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK, 12:00 PM ET
An opportunity to make a little noise in the winding season is on the line for the Kansas Jayhawks in Saturday’s road trip to Stillwater to take on the No. 23-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. After ending a four-game losing streak, the Jayhawks suffered a defeat at the hands of Kansas State over a week ago. They are hopeful to get back on the winning track by upsetting a Cowboys team coming off back-to-back wins over TCU and Iowa State. It will be an uphill battle for the Jayhawks’ moribund defense taking on one of the Big 12 Conference’s most explosive offenses.
Jayhawks must stop the runThere is no secret what the Jayhawks will have to do if they hope to have a shot at winning on Saturday. They’ll either need one of the greatest offensive performances in school history, or they’ll have to figure out a way to at least slow down the Cowboys’ devastating rushing attack.
The latter seems like an even longer shot than the first consideration.
Not only are they the worst rushing defense in the conference, but they are coming off a loss in a game where Kansas State totaled 342 rushing yards and five touchdowns against them. That doesn’t seem like a team prepared to stop one of the top-10 best rushing offenses in the country. Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard leads the nation with 1,604 rushing yards and a ridiculous 178.2 yards per game average. The best comparison of a match-up between Hubbard and Kansas’ defensive line would be a boulder rolling through a Paper Mache house.
The defense will also be missing a pair of important pieces in safety Jeremiah McCullough and linebacker Dru Prox. While Prox is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, McCullough is expected to miss the rest of the season with an undisclosed ailment.
Kansas’ only other option calls on Carter Stanley or running back Pooka Williams Jr. to be a hero. They could do so by putting on the sort of prolific performance that would help them match Oklahoma State’s 37.1-point scoring average. The Cowboys don’t pretend to boast a great defense, and most of their games typically play out like an old school Western.
Every team that has defeated them this season has managed to score 36-plus points. It could be an uphill battle with Kansas ranking as the conference’s second-worst scoring offense.
Oklahoma State will unleash HubbardOklahoma State freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders should prepare for another long day of handing the ball off to Hubbard and getting out of the way. It won’t come as any surprise considering he’s been doing that all season. The sophomore running back’s monstrous year has been one of the biggest storylines for the Cowboys. He’s dominating to the point where he’s making even good defenses look bad.
TCU’s defense is still picking its jaw off the ground after getting ran over for 223 yards and two touchdowns on 20 rushing attempts. Hubbard might even see more carries against Kansas’ pedestrian run defense. Teams are averaging 5.0 yards per carry against them on the ground, setting the stage for a juicy match-up for the Cowboys.
Sanders will have opportunities to take his shots as well if he’s desperate to get in on the action. Kansas hasn’t fared much better against the pass, and they’ve only picked off four interceptions this season. However, it’s wise to continue to let Hubbard star in an offense that just lost leading receiver Tylan Wallace for the season with a knee injury.
The Cowboys can clearly be had on defense by the right team. They have the fourth-worst defense in the conference allowing an average of 438.2 total yards per game. They’ll be fortunate enough to be facing a shoddy Kansas offense with few playmakers to actually compete in a shootout.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Jayhawks are 8-17 ATS in their last 25 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Jayhawks are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Jayhawks are 7-17 ATS in their last 24 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Jayhawks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Cowboys are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win.
- Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Cowboys are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on field turf.