It’s a Big 12 clash as a pair of teams from the rapidly shifting conference take the field in the Sooner State. The #25 Kansas State Wildcats are on the road as they travel to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday night. Kansas State rolled to a 38-17 home victory over Nevada last Saturday in their most recent contest. Oklahoma State went on the road and escaped with a 21-20 win on the blue turf over Boise State last Saturday in their previous game. In the all-time series between the schools, the Cowboys own a 41-23 advantage and have won the last two meetings, including a 20-18 road victory in the most recent matchup on November 7, 2020.
Kansas State Wildcats Seek to Run Mark to 4-0Kansas State took care of business against Nevada in their previous game to keep their perfect record intact. The Wildcats now look to open conference play on a positive note as they travel to Stillwater to face the Cowboys in this one. Against the Wolf Pack, Kansas State was even at seven after the opening quarter, led 17-7 at the half and found themselves tied at 17 after three quarters. The Wildcats took the lead for good on Deuce Vaughn’s 11-yard scoring run on the first play of the fourth quarter to kick off a 21-point outburst and didn’t look back. Kansas State outgained Nevada 398-331 in total offense, picked up 22 first downs while allowing 14 and held a 31:00 to 29:00 edge in time of possession. For good measure, the Wildcats forced the game’s lone turnover en route to the win.
The Wildcats enter this game 117th in the nation in passing offense as they average 148.3 yards per game while they are 19th in rushing offense with 225.7 yards per contest. Kansas State is 61st in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 31 points per contest while they are a solid 23rd in scoring defense by surrendering 15.7 points per game. Skylar Thompson is 12 of 18 passing for 240 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions while adding 33 yards plus two scores on the ground. Will Howard is 15 of 27 for 199 yards with one touchdown against one interception while contributing 65 yards and three scores on the ground. Deuce Vaughn is the lead back as he has piled up 62 carries for 371 yards and five scores this season. Joe Ervin adds 24 carries for 131 yards and a score on the year as the second back. Philip Brooks leads the team with nine receptions for 130 yards on the year. Malik Knowles (six catches, 125 yards), Daniel Imatorbhebhe (three catches, 106 yards, TD) and Vaughn (five grabs, 29 yards) are good options as well. Taiten Winkel has hit all 12 extra-point attempts and three of four field goal tries with a long of 40 this season.
Kansas State has been effective with the run game this season but they can’t become one-dimensional. The Wildcats have piled up 10 scores on the ground this season but they have only one passing touchdown. Oklahoma State has surrendered only 95.3 yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry on the ground this season. If Vaughn is held in check, Kansas State is going to have to find an alternative way to move the sticks and put points on the board, something that has been lacking so far this season.
Oklahoma State Cowboys Look to Build Off Road VictoryOklahoma State was in a tight battle with Boise State on the blue turf but their defense came alive in the second half, helping them get the win. The Cowboys now return home to open conference play and hope to pick up their third straight win over Kansas State here. Oklahoma State trailed 10-0 in the first quarter and 20-7 late in the first half before scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:10 of the half to take a one-point lead. Neither team was able to put any points on the board in the second half, allowing the Cowboys to escape with a one-point victory. Oklahoma State blocked a potential go-ahead field goal with 2:05 to play before running out the clock. The Cowboys held a 328-303 advantage in total offense, held a 33:18 to 26:42 edge in time of possession and committed one turnover while forcing a pair to overcome losing the first down battle 19-15.
For the year, Oklahoma State is 101st in the nation in passing offense with 190 yards per game while they are 78th in rushing offense with an average of 146.7 yards per contest. The Cowboys are 98th in the FBS in scoring offense with 24 points per game and 51st in scoring defense by allowing an average of 19.7 points per contest. Shane Illingworth is 22 of 40 passing for 315 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Spencer Sanders is 21 of 39 for 255 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He is second on the team in rushing with 102 yards plus two scores. The run game has struggled with LD Brown (28 carries, 58 yards, TD) and Jaylen Warren (52 carries, 264 yards, four TD) failing to generate much in the way of yardage prior to the Boise State win. Brennan Presley leads the team with nine catches for 125 yards. Jaden Bray (six grabs, 136 yards, TD) and Tay Martin (six receptions, 107 yards, TD) are also over the century mark for receiving yards this season. Alex Hale is nine of 10 on extra-point attempts and is one of two on field goal attempts with a long of 35 this season.
Oklahoma State has to find a way to open some holes in the ground game. The Cowboys are averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry as a team and that’s propped up by Warren’s big showing against Boise State. Going into that game, both Brown and Warren were averaging only 2.3 yards per carry before Warren’s massive performance. The passing game has had some issues as they didn’t do much through the air against the Broncos. Kansas State’s defense has stifled the run game, allowing only 54.7 yards per game and 1.9 yards per carry so far this season. That might force Sanders to get more done through the air in order to help the Cowboys move the sticks.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Wildcats are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
- Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games
- Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is going to be a battle between a pair of tough defenses. Both teams have done a solid job slowing the run game of the opposition, which happens to be the bread and butter of the respective offensive units. Thompson is missing with a knee injury sustained against Southern Illinois, pushing Howard back into the starting role under center. Howard is going to have to step up his play and generate some plays in the passing game to help take the pressure off Vaughn. Things are similar on the other side of the ball as Sanders has to hit some passes to loosen up the Wildcats’ front seven. This one has the makings of another tight game and with Kansas State covering in eight of the last 10 meetings, you have to give them the edge with the points here.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have been in some defensive struggles at times this season as points haven’t been all that plentiful in the early going. Kansas State has seen totals of 31, 54 and 55 points in their three games with the under hitting in two of them. Oklahoma State has posted totals of 39, 51 and 41 points in their three games, giving the under a 2-0-1 mark on the season. These teams have been in defensive wars in recent years with the under hitting by double figures in each of the last three meetings. With both teams sputtering a bit through the air and being solid defensively against the run, this is another low-scoring contest. The under is the way to lean here.