Here is everything you need to know about the Big 12 showdown in Manhattan, Kansas between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Date: October 21st, 2017 | 3 PM CT | Bill Snyder Family Stadium
TV: FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft)
Radio: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson, Chris Plank)
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, Matt Walters)
Fun Fact: In that last 6 (2011-2016) meetings, the road team in this matchup has won 5 out of 6 times.
QB Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield has been well, Baker Mayfield. He his throwing for 322.8 yards per game and has an outstanding touchdown to interception ratio of 17/1 this season. Just when you think he can’t outdo his most recent performance, he continues to elevate his game each week. As always, he will have the most eyes on him during this game.
TE Mark Andrews
Yes Ceedee Lamb and Jeff Badet have been emerging as key targets for Baker Mayfield but the number one passing option in this offense is Mark Andrews. Mark leads the team with 459 receiving yards and will play a pivotal role in this game if Kansas State crowds the box. Watch out for the play action to Mark Andrews if you’re a Sooners fan.
LB Obo Okoronkwo
I am sure that KSU offensive coordinator Dana Dimel will lose some sleep Friday night trying to figure out how to slow down Obo. Obo has a team high 6 sacks and has a total of 10 TFLs on the season so far. He is probably the most feared pass rusher in the Big 12 who also makes his presence felt in the run game.
Kansas State Wildcats
QB Alex Delton/Jesse Ertz
Whose it going to be? At this point it remains a mystery. If Jesse Ertz is healthy then he will surely be the guy. But if not, then expect Alex Delton to start. Alex Delton has played in 3 games this year and has a completion percentage of 38.2%. That’s not going to get it done no matter how “fast” he is. Both guys can run the ball but Jesse Ertz clearly has the better arm of the two.
WR Bryon Pringle
I understand he hasn’t done much this season at all. In fact, if anything, he has been disappointing up to this point. But to me he is still the best athlete on this Wildcat offense. If Alex Delton does indeed start this game, then Dana Dimel (KSU OC) needs to get this man the football.
LB Trent Tanking
This is a guy that Lincoln Riley (OU HC) needs to game plan for. Trent leads Kansas State with 50 tackles this season. He has been a tackling machine this year and has really been impressive so far. Oklahoma needs to be aware of him offensively.
Establishing the Run
Both teams come in wanting to run the football, especially Kansas State. Kansas State needs the run game or else offensively they will be a dumpster fire much like their in-state rival, Kansas. If Alex Delton gets the nod then this will be crucial for this offense because he struggles throwing the football. However, if Jesse Ertz can start then the dynamic of this offense changes a bit because he is able to hit more of his targets. Bottom line, if Kansas State rushes for under 100 yards then they will get beat by 20 or more in this game.
For Oklahoma, running the football is more of a compliment of their offense. When you have a guy like Baker Mayfield, you can get away with a lot more things offensively. But I think this Sooner offense is at its best when Trey Sermon is running the football well. Trey is the best back that Oklahoma has and he is going to be a future star in this league. When this offense can run the football effectively, they are very difficult to stop.
Oklahoma 28, Kansas State 10
Oklahoma may struggle at times offensively if Kansas State crowds the box. The Wildcat secondary is very good and Oklahoma doesn’t have a deep wide receiver group. I think TE Mark Andrews will be a key in this game with the play action pass to open things up for this offense. Oklahoma may struggle a bit running the football so Baker Mayfield will need to throw the football more this week.
As for Kansas State, they will struggle putting points on the board in this game. Not because Oklahoma has a great defense but because this offense is in a rut right now. Like I have said before, if Alex Delton is the guy this week then this offense because to one dimensional because he struggles to hit his targets. Even if Jesse Ertz can go, he will probably not be at 100% and quite frankly won’t be the same guy. If Kansas State has any shot in this game, it’s because the defense keeps them in it.