Here is everything you need to know about this weekend’s showdown between the Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma Sooners in our preview and prediction.
Date: November 18th, 2017 | 2:30 p.m. CT |Memorial Stadium
Radio: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland, Merv Johnson, Chris Plank, and Ted Lehman)
Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network | Brian Hanni (Play-by-play), David Lawrence (Analyst), Josh Klingler (Sideline)
RB Rodney Anderson- There is no doubt that Anderson has been playing like a man amongst boys the past few weeks. He has rushed for over 100 yards in 4 straight games and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry this season.Anderson has certainly emerged as the premier back in this offense not only as a runner but as a pass catcher as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went for well over 100 yards to extend his streak to 5 straight games rushing over 100 yards.
TE Mark Andrews- I am not going to lie, I feel like Andrews gets overlooked sometimes due to some emerging wideouts. However, he still leads the team in receptions and is second on the team in receiving yards (745). I fully expect Kansas to put an emphasis on trying to stop the run, so I could see Oklahoma running some play action to their stellar tight end.
LB Obo Okoronkwo- This guy is a nightmare especially when the opposing quarterback drops back to pass. He has an amazing 16 TFLs this season and has also recorded a team high 8 sacks. Kansas better keep an eye on Obo or else it is going to be a long day for KU quarterback Carter Stanley.
QB Carter Stanley- Carter Stanley is going to have to play the game of his life if Kansas has any shot to make this game close. To be honest with you, he has been sub-par for the most part. Stanley has thrown for 4 touchdowns on 6 interceptions and has only completed 53.9% of his passes this season. The only thing he can do well sometimes is create a little bit of time to extend plays and occasionally taking off.
RB Khalil Herbert- Herbert is by far the best option at running back for this football team. This is important because he will be a key piece in this game to slow things down a bit. While his rushing yards per game is nothing to brag about (68.8), he does average 5.9 yards per carry.Herbert should be in line to see around 16-20 touches in this game.
DE Dorance Armstrong Jr.- By no means has it been an easy season for the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 defensive player of the year. Armstrong only has one sack this season and his defense has taken multiple steps back. Head Coach David Beaty did say that Armstrong has been doubled teamed quite often this year but he must be a factor one way or another if Kansas wants to start improving on this side of the ball.
The Ground Game
The game plan for Oklahoma should be simple, run the football until your face turns blue. I mean this is Kansas after all and there should be no need to show much on film for other teams when you’re playing the Jayhawks. Baker Mayfield doesn’t need to go off in this game for Oklahoma to win. Lincoln Riley should run the football and mix in some play action to keep Kansas guessing on defense. Honestly though the Sooners could literally do whatever they want in this game and should win comfortably. I fully expect for the Sooners running backs (Rodney Anderson, Trey Sermon and Abdul Adams) to get plenty of touches in this game.
If Kansas wants to sling the football all over the yard and try to expose this Sooner secondary, that’s fine by me. However, I think the smart thing to do is to try and slow this game down as much as possible. Keep Baker Mayfield and that high-powered offense on the sidelines. Run the football with Khalil Herbert but also don’t be afraid to take some shots downfield to test this defense. That is the Jayhawks best chance to keep this game respectable.
Oklahoma 45 Kansas 14
I am not sure what you really want me to say. Oklahoma should dominate this game and that is likely what is going to happen. I don’t see why the Sooners shouldn’t run for over 200 yards and Baker Mayfield makes a few big throws. The best scenario for Oklahoma is that Baker Mayfield is on the sidelines mid third quarter because they are up big and have nothing left to play for. As for Kansas, at least you get to play on ESPN and not ESPN 8 or whatever channel that nobody cares about. Bottom line here: Oklahoma is too good for Kansas to keep it within 20 points.