Here is everything you need to know about the Big 12 showdown between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Kansas State Wildcats in our preview.
Date: Saturday November, 18th | 2:30 P.M. CT | Boone Pickens Stadium
TV: ESPN2 | Anish Shroff (Play-by-Play), Ahmad Brooks (Analyst) and Roddy Jones (Sideline
Radio: K-State Sports Network | Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) Stan Weber (Analyst) Matt Walters (Sidelines)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network | Dave Hunziker (Play-by-Play), Dave Holcomb (Analyst), and Robert Allen (Sideline)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 113/XM 200
Kansas State Wildcats
Dalton Schoen, wide receiver
Schoen had a quiet week against West Virginia with three catches for 30 yards, but the week prior against Texas Tech he had five catches for 103 yards. Oklahoma State’s defensive weakness is their pass defense, so Schoen, who has become a reliable target in recent weeks, will be looking to have a (relatively) big afternoon.
Kendall Adams, safety
We know what Mason Rudolph and the Cowboys want to do: throw, throw and throw. The problem is that the K-State defense hasn’t done a good job against the pass. The Wildcats are ranked last in the Big 12 in pass defense, allowing 303 passing yards per game. Adams is 14th in the Big 12 with seven tackles per game and has two interceptions on the season.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Jalen McClesky, wide receiver
McClesky broke out of a slump last week against Iowa State. He had five catches for 109 yards, including a career-long 81-yard catch. His 109 yards were his most since Week 3 against Pittsburgh when he racked up 162 receiving yards. McClesky will be one of the many receivers Mason Rudolph targets, but with much of Kansas State’s focus staying on James Washington and Marcell Ateman, it’s McClesky who could have the break out game.
Chad Whitener, linebacker
The pressure is on the Oklahoma State front seven to stop the run. You know what’s coming from K-State this weekend, it’s just a matter of stopping it. Whitener has 55 tackles on the season and has 14 the past two games with an interception. His 219 career tackles rank second on the team and seventh among active Big 12 players. The senior will have to be the leader of the front seven to slow down K-State’s running game.
Can Kansas State slow down Mason Rudolph?
No one is going to “stop” this Oklahoma State passing attack, but can K-State even slow it down? We thought this would be one of the best secondary units in the Big 12. Alas, it’s been anything but, ranking at the bottom of the Big 12 in passing defense. Now they play an Oklahoma State team that is less than one yard per game away from being the best passing offense in the Big 12 (OU edges OSU by .7 yards per game). Rudolph with his plethora of weapons from Washington to Ateman to McClesky has got to scare the hell out of Bill Snyder and defensive coordinator Tom Hayes.
Kansas State’s quarterback dilemma
We still don’t know who’s going to be playing at quarterback this weekend for Kansas State. Is it Alex Delton? Skylar Thompson? Maybe Jesse Ertz? Who the hell knows. I don’t think it’s Ertz, so let’s assume Delton or Thompson. Regardless, that means the ball will be on the ground even more than usual for the Wildcats. Thompson was OK last week against West Virginia, finishing 13 of 26 for 159 yards and two interceptions. Thompson also led the Cats with 18 carries last week, while Dalvin Warmack had 14. They did rack up over 170 rushing yards, but West Virginia has one of the worst run defenses in the Big 12. The tough part for K-State will be going up against Oklahoma State’s rushing defense which ranks third in the conference.
Oklahoma State 45, Kansas State 24
Oklahoma State is still in the running for a Big 12 championship game appearance. They need to win out and have TCU split their final two games. Considering TCU may be without starting quarterback Kenny Hill against Texas Tech, the Pokes should play a very inspired game. Plus, they’re back home for the final two games of the regular season, should be well rested and ready to rock. Meantime, Kansas State is playing on the road for the third time in the past four weeks. Also, look at who K-State has beaten: Texas Tech, Kansas, Baylor, Charlotte and Central Arkansas. They have lost every game against decent competition. The Cowboys are far better and have won five in a row over the Wildcats in Stillwater. All the signs point to a big afternoon from Oklahoma State, while K-State will go into the final week of the season looking for bowl eligibility.