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Oklahoma State vs. Kansas: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our Oklahoma State vs. Kansas preview and prediction.

Game info

11 am CT  | Saturday, November 16, 2019  | Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma

TV: FS1 (Dan Hellie and Ben Leber)

Local Radio Kansas: Jayhawk Radio Network (Brian Hanni, David Lawrence, and Josh Klingler)

Local Radio Oklahoma State: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, Dave Holcomb, and Robert Allen)

Opening Line: Oklahoma State -17.5

Student versus Master:

The last time Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy answered to another coach was back in the 2004 season when he was offensive coordinator for Kansas’ Les Miles who was then the Cowboy head coach.  Miles moved to on to LSU the next season before ending up at Kansas after a short break from coaching. We have never had a Gundy/Miles coaching matchup in the 15 years since until now, even though we should have had one in the 2011 National Championship game.

 

Key Players

Kansas Jayhawks

Quarterback Carter Stanley

After finally getting his chance to be the Jayhawks signal caller Stanley has performed well enough, especially after Kansas made the switch to new offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon. The problem is he’s been up and down. With the exceptions of the close losses to Texas and WVU he’s played well in KU’s wins and poor in their losses.  He needs to have a mistake free game against a suddenly turnover-happy OSU defense to pull off the upset this weekend.

RB Pooka Williams

Pooka should scare the Hell out of the Cowboy defense, and for good reason.  He can break tackles, juke defenders, out run linebackers, and reverse field dead plays and take it to the house.  While he hasn’t put up as good as numbers as he did last season he’s still averaging 5 yards a carry and is a threat to take it to the house every play if a defense isn’t on its game.  It should be a fun running back duel in Stillwater!

WR Stephon Robinson Jr

Robinson has really come on the last 4 games, going for 22 catches, 446 yards, and 6 touchdowns over that span.  The way the Cowboys play defense which leaves a lot of holes in the zone for the short passing game over the middle the junior wide receiver should be able to put up good numbers.

Oklahoma State

Quarterback Spencer Sanders

Much has been written about Sanders this season, specially his turn over problems.  His ability to keep the ball out of the other teams hands is the difference between OSU being a top 25 team and being a terrible team. He’s mostly cleaned that up the last two games in victories against a then-ranked Iowa State on the road and a good TCU defense at home.  Against a Kansas team that the Cowboys should outclass on both offense and defense he needs to continue his trend of ball security. Another 5 turnover day like he had against the woeful Red Raiders and the Jayhawks may walk out of Stillwater with a win.

 

Key Storylines

Kansas Jayhawks

Les Miles… what can you say?  He knows how to get his teams ready to play!  The Jayhawks have won 3 games so far (and could have won 6 with close losses to UT, WVU, and Coastal Carolina) and if they can win out they will go bowling.  Now that’s a tall task for this years team but you know Miles will have his boys fired up and believing they can do it! Add in that the Mad Hatter probably would enjoy coming into his old stomping grounds and proving he’s still got it. Motivation goes a long way with college athletes, and Miles is a master motivator. Their opponent this week is playing well as of late, and there aren’t many places the Jayhawks have an advantage over the Cowboys, but if few things break the right way you know Miles will have his guys prepared to pounce!

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Instead of listing running back Chuba Hubbard as a key player every week I’m going to include a stat line here in the OSU Storylines section to keep everyone up to date on his special season.

Chuba Hubbard stat tracker

With 223 yards and two touchdowns against TCU Hubbard leads the nation in rushing yards (1,604), rushing yards per game (178.6), yards per carry (6.8, min. 170 attempts), all-purpose yards, and yards after contact. He is 2nd in rushing touchdowns with 18.  He also became the first back to ever run for 200 or more yards against a Gary Patterson coached defense. He needs to average 132 yards a game the rest of the regular season to hit the 2,000 yard mark.

Storyline

Which is the real Oklahoma State?  The won that looked terrible against TTU, and collapsed late against Baylor?  Or the team that beat ISU and TCU behind good defense and a powerful running game?  After being left for dead by basically everyone after the two game skid against the Red Raiders and the Bears they’ve responded well and have a real chance at going 8-4, or 9-3 with a puncher’s chance in Beldam.  The problem is Mike Gundy’s teams tend to play to the level of their competition. That’s great when you’re playing the Texases and OUs of the world but it bites them often against the lesser teams. Against Kansas with his old boss coming to town I expect Gundy to have a little extra zing in his coaching and to keep his team motivated.

Prediction

Oklahoma State 45 Kansas 25

Kansas has been better on offense under Dearmon, and they’ve had a week off to lick their wounds after getting routed by Kansas State.  The problem is Oklahoma State has actually been pretty good on defense since the embarrassments against Texas Tech and Baylor, and they’ve also had a week off for DC Jim Knowles to focus on the new-look Jayhawk offense.  Pooka Williams should still have a big day against the Cowboy 3-man front and a secondary that has had trouble tackling runners that are less elusive than he is. The problem is on the other side of the field is Chuba Hubbard who might go for 300 yards against the porous KU defense.  In what may end up being a battle of the running games OSU has the clear advantage with one of the best runners in the nation. If they can pull away early and force KU to throw it could be a long day for Carter Stanley against a Cowboys defense that has 6 interceptions in its last two games.

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