Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats relish the role of being the underdog.
Every year it seems like the Wildcats are in the thick of the Big 12 race, despite constantly being overlooked. Snyder has done a tremendous job at Kansas State, transforming them from a mediocre program to a national powerhouse, but that success hasn’t translated to wins against Oklahoma. Snyder has lost eight of the last ten meetings against Bob Stoops and one of those wins came as recent as 2012 when the Wildcats shocked the No. 6 ranked Sooners in Norman.
The Wildcats will look to take advantage of an Oklahoma pass defense that has allowed 342 yards through the air so far in conference. Compound that with the fact the Sooners have allowed 96 points in the past three games, the Wildcats could give Oklahoma problems. After a slow start to the season numbers wise, Kansas State dual threat quarterback Jake Waters and his favorite target Tyler Lockett will try to build on the chemistry they created last week. Lockett caught 12 balls for 125 yards and two touchdowns after only amassing one touchdown in the first four games.
Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight had his coming out party in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama in January, but hasn’t lived up to the hype thus far this year. While the numbers pop out at you; Knight has thrown for over 1500 yards and star receiver Sterling Shepard has over 7oo yards receiving. However, Knight has really struggled in Big 12 conference play.
He’s only completing 50% of his passes and has been picked off three times. One of the reasons the offense has seen a decline is defenses have adjusted to Knight’s ability to run the ball. He’s only averaging 4.3 yards per carry after averaging 6.6 last season. Knight ran for 82 yards on 14 carries last year against the Wildcats and Bill Snyder would be smart to not overlook that stat.
Bob Stoops has only lost once in 15 home games against Big 12 ranked opponents and that loss was against Kansas State. As emotional as the victory was over Texas, the Sooners didn’t play well and I think they want to prove to the country that they are better then they have looked recently. Bill Snyder has done a tremendous job at Kansas State, but this is a tall order.
Prediction: Oklahoma 34 Kansas State 20.
*Section Photo credit to Jamie Squire, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports.