KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (3-0)
at OKLAHOMA SOONERS (3-0)
Kickoff: Saturday, 7:50 p.m. EDT
Line: Oklahoma -13½, Total: 58½
No. 8 Oklahoma looks to retain its series dominance over No. 15 Kansas State when the Big 12 schools clash Saturday night in Norman, OK.
The Sooners are 8-1 SU (5-4 ATS) in this series since 2000, scoring a hefty 46.4 PPG during a five-game series win streak. Last year Landry Jones threw for a school-record 505 yards in a 58-17 blowout for Oklahoma, giving him 799 passing yards and 9 TD in two meetings with the Wildcats. KSU’s Collin Klein was held to 58 passing yards in last year’s loss to the Sooners, but he has thrown for 609 yards and run for 210 more with 9 total TD this season. Oklahoma rushed for 8 TD (4 by Damien Williams) in last week’s 69-13 win over Florida A&M, and ranks 11th in the nation in both scoring (46.5 PPG) and total offense (545 YPG).
Will Kansas State be able to keep the score close on Saturday? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
Since he stumbled against Oklahoma last year, Klein has scored a total of 25 touchdowns in eight games. Klein hasn’t missed many throws in the past two contests, completing 24-of-31 passes (77%) for 440 yards (14.2 YPA), 3 TD and 2 INT. Junior WR Tramaine Thompson has been the top receiver for the Wildcats this year, gaining 211 yards on 13 catches, including three for touchdowns. In addition to Klein’s 210 rushing yards and four scores, the Wildcats have two other players with three rushing touchdowns, John Hubert (296 rush yds, 6.9 YPC) and Daniel Sams (127 rush yds, 12.7 YPC). Hubert ran for 71 yards on 12 carries (5.9 YPC) in the loss to Oklahoma last year. Another big reason this offense is scoring 46.0 PPG (13th in FBS) is due an elite return game. K-State leads the nation with 36.3 yards per punt return and Tyler Lockett ranks second among FBS players in kickoff returns (43.3 yards per return). The K-State defense has allowed just 14.3 PPG this year, but the secondary has given up 251 passing YPG (80th in nation). The Wildcats have also recorded zero sacks of Landry Jones in the two times they’ve faced him.
Jones struggled last season after top receiver Ryan Broyles was injured, and he’s also had to adjust this year without suspended WR Jaz Reynolds. However, Jones and Kenny Stills have certainly been clicking, as Stills has caught 16 passes for 241 yards and 2 TD in just two games. Stills gained 101 yards on four catches against KSU last year. But the Sooners ground game has been even more impressive than the Jones-to-Stills air show. The team ranks 12th in the nation with 277 rushing YPG, thanks to Big 12 rushing leader Damien Williams (130 rushing YPG). The Sooners defense has not been tested yet, as they have allowed just 20 points and rank 10th in FBS in total defense (245 YPG). Oklahoma’s defensive line is tough to penetrate, and despite the Wildcats attempting just 16 passes in last year’s meeting, OU still produced seven sacks. This season, the Sooners have six sacks in their two games.