The Oklahoma Sooners took a bad hit last week at home against Texas Tech and face a stiff challenge this weekend on the road at Kansas State. The surprising run by the Wildcats has been fascinating to watch unfold and they certainly have been playing well. Can they hand Oklahoma a second straight loss in Big 2 play and move to 8-0 themselves, or will Bob Stoops have a game plan to get Oklahoma back in the win column quickly? Share some keys or thoughts on this game and your official prediction (scores optional).
Shawn Lealos, Oklahoma Sooners Examiner: Oklahoma came out extremely flat against Texas Tech and got their butts kicked because of it. Landry Jones played poorly and three key players (two on defense) did not play due to injuries or illness. Next week, against Kansas State, one of the defensive players (Tom Wort) will be back and Dominique Whaley will return as running back (he missed the game with a flu). If I know Bob Stoops as well as I do, he will have the team ready for K-State and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lay it on heavy because the Sooners are most dangerous when they are mad.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: The last time Bob Stoops lost back-to-back games came in 2003, when the Sooners were upset in the Big 12 championship game by Kansas State and still managed to reach the BCS title game, where they lost to LSU. The only time Stoops has lost consecutive games in the regular season was in 1999, his first year on the job in Norman. Clearly there is a positive trend here for the Sooners and we will see if they can continue that pattern this weekend in a game that is much more interesting than initially thought at the start of the year.
What Bill Snyder is doing at Kansas State is one of the best stories in college football this season. They have already matched their win total from a year ago and they are playing some solid defense. But that will be tested this week with Oklahoma looking to rebound and avoid a letdown for a second straight week. I think it will be important for Oklahoma to get off to a fast start on offense this week and try to bury the Wildcats as early as possible because if they don’t they will surely find out that Kansas State is not a team you want to have hang around In a game, especially at home.
I’ll take Oklahoma this week, but in a tight one.
Gerald Nicdao, San Diego Sports Examiner: This game almost lost all of its significance in the first week of the season. Kansas State squeaked by Division I-AA Eastern Kentucky 10-7 on Opening Weekend. But since then, the Wildcats have been on a roll. K-State owns the best defense in the Big 12, but with a caveat. The Wildcats have given up huge passing games to teams that either have an elite quarterback (Robert Griffin III and Baylor) or pass the ball a lot (Texas Tech).
K-State allowed RG3 to complete 23-of-31 passes for 346 yards and five touchdowns. The Wildcats let Texas Tech amass 461 yards of aerial offense. And now Kansas State hosts the fourth best passing team in the country.
So what if the Wildcats can shut down the run. The question is can they stop Landry Jones, who is coming off a 412-yard, five touchdown performance in a loss to Texas Tech.
I don’t think so. Expect Bob Stoops to allow his junior quarterback to air it out in Manhattan on Saturday. Stoops is, after all, 8-2 in the week following Oklahoma’s first loss of a season.
Oklahoma recovers and wins—and maybe wins big.
Max Price, Oregon Ducks Examiner: This game definitely got a whole lot more interesting after Oklahoma lost to Tech this weekend. Suddenly, you start wondering if Kansas State has a chance to really pull this thing off. On the road, the Sooners will have to seriously regroup to beat the Wildcats after a loss that likely cost them the chance to play for the BCS title game. I think Bob Stoops will get his players back on track and pick up the win in an offensive showdown, 45-35.
Rich Kurtzman, Colorado State Rams Examiner: One thing is sure, Oklahoma will be very hungry to get a win this week an bounce back from that devastating loss. The Sooners were without three starters on defense and Texas Tech took advantage. Oklahoma also started slowly, something they’ll certainly be looking to avoid this week against Kansas State. Of course, Landry Jones and that explosive Oklahoma offense are a key and if they get it rolling like usual, they’ll win this game. Kansas State’s passing offense is dreadful and they rely heavily on their stud running backs and their staunch defense. If the Wildcats can somehow find a way to slow OU’s offense, they will have a chance to win, but it seems unlikely.
Oklahoma will win 41-21.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: Kansas State has put together a remarkable season so far. That said the real test begins this week. While Oklahoma stumbled last Saturday, they are still one of the best teams in the country. Their defense will refocus and come out eager to prove last week’s loss was an isolated incident; the offense will continue to be dominant. Kansas State may keep it close but Oklahoma comes back with a good win on the road.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: Bob Stoops has the reputation of having tons of talent every year but always seems to find a way to lose at least one game. That happened last weekend to a Texas Tech team which had no business beating them. Oklahoma rarely loses two straight games so I am picking the Sooners in this game. Kansas State has been a nice story but they have yet to play the top four teams other than itself in the league. They are undefeated now but I think they lose to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and maybe even A&M and Texas. Oklahoma regains focus, bounces back and wins in Manhattan, 34-24.
Staff Predictions (season record)
- Caldwell (5-1): N/A
- Francis (1-4): N/A
- Hyde (3-3): Oklahoma, 34-24
- Jackson (4-2): Oklahoma
- Kurtzman (5-1): Oklahoma, 41-21
- Lealos (3-0): Oklahoma
- McGuire (6-2): Oklahoma, 26-17
- Nicdao (6-1): Oklahoma
- Price (6-1): Oklahoma, 45-35
- Yoyo (3-1): N/A
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