The sixth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners host the fifteenth-ranked Kansas State Wildcats at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday in a Big-12 matchup that represents the most formidable test for both schools in the 2012 season.
The Sooners have outscored their first two opponents, UTEP and Florida A&M, 93-20. Quarterback Landry Jones has had a solid start, as the senior quarterback has thrown for four touchdowns and one interception.
Jones terrorized Kansas State's secondary in October 2011, throwing for a school-record 505 yards with five touchdowns as the Sooners’ offense dominated the Wildcats, 58-17.
The Sooners’ offense isn’t all Jones finding targets. Tailback Damien Williams has been particularly effective for Oklahoma in 2012. The junior has rushed for a total of 259 yards and five touchdowns.
But the defense might be Oklahoma’s strong suit. The Sooners conceded just 255 total yards against UTEP, and 235 total yards against Florida A&M.
The Sooners’ defense can expect to face stiffer competition from Kansas State. In three games, the Wildcats have poured on the points, averaging 46 points per game, including a thrashing of the University of Miami when they poured on 52.
Collin Klein, a gritty first-run quarterback, threw 11 passes against the Hurricanes, and completed nine passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. The senior also had impressive games against Missouri State, and North Texas, and has five touchdown passes and two interceptions on the season.
He has also rushed for 210 yards and four touchdowns. Oklahoma’s defense will look to contain Klein, and the Wildcats’ high-octane ground game.
When Klein isn’t rushing, it’s usually John Hubert who gets the bulk of the carries. The junior wasn’t effective against North Texas, but rushed for over 100 yards against Miami and Missouri State.
Kansas State’s defense has been done its job this season, as the Wildcats have a total of eight sacks in the last two games. Landry has been sacked four times, and the Sooners’ pass blocking has been rather inconsistent this season.
"Now we're getting into our Big 12 conference and we'll see how we've progressed through," said Jones, this week. "I think we are heading in the right direction. It was nice to have a week where you can just focus on really yourselves, although you are still focusing on the other team."
The game starts at 7:50pm and will be broadcast by FOX.
BETTING LINE: The Sooners are favored by 15.5; Over/Under: 56 points.
PREDICTION: This should be a high-scoring game, and that bodes well for Kansas State. But the Sooners are playing at home, and Oklahoma’s offensive line will likely step up and give Jones more protection, which should be the difference in the game.
PREDICTED SCORE: Oklahoma over Kansas State 33-24