Oklahoma State Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Kansas
The Oklahoma State Cowboys suffered a disappointing home loss to the Texas Longhorns a few weeks ago, but they followed that up with a timely bye-week and now they're facing a seemingly easy win against the Kansas Jayhawks.
This might not be the same veteran team that dropped 70 points on the Jayhawks last year, but they should be able to rack up at least 42.
Looking ahead to this week's game, we can see some big keys to seeing OSU pull off a big win at Kansas.
Fix the Turnover Problem
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Last year, the Cowboys defense forced the most turnovers in the nation, and that was a huge reason why the team made its first run to a BCS game.
Many expected the 2012 defense to do much of the same, as it returns a plethora of players across the board, especially in the secondary.
However, that hasn't the been the case. The team has only forced four turnovers on the year, and none of those have come from the highly-touted cornerback duo of Broderick Brown and Justin Gilbert.
Jayhawks QB Dayne Crist could be just what the doctor ordered. He currently has seven interceptions to three touchdowns. Basically, if the D can't get on track in this game, it never will.
Get Wes Lunt Some Playing Time
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Wes Lunt has been out for awhile now, but he looks like he's finally ready to make his comeback. He's listed as the co-starter along with J.W. Walsh, and you've got to believe that this means he'll be back in the lineup soon.
Personally, I'd like to see Walsh get the majority of the snaps this week with Lunt coming in for a few possessions after the game is wrapped up.
This gives the young signal-caller a chance to get back on track in a situation where he can't possibly hurt the team, while giving Oklahoma State its best chance to win.
Make Sure Quinn Sharp's Up on His Cardio
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Oklahoma State ran up 70 points on Kansas last year. For those of you at home, that means kicker Quinn Sharp hammered in 10 extra points that day.
Now, I hesitate to say that the Cowboys will be as dominant this year against Kansas, but their offense is technically putting up more impressive yardage numbers than its 2011 counterparts.
At the very least, Sharp is going to need to be ready to trot out on the field six or seven times minimum after the day is done. I sure hope he's been running those wind sprints.
Don't Fall into the Trap
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This isn't your typical "trap" game for the Cowboys, but it's possible that they could be upset if everything falls into place.
You're looking at a team that almost beat a highly-ranked Texas team with a backup quarterback. This same team could be looking ahead to next week's contest against Iowa State, the team that derailed Oklahoma State's championship hopes last week.
I'm particularly looking at the coaches when thinking about this slide. They need to make sure that they, along with their players, aren't looking ahead to their revenge game against Iowa State.
Mike Gundy and co. simply have to get everyone in the program focused on Kansas and make sure they win this game.
Feed the Beast
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Last week against Texas, Joseph Randle was absolutely dominant, showing the nation that he is a premier back (something that should've been noticed last year when he put up 26 TDs).
The Cowboys have to ride their stud. He makes this offense go, and while there's significant talent all over the field, he could win this game on his own.
Look for Randle to have a huge day. The only downside is that this game could turn into a blowout quickly, which means Randle could only see 10-15 touches, limiting his overall yardage.
However, there's no doubt that he's going to run around and over the Jayhawks' defense this weekend.