Can anyone stop Collin Klein and No. 2 Kansas State this season?
Well, No. 24 Oklahoma State will give it a try on Saturday at Bill Snyder Stadium, boasting an offense averaging 44.3 points per game (sixth in the nation).
Of course, Kansas State is averaging 44.4 points per game (fifth in the nation) and held two explosive squads in West Virginia and Texas Tech to a combined 38 points the last two weeks.
Will the Cowboys gain some ground on the Wildcats in the Big 12?
Here's a preview of the game.
Where: Bill Snyder Stadium, Manhattan, KS
When: Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. ET
Betting Line: Kansas State -9.5, Over/Under 66, via ScoresAndOdds.com
What's At Stake?
Everybody is trying to catch up to 8-0 Kansas State in the Big 12, and that includes Oklahoma State. The Wildcats, led by star senior Collin Klein, are mowing everyone down, and that includes the likes of West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
The Cowboys are vying for their second straight conference title while the Wildcats are seeking their first Big 12 championship since 2003.
Also, if the Wildcats manage to go undefeated this season, there's a good chance they make it to the BCS Championship Game.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
WR Tracy Moore: Ankle, OUT indefinitely
No injuries to report
What They're Saying
While most of the emphasis is being placed on the explosive offenses of Oklahoma State and Kansas State, Cowboys offensive coordinator Todd Monken is fully aware of the threat posed by the Wildcats' defense, as well.
Monken said, via Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman:
They’re a lot like Iowa State. They’re real sound, they don’t gamble a lot, they keep everything in front of them and their offense does a good job of limiting their exposure on defense. They’re really well-coached and their linebacker, Arthur Brown, is a really good player.
In fact, Kansas State's defense is probably better than Iowa State's unit. The Wildcats are allowing 17.1 points per game this season, 13th in the nation.
The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings, but Notre Dame and Oregon are nipping at their heels. Depending on how the votes are cast, Kansas State could conceivably miss out on the BCS Championship Game with an undefeated record.
Kansas State receiver Chris Harper told the Kansas City Star after last week's 55-24 victory over Texas Tech, via the Dallas Morning News:
We might be the odd man out. I don’t think people want us to play in the game. So, I mean, we could be. So we gotta go out there and play like we did today, put scores up like that. Leave no doubt, so people can’t leave us out of it.
Oklahoma State Player to Watch: Joseph Randle, RB
Junior running back Joseph Randle will be important for the Cowboys against Kansas State with freshman Wes Lunt currently starting.
The Wildcats are allowing 3.26 yards per carry this season (18th in the nation), but Randle has also rushed for 891 yards (22nd in the country) and nine touchdowns.
The junior will be pivotal in taking some pressure off of Lunt in Manhattan.
Kansas State Player to Watch: Collin Klein, QB
There's no question, everybody's eyes will be on Klein on Saturday. He's the leading Heisman contender for many people.
The senior is not only averaging 9.9 yards per pass attempt this season (tied for second in the nation), he's also tossed 12 touchdowns to two interceptions. And he's rushed for 634 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Oklahoma State has allowed 23.1 points per game this season (44th in the FBS), but it has also limited Kansas, Iowa State and TCU the past three weeks.
Key Matchup: Oklahoma State Defense vs. Collin Klein
Collin Klein can hurt you through the air or on the ground. While the Cowboys have limited Kansas, Iowa State and TCU the last three games, the last time they faced an offense comparable to Kansas State's unit (Texas) they gave up 41 points.
Whether Oklahoma State's defense has truly improved or not since the Texas game will be tested on Saturday by Klein and Co.
Prediction: Kansas State 31, Oklahoma State 20
I don't expect freshman Wes Lunt to have as good a game as he did against TCU and I still think Kansas State's offense will be too powerful for Oklahoma State's defense.