Conference: Big XII
Season Record: 4-1
Last Week's Opponent: Bye
Points Scored Per Game: 40.8 (Ranks 16th Nationally)
Points Allowed Per Game: 21(Ranks 33rd Nationally)
Last Meeting With Sooners: November 23, 2013 (L 41-31)
There aren't any breaks coming this week for Oklahoma's struggling offense. After facing the TCU and Texas defenses away from home, the Sooners will return to Norman this weekend to face Kansas State who has the second rated scoring defense in the conference. Unlike the Longhorns, the Wildcats will be solid on special teams which means that OU will have to rely on their offense to give them points. Oklahoma's play-calling is going to have to be a lot more creative than it was in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday if the Sooners want to score their first win over a top 25 team this season.
Balance is the theme of the Kansas State offense and the Wildcats have been producing points at a steady rate. KSU is averaging 30 passing attempts per game and 42 rushing attempts. Senior quarterback Jake Waters is completing 65% of his passes and has an average of 8.43 per attempt. He's thrown for seven touchdowns and three interceptions through the first five games.
Senior receiver Tyler Lockett has been Waters' top target this season. He's hauled in 29 passes for 399 yards and 3 sores. Curry Sexton is the only other K-State receiver with double-digit receptions on the year. He's grabbed 28 passes for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Waters is also KSU's leading rusher with 320 yards on 69 carries. He's scored on the ground six times this season and has a season-long run of 50 yards. Behind him Charles Jones has carried the ball 57 times for 293 yards and DeMarcus Robinson has 52 carries for 208 yards. Jones' 5.1 yards per carry are the most among the group and he also has a team-high eight rushing touchdowns.
The Kansas State passing attack ranks 8th in the conference and their rushing attack is fourth. Oklahoma's defense has been stretched recently by quarterbacks who can both run and pass the ball and now they face another such challenge in Waters. Still though, you gotta think that the Sooners' best defense will be to stop the run first and force the pass.
The Wildcats have allowed 28 points twice this season (Iowa State/UTEP) and had a masterful performance against Auburn. They are the top rushing defense in the conference and are holding opponents to just 2.8 yards per carry and 81.4 yards per game. They're more than solid against the pass as well. Opposing quarterbacks are completing just 59.7% of their passes for an average of 234.4 yards per game. Kansas State has allowed 10 touchdowns through the air this season and have picked off seven passes.
Senior linebacker Jonathan Truman leads the Wildcats with 43 total tackles. Travis Green and Morgan Burns are tied with a team-high two interceptions each and freshman linebacker Elijah Lee leads the way with 2.5 sacks.
Kansas State is going to follow the exact same blueprint that TCU and Texas did against this Oklahoma offense. They are going to load the box and force Trevor Knight to make plays in order to beat them. They, like the Frogs and Longhorns, have the personnel to do just that and if Knight isn't able to run the football then it could very well be a long and stressful afternoon for Sooner fans.