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Kansas State Wildcats At Oklahoma Sooners | What To Expect From The OU Defense

Oklahoma's defense has been put to the test over the last two weeks.

Ronald Martinez

Career days have been the norm for quarterbacks facing Oklahoma's defense over the last couple of weeks. On October fourth TCU's Trevone Boykin produced 395 all-purpose yards in the Frogs' 37-33 upset win over the Sooners. Seven days later Tyrone Swoopes passed for a career-high 334 yards in OU's 31-26 win over Texas at the Cotton Bowl.

Now Oklahoma faces Kansas State and Jake Waters who leads an offense that is averaging 40.8 points per game. Waters is completing 65% of his passes this season but also leads Kansas State with 320 rushing yards and has an average of 4.6 yards per carry. If the last two weeks haven't taught the Sooners how to defend dual-threat quarterbacks then they could see a career-best from an opposing quarterback for the third week in a row.

Here's what you can expect (or hope) to see from the Sooner defense on Saturday.

Contain the edges. Kansas State is running at a team average for 4.5 yards per carry and are led by Charles Jones' 5.1 yards. Oklahoma wants to keep the Wildcats in the middle of the field which means forcing Waters to hand the ball off on the zone-read and not letting him outside on scrambles. The defensive ends have to stay wide, the linebackers have to fill, and the middle has to be plugged. Yes, that's asking a lot but it is necessary. If Kansas State can get to the edges on a regular basis then it'll be a long day for Oklahoma's defense.

Fill the gaps. Part of the problem over the last couple of weeks is that the linebackers have not been able to shed their blocks and step up into the gaps. It doesn't matter how well the containment is on the outside if the gaps can't be filled inside. Stepping up into the gaps will give the Sooners an opportunity to stop the run with base personnel.

Find Tyler Lockett and never lose track of him. The Wildcats have scored 18 touchdowns on the ground this season and 8 through the air. Lockett has almost half of those 8 scores by himself. He is the biggest threat in the Kansas State passing game and needs to be accounted for on every single down.

The Sooners aren't going record a shutout on Saturday and that shouldn't even be a realistic expectation. What should be expected is for Oklahoma to be fundamentally sound and limited on mistakes. Bill Snyder coached teams live for that moment when you shoot yourself in the foot with a blown assignment or a missed tackle. At that point they've got you exactly where they want you.