September 22 of 2012 and October 18 of 2014 - two instances in which I felt fortunate to not be living in Oklahoma at the time. On the first date given, Collin Klein was sneaky-good and Bill Snyder had a perfect game plan. On the second date, Jake Waters beat OU with deep balls whilst K-State had linemen 10 yards down the field. Both games were played in Norman, and both ended in losses for the Sooners.
Kansas State has had a coaching advantage over most schools since Snyder took over a reeling program in 1989, but his most dangerous teams have been the ones with dynamic playmakers that no one was really sure how to stop. Darren Sproles lit up OU in 2003, but they weren’t able to hang with OU again until the likes of Collin Klein and Tyler Lockett came to Manhattan. Between OU’s losses in 2003 and 2012, Oklahoma defeated Kansas State by an average margin of 19.6 points in five games. It should be noted that Oklahoma faced a Ron Prince-coached team in 2008, but the point still stands - Kansas State lacked dynamic offensive playmakers during the mid-to-late 2000s. So, what’s the case this year?
Despite pulling off a 44-38 victory against Texas Tech in Manhattan, this Kansas State offense just isn’t any good. They gained only 335 yards against Tech, which is something that Samaje Perine could probably do by himself. The wildcats gained the same amount of yardage in the opener against a disappointing Stanford squad, and only 286 against West Virginia. Quarterback Jesse Ertz has a completion percentage of 48.6 through five games, two of which were against Florida Atlantic and Missouri State. As far as playmakers are concerned, Byron Pringle is a nice weapon. Pringle returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against Tech and also averages 16.7 yards per reception this year. The problem is that he only has 10 catches, which is two behind team leader Dominique Heath. Deante Burton has done some nice things in the past, but he only has nine catches this season after hauling in 35 last year. In short, Tyler Lockett ain’t running out onto that field, and you won’t see Collin Klein or Jake Waters making plays at the quarterback position.
Kansas State’s defense is actually pretty good, giving up only 17.6 points per game and allowing only 310 yards per game, which both rank in the top 15 nationally. However, they gave up 592 to Texas Tech, their first opponent with a high-octane offense. Bill Snyder is possibly the greatest coach of all time, but I think we may see Austin Kendall in the fourth quarter of this one.