Kansas State was off to a hot start, then Skylar Thompson, the starting quarterback, got injured with a knee injury and is out indefinitely. This same thing happened last year, which means Will Howard has plenty of experience. None of that experience has come against Oklahoma. Skylar Thompson has played in the Oklahoma game the last two years when they upset Oklahoma. Will Howard has his work cut out for him as he faces the #26 total defense this week.
Oklahoma has been all over the board this year. They opened with Tulane and gave up 35 points. Then they scored 76 points against Western Carolina and shut them out. Lately, the defense has been great, but the offense has been struggling to score. In the last two games, Oklahoma has played two top fifty defensive teams. During that span, they averaged 19 points per game. Their defense through these two games is giving up 14 points per game. This game is going to depend on which Oklahoma team shows up.
Kansas State has been good defensively. They are the #50 overall defense, right up there with Nebraska. That is intriguing since Oklahoma played Nebraska two weeks ago and won 23-16. Kansas State is allowing 16 points per game and has caused six turnovers. With both Oklahoma and Kansas State sporting top defenses this year, that brings concerns since this game has gone over 48 points 16 out of the last 18 times these teams have played. Historically this game has been a shootout, but Oklahoma has the best defense it has had in years.
The offense has determined this game in the past. Kansas State will be missing Thompson, and that will impact the game. Thompson has a 67% pass completion percentage. The backup Will Howard has a 48% completion percentage. Missing Thompson for this game will hurt Kansas St. Thompson is 2-1 against Oklahoma and provides experience in winning big games. The Kansas State offense averaged 24 points per game with Will Howard compared to the 28 points per game they average with Thompson. That 4 point gap could be the spread being covered or not.
Oklahoma’s offense has struggled their last two games against the top fifty defenses. This week they are going to face a similar challenge in Kansas State. The good thing for Oklahoma is that Kansas State has struggled to stop the pass. Oklahoma State went 22-34 passing with 344 yards and two touchdowns. Oklahoma’s offense wants to pass the ball. Part of the reason they haven’t been able to put up points recently is that defenses have been able to contain WR Marvin Mimms. Kansas State will struggle to stop Marvin Mimms. The last time he played a defense that had a subpar secondary, Mimms had 117 receiving yards on five catches. The Kansas State secondary will determine this game.
Skylar Thompson being out will be a loss for Kansas State going into this game. This game would typically be a close one. With Thompson being out, a clear advantage goes to Oklahoma. Kansas State secondary has also struggled to stop the pass, and Oklahoma will be willing to throw all day against Kansas State. They are also looking to get out of their offensive struggles. There are too many question marks to pick Kansas State to cover, and Oklahoma has been fantastic against the spread in their last 12 games. This game is just in favor of Oklahoma to cover 10.5.
Pick: Oklahoma +10.5 (-110)
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