OU football: An early look at Kansas State
No. 9 Oklahoma vs. Kansas State
3 p.m. Saturday
Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kan.
Last game: Sixth-ranked TCU beat Kansas State 26-6 as the Wildcats again struggled to score on their home field. K-State waited through a three-hour rain delay and played without quarterback Jesse Ertz, who was hurt in K-State’s previous loss to Texas. Alex Delton went 11 of 29 passing for 146 yards, and the Wildcats combined for only 70 yards rushing.
On the season: KSU (3-3, 1-2) hasn’t played with the polish of a typical Bill Snyder team. The Wildcats took an ugly 14-7 loss to Vanderbilt, then came up short in double-overtime against Texas. Their only conference victory came against winless Baylor by a score of 33-30.
Biggest strength: Defense. The Wildcats are still holding their own on this side of the ball. KSU ranks 39th, allowing an average of 21 points per game. Will Geary leads the team with three sacks, and linebacker Trent Tanking has a team-best 50 tackles.
Biggest weakness: Passing. Ertz’s availability for Saturday isn’t certain, and Delton struggled to lead the offense against TCU. Regardless of who has played quarterback, Kansas State has had a tough time moving the ball, ranking 96th with only 186.2 passing yards per game. That seems to bode well for an OU defense that has stuffed the run but been susceptible to breakdowns against the pass.
Numbers to know: The Kansas State offense is averaging 6.1 yards per play. So far this season, OU averages 8.6 yards per play and has held opponents to 5.3.
Tale of the tape: Delton scored twice against Texas on keepers. Delton has plenty of ballcarrying ability, but both plays were successful because of a KSU tailback leading the way. On Delton’s first score, Winston Dimel went from taking a fake handoff to taking on a Texas linebacker, paving the way for the touchdown. On the second play, there was no read or fake, but KSU’s Alex Barnes charged ahead while Delton trailed behind and split the defense.