Keys to the Game – KU vs OSU

The hype that was Kansas football ended with a defeating loss to Baylor 26-7.

Unfortunately for Kansas that very well could have been their easiest game in the Big 12. Aside from maybe Kansas State who at times has looked as bad as they have.

Kansas should have been 4-0 at this time being that it’s Beaty’s fourth year on the job and with one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the nation. And then to follow that up with arguably the second worst Big 12 team? It was set up nicely for them.

But there’s no time to keep looking into the past or to think about what could have been. Now is when the real competition begins as Kansas faces an Oklahoma State team that looks to come in angry. And this isn’t a team you want to see play angry.

Let’s take a look at some stats to get a better idea…

Stat Category OSU Kansas Advantage
Total Offense 9th (539 yds/g) 88th (358 yds/g) OSU
Passing 12th (314.5 yds/g) 111th (158 yds/g) OSU
Rushing 24th (224.8 yds/g) 41st (199.8 yds/g) OSU
First Downs 15th (102) 100th (70) OSU
3rd Down Conv 30th 62nd OSU
Offensive Eff 23rd 108th OSU
Total Defense 82nd (377 yds/g) 52nd (333 yds/g) Kansas
Pass Defense 105th (265.8 yds/g) 44th (175 yds/g) Kansas
Rush Defense 36th (111.5 yds/g) 80th (157.5 yds/g) OSU
Sacks 1st (19) 98th (5) OSU
Interceptions 57th (3) 2nd (7) Kansas
Defensive Eff 57th 35th Kansas
Field Goals 12th (7/8) 34th (5/8) OSU
Punting (Net Avg) 15th (42.1) 26th (41.1) OSU
Kickoff Ret Avg 51st (22.0 avg) 91st (18.8) OSU
Punt Ret Avg 85th (7.0 avg) 85th (7.0) TIE
ST Efficiency 55th 78th OSU
Turnover Margin 75th (-.25) 1st (+12) Kansas
SOS (Per B Connelly) 16th 79th OSU

Three Stats That Stick Out

1.) Sacks – With an easy non-conference schedule and a presumably strong defensive line Kansas has only mustered up five sacks on defense. If they didn’t get those sacks early in the year during their easy part of the schedule it’s hard to imagine they’ll get them against tougher competition.

But what concerns me more than that is Oklahoma State’s 19 sacks. The Kansas offensive line has not been good this year which create a rough game for the QB.

2.) OSU Rush Defense – Kansas has the better overall defense but what concerns me is OSU’s rush defense. Their strongest area on defense is Kansas’ strength on offense. This isn’t a good match-up for Kansas and they’ll have to be creating with getting their RB’s the ball if they want to be successful.

3.) OSU Pass Defense – It’s debatable but Kansas faced arguably the worse defense in the Big 12 last week against Baylor. Unfortunately they didn’t take advantage and only scored seven points. But this week they face an OSU pass defense that also isn’t very good. They have young and inexperienced CB’s that Kansas should be able to expose. It still won’t be easy though, as Kansas’ pass offense is ranked 111th in the nation.

Three Keys to the Game for Kansas

1.) Start a Mobile QB – Time’s up for Bender as the starter. It’s not working and it won’t magically start working as the competition level gets better and better. Kansas needs to start a mobile QB, such as Miles Kendrick (if he’s healthy) or Carter Stanley. This makes their pass game two dimensional and will force OSU to pay attention to the QB. And not only do they start a mobile QB but allow them to throw the ball. Kansas can’t afford to be safe they have to take chances.

2.) Force Turnovers – The OSU QB isn’t the best they’ve had and is susceptible to throwing interceptions as he’s had four already on the year. Kansas will have to take advantage of this and at least force a few turnovers putting them in solid field position to score. Because at this point Kansas’ best offense is their defense.

3.) Special Teams – It’s pretty clear that OSU’s special teams is much better than Kansas’. But from what we’ve seen in previous games Kansas can have a solid special teams game. It will absolutely need to happen this game. And it includes keeping OSU drives long by having long and effective punts, making every field goal attempt, taking advantage of punt and kick off returns, and limiting OSU’s kickoff and punt return yards. If this game starts with a battle of field position that lands in Kansas’ favor.

Prediction

38-3 Oklahoma State

After the last game at Baylor I don’t have the faith in Kansas’ offense to keep them in this game. I don’t think their defense will allow Oklahoma State to totally unload on them but it still won’t be enough to make this a respectable game. I do hope I’m wrong but history shows Kansas does not do well against top level Big 12 competition.

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7 Replies to “Keys to the Game – KU vs OSU”

  1. Being 2-2 with one loss to a to an FCS team that’s also 2-2 is unacceptable. I thought we could have a shot at a bowl if we won 4 of our first 6 and to so we needed to at least go 3-0 and if the team was prepared we would’ve. I don’t get Beatys plan to ride Benders coat tails when he hasn’t done anything, he ran off the best QB we had in Willis for a guy that has no mobility and can’t throw it down field. The biggest key for KU Saturday maybe for the OSU team bus to get a flat tire lol. I agree about the offense lines task is only getting tougher after a average by all accounts Baylor defensive line embarrassed them. Realistically the few things we have going for us is that the kick is early, we have seen good teams come in here asleep at the early kick including OSU that nearly gave us the game. OSUs QB is in his first year of starting and this will be his first road start. Coming into a 3/4s empty stadium after playing in front of over 50,000 people the first 4 games can definitely change your tone and energy. Next the questions are, is the Kansas defense solid? They did a decent job in Waco, especially the second half only letting up 3 points but they let up a few more yards than I would like. A bend but not break defense that creates turnovers would be good in this conference. Is the Oklahoma State offense good or bad? Only scoring 17 points on Tech is laughable most years, we have even been able to out do that most of the time but they also put up big points against Boise State, another team not known for defense. I don’t think them scoring 50 plus on 2 typewriter maintenance programs means a ton. I think we can get a good answer for both questions tomorrow. I’ll say OSU wins 45 – 10

  2. Nice analysis. The ending was still pretty much what everyone predicted. However, the question now is whether or not Beaty will allow Stanley to remain the starter. This kid is simply a gamer. He’s got all the moxie of Bender and Kendrick combined and then some. Plus, he appears to have the support of the players. Beaty is still clearly in love with Bender and can’t let him go. Even in the face of better B12 stats from Stanley, Beaty won’t go with him permanently. Beaty is much more defensive and testy during press conferences. Where did all that come from? Is it because he is now feeling the pressure? Is it because he knows his job is ending? This attitude and stubbornness is not very flattering for a guy like Beaty. It better fits someone like Saban. Clearly, a B12 head coach he is not.

  3. Interesting take. What I’m thinking is that Baylor is an average big 12 team this year. To me they look better than tcu, isu, ku, and KSU. We are learning more but after seeing that we are playing big 12 teams tougher, I really do think three wins is possible still. Losing by 19 and 20 points to average big 12 teams means that when we play the weaker ones we should win. Tech is a game that I could see us potentially winning too. I’m just trying to look at the positives. Interesting stat though is that Kansas has lost by 21 or more points 8 times in 2015, 6 times in 2016, 7 times in 2017, and 0 times this year so at least we are actually competing. I realize that wvu and ou will be blowouts but two games is better than six plus

  4. I think the team has improved a fair amount this season, the trouble is that when you lose by an average of over 32 per game in conference as we did a year ago, its tough to improve enough to win conference games. It’s too little too late for Beaty, not to mention we are losing several starters after this season so we will take a step back for next year and the scholarship numbers pretty much will put us back to square one from which Beaty started. It’s time to see if we can find someone else to get life back into this program. I agree with Tom, I think we can steal one more this season, hopefully its in Manhattan, though I wouldn’t bet on it because Snyder will get them improving, while we will stay the same. The WV game could be the beat of the year, if beaty is to be fired it will probably be after this game if its not at seasons end.

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