It’s been two weeks since the harsh loss at Texas, and a lot’s happened since. Texas has since won a game against Iowa State it should have lost, the team has received a lot of media coverage regarding its ability to come together and play as a team, and OKLAHOMA STATE LOST TO WEST VIRGINIA LAST SATURDAY. That extremely strange happening aside , here are your five things to watch during this Saturday’s game:
The Quarterback Situation: Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Jake Waters looked good in the second half against Texas when he was the only option as K-State was playing from behind and trying to pass its way back into the lead. Bill Snyder has maintained an intention for getting Daniel Sams on the field. Let’s see how it shakes down.
Who Oklahoma State Tests: J.W. Walsh has taken more criticism than he probably deserves, but here’s the skill position break down for the Cowboys: great wide receivers, a quarterback who can’t throw downfield, and poor running game. So who does Oklahoma test? The score and tempo will determine the game plan to an extent, but watching whether Oklahoma State goes after the secondary, linebackers, or defensive line will demonstrate which unit the Cowboys feel best prepared to attack.
Turnovers: K-State has struggled with ball security all year – something the team did an exceptional job with in 2012. Oklahoma State is 14th in the nation for turnover margin at +1.0 per game. K-State is 113th at -1.3 per game. If the Wildcats want to win in Stillwater, this must change.
Tyler Lockett: Lockett is challenging for a spot on the All-American team at wide receiver, and is tearing it up in the return game. He’s becoming the key to K-State’s season, and if his production drops off, the Wildcats will be in big trouble. Can Lockett exceed 100 yards receiving again and hit 30+ yards per kickoff return average? If so, the team will be on track to get the season on the right one.
Red Zone Scoring: Oklahoma State is going to position itself to score points. There are electric playmakers all over the roster. The question is whether K-State can step up and force field goals in the red zone. Oklahoma State is scoring on 89 of red zone scoring opportunities. Hold 14 potential points to six, and the 14-point spread Vegas is picking the Cowboys to win by starts shrinking real quick and opens up the opportunity for an upset.