Oklahoma is looking to move to 4-0 against a team in Kansas State that has made life difficult on the Sooners in recent years.
Looking back even further, Brent Venables is familiar with the Wildcats ability to play spoiler. His experience as Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator and as a coach and player at Kansas State, Venables knows what comes with K-State football.
That’s why it’s incredibly unlikely the Oklahoma Sooners would take lightly or look past Kansas State despite their loss to Tulane a week ago.
While the staff here at Sooners Wire and analysts from around the country are pretty confident that the Sooners will remain undefeated. Kansas State will pose some problems for the Sooners, especially when Deuce Vaughn gets the ball.
To help you get ready for OU-Kansas State, here are some bold predictions.
Deuce Vaughn under 100 total yards
Oct 2, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs the ball against Oklahoma Sooners linebacker David Ugwoegbu (2) during the second quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
The biggest key to this game is how well the Oklahoma Sooners’ defense contains running back Deuce Vaughn. Vaughn is a one of the best players in the country and someone the Sooners have struggled to deal with in the last couple of years.
But this is a new year, with a new defensive attitude. They play fast and they play with a different level of intensity.
It may be crazy to think the Sooners could hold Vaughn in check, but after a quick look at the box score from a week ago, it’s not so crazy.
The Tulane Green Wave held Vaughn to 111 total yards in 28 touches. He had 81 rushing yards on 20 carries and 30 yards on eight receptions. Kansas State’s offensive line is better than Nebraska, but presumably, Oklahoma’s defense is better than Tulane.
The Sooners have a shot to do some good things this year. If they can contain Deuce, it‘ll go a long way to showing that this defense is one of the best in the country.
Dillon Gabriel throws for 300 (finally)
Sep 17, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) passes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
This is one of those bold predictions we’ll keep returning to until it hits. Now, passing yards aren’t the be all, end all and game script certainly matters. When OU is winning by 30, you don’t have much need to air it out.
I think Oklahoma wins big, and perhaps Gabriel hits the 300 yard mark.
Dillon Gabriel’s averaging 253 passing yards per game through three weeks. Though week three was his lowest output of the season, Gabriel missed on a couple of throws that would have been big gains and didn’t play the entire game.
While my prediction for this week has the Sooners winning big again, Gabriel is much sharper against the Wildcats and hits the big plays he missed a week ago.
Oklahoma doubles Kansas State’s sack total
Sep 10, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Jeffery Johnson (77) and Oklahoma Sooners defensive lineman Reggie Grimes (14) celebrate during the game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Coming into this game, Kansas State quarterbacks have only been sacked four times through three contests. But they haven’t faced a defense or a pass rush quite like the Oklahoma Sooners.
The Sooners have registered 13 sacks on the season, good for fourth in the country. Adrian Martinez is a mobile quarterback, but that hasn’t stopped the Sooners from putting pressure on the QB and bringing them to the ground.
They’ve been fantastic as a group and with more exotic rush schemes being dialed up by Ted Roof, Martinez won’t always know where the rush is coming from.
Look for the Sooners to continue their four sack per game pace this week against Kansas State.
Marcus Major scores again
Sept. 10, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners running back Marcus Major (24) scores a touchdown during the second half against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Through three games, Marcus Major has scored five touchdowns. Twice has Major recorded multiple touchdowns in the same game. Against Nebraska, he had another goalline rushing score and was the beneficiary of Brayden Willis’ tight end pass.
Major seems to be really comfortable making himself at home in the end zone and does so again vs. Kansas State.
Sooners force three turnovers
Sep 17, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Adrian Martinez (9) tries to run away from Tulane Green Wave defensive back Lance Robinson (7) during the third quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Adrian Martinez will give the Oklahoma Sooners opportunities to take the football away. The only question is can they capitalize?
Martinez has 30 interceptions in 42 career games. According to Pro Football Focus, Martinez has fumbled the ball 44 times in his career. Though he hasn’t lost all of them, the Kansas State quarterback shows a penchant for putting the ball on the ground.
He hasn’t been asked to throw the football much or to be overly aggressive with it, which is why he hasn’t thrown an interception yet this season. But that all changes this week.
Facing a relentless pass rush and forced to keep pace with the Sooners’ explosive offensive attack, Martinez will be put in some bad positions that will lead to some turnover-worthy plays.
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