OSU football: The Six Shooter pregame thoughts on the Cowboys at Kansas State
MANHATTAN, Kansas — Oklahoma State is back on the road, and back in the state of Kansas, for the second time this season.
The Pokes take on Kansas State at 3 p.m. Saturday televised by Fox.
As OSU tries to bounce back from its first loss of the season, let’s give The Six Shooter a spin:
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Cowboy in the Crosshairs
Quarterback Spencer Sanders
Coach Mike Gundy isn’t concerned about Sanders’ three turnovers last week, but if the quarterback gives it up a couple more times on Saturday, it’s going to become more bothersome. Sanders needs to show he can keep the ball out of Wildcat paws.
Matchup that Matters
Kansas State’s Phillip Brooks vs. OSU coverage team
Brooks has been the most dangerous punt returner in the country this season, averaging 25.1 yards per return. He took two to the house against Kansas. OSU’s punt coverage has been strong, allowing 3.8 yards per return. But a couple of special teams issues flared up last week — one being a penalty and another on kickoff coverage. Such flare-ups can be devastating against a team that is as sound as K-State on special teams, and Brooks has the ability to make a team pay for mistakes.
Number to Know
Rushing yards by Chuba Hubbard against K-State a year ago. Meanwhile, his season average dipped to 110.0 yards per game after rushing for only 72 against Texas. His longest rush was only 9 yards last week. Hubbard doesn’t have to push 300 on Saturday, but he needs to help the Cowboys establish the run game better than it did against Texas.
Against the Spread
Cowboys minus 12.5
The number has been going up all week, while the over/under has been going down. The spread opened at 9.5 and the over/under at 51.5, but now the Cowboys are pushing two-TD favorites and the total has fallen to 45.5. So it seems Vegas minds expect Kansas State to struggle to score.
We’ve yet to see the Pokes sport an orange helmet this season, and that should happen soon. Plus, they wore gray pants at KU, so that seems unlikely. Those two factors narrow down the combinations for Saturday.
1 Wild Prediction
Dillon Stoner will have more than 100 receiving yards
Stoner has always been good, but over the course of his career, he’s been great in the month of November. Now that the calendar has changed — and teams are remembering they can’t single-cover Tylan Wallace — look for Stoner to show up once again. He had his best game of the season last week with four catches for 53 yards against Texas.
(Wild Prediction record: Season, 3-2; All-time, 6-38)