OSU vs. K-State: The Breakdown

Well, Kansas State fans just got a huge dose of great news while Oklahoma State fans collectively facepalmed (Internetz kool). Justin Blackmon will not be suiting up this Saturday and that is a huge threat erased. Obviously there will be much more to this game than one player but it is hard to deny the impact he has had on each game so far this season. So will OSU move even more toward the running game in his absence? Or will they simply fill his space and continue the same gameplan? And how will K-State react? Load the box? Blitz like crazy? There are a lot of interesting factors now that the nation's leading receiver is out of the game. With that said, let's jump into what I feel are the most important matchups. Click the jump button. DO IT!

Let's get this one out of the way first:

OSU Special Teams vs. KSU Special Teams

This is probably the most lopsided matchup of the game. The 2nd worst special teams coverage unit in the nation going up against the best special teams return unit in the nation. Yeah, OSU is screwed. If you listened to the podcast, Cincy Joe predicted two special team returns by KSU going for touchdowns. And he really wasn't kidding. To be honest, I'm a little scared that he may be correct. OSU has been absolutely awful in special teams coverage this year. At the same time, KSU's William Powell has been lightning in a bottle on kick returns. He's a big reason why K-State is averaging over 29 yards per return. Wildcat fans should become familiar with this term: Pooch kick. Advantage - Kansas State

OSU Running Backs vs. KSU Linebackers

This might be the second most lopsided matchup. Despite the loss to Nebraska, Kendall Hunter delivered a sick performance for over 200 yards. With Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith backing him up, he will be able to stay fresh and rip off some big plays in every game left on the schedule including K-State. The KSU linebackers are led by junior Alex Hrebec. He leads the teams in tackles with a total of 64. Unfortunately, even with his help, the KSU defense has been extremely susceptible to the run. The Wildcats are currently 118th in the nation in rush defense giving up over 230 yards on the ground per game. Kendall Hunter and Co. should have their way with the defense. Advantage - Oklahoma State

OSU Receivers vs. KSU Defensive Backs

Well here's the true test, isn't it? Can OSU's passing numbers look similar without Blackmon in the game? Will receivers like Josh Cooper, Tracy Moore, and Michael Harrison be able to step up and fill his void? Kansas State's pass defense is ranked 38th in the nation. Not too shabby. They have a great defensive back in junior David Garrett. He has the second most tackles on the team and the most tackles for loss. He also leads the team in sacks with three on the year. He is pretty much K-State's go-to guy on D. This is a very tough matchup to decide and I am going to give the slight edge to OSU because of the success their other receivers have had so far this year. Every one of them that I mentioned has made plays when the ball came their way. They just don't have the same gaudy numbers as Justin Blackmon because...well, they aren't Justin Blackmon. This matchup could seriously go either way though. But for now...Advantage - Oklahoma State

OSU Coaches vs. KSU Coaches

Out of respect and the fact that Mike Gundy would want it this way, Bill Snyder automatically wins. I mean the guy is a legend. He's been around long enough to see offenses go from the wishbone to the pro-set to the spread. He's been through it all and he makes it work no matter what era it is. Both Mike Gundy and Barry Switzer called him the "Coach of the Century." Nothing else needs to be said. Advantage - Kansas State

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