With the 2017 college football season rapidly drawing to a close, the Oklahoma State Cowboys return home to the friendly confines of Boone Pickens Stadium. This week, they welcome in Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats.
The Wildcats are having a disappointing season, to say the least. The team is 5-5 on the season while holding a 3-4 conference record. They are seventh in the Big 12, coming in ahead of only 1-9 Baylor and 1-9 Kansas. Kansas State hopes to play spoiler and become bowl eligible on Saturday.
Here are the standings coming into Week 11.
1 - Micah: 14
T2 - Joel: 10
T2 - “Pete”: 10
T3 - Dustin: 9
T3 - Cade: 9
Offense: James Washington
If he’s healthy, he’ll have a huge impact on this game. Last season, he racked up 117 yards and two touchdowns. He got behind the defense for a long touchdown, and I could see it happening again this week. Again, this is contingent on his health, but I’m going for a value pick here.
Defense: Chad Whitener
This feels like a game where Chad Whitener could have a billion and one tackles. Kansas State will refuse to throw the ball, and Whitener will be involved in like, every play. A dozen tackles for the senior is not out of the realm of possibility.
Offense: Byron Pringle
Pringle, K-State’s lone big-play threat, has given OSU fits the last few years. He nearly took a kickoff back last year, and could do the same this year. With how poorly OSU’s special teams has been, don’t be surprised if he does just that. I think he could haul in a red zone pass as well.
Defense: Kendall Adams
I gotta be honest here... KSU’s defense is so thin that I couldn’t think of a name past D.J. Reed. Upon further review, Adams started every game in 2016, and has played a ton in 2017. Will he intercept Mason Rudolph? Probably not. If he does, though, I’m an evil genius. It’s a win-win any way you slice it, Bob.
Offense: Justice Hill
K-State has the third best rushing defense in the Big 12 in terms of rushing yards per game, but I don’t think this will stop Gundy and Yurcich from giving Hill the ball. I think he’ll still have a solid outing and maybe get a couple chances to score when the Cowboys get in the red zone.
Defense: Jordan Brailford
Leading the team in sacks and tackles for loss, defensive end Jordan Brailford is my pick this week. He’s been at absolute nightmare for opposing offensive lineman and I don’t expect it to be any different on Saturday. Whoever, the quarterback is, he better be aware of #94 for the Cowboys.
Offense: Winston Dimel
I picked too late once again. Without knowing for sure who will be at quarterback for Kansas State (all signs point to Skylar Thompson), I don’t want to choose someone at that position. So, I’m going to go with a guy that I really like to watch, who also happens to be Offensive Coordinator Dana Dimel’s son. He’s a very capable runner, blocker and receiver at the fullback position. Watching him against Oklahoma State’s linebackers will be a key match up, especially with him as the lead blocker. Because he can do stuff like this.
Defense: Will Geary
The two time All-Big 12 nose tackle is a force in the middle of the K-State defensive line. He’s not the biggest guy out there, standing at 6 feet tall, but he’s incredibly strong. As a former walk-on, the senior has put in a lot of work in his time at K-State to get where his is today. He will look to cause havoc for the offensive line and slow down Justice Hill as much as he can.
Offense: Dillon Stoner
I feel like we've ignored Dillon Stoner in the MVP picks, and that's a shame. His numbers haven't been gaudy, but he's come up with some HUGE catches for Mason Rudolph and cowboy offense. He's a first down magnet and I think he's going to have his first multi-touchdown game of his career this week against a mediocre Kansas State defense.
Heh heh... stoner.
Defense: Trey Carter
The junior DE loves to rush the quarterback, and he’s actually been really good at doing it in the latter half of this season. His presence in the backfield has been a problem for opposing QB’s and I expect a big sack or two from the big guy this week.
Offense: Isaiah Zuber
Everyone might be looking at Byron Pringle as the star of the receiving group, but sophomore Isaiah Zuber has been an integral part of the offense as well. In fact, he leads the team in receptions at 42. Pringle only has 24. Zuber may not have the YPC that Pringle or Schoen have, but he’s proven to be a reliable target and his ability to move the chains is a must in a Bill Snyder offense.
Defense: Jayd Kirby
This senior linebacker has a mean streak. He leads the team in tackles for loss (9.5), forced fumbles (4) and co-leads the team in sacks (3). He’s second on the team in tackles with 73 total. Kirby is a smart player who knows where to be and when to be there. You can bet getting this guy blocked will be no easy task.
Offense: Marcell Ateman
Kansas State’s starting cornerbacks are both 5’9. This will provide a matchup nightmare against the 6’4 Ateman. Mason Rudolph should be able to throw the ball up to him all game.
Defense: Calvin Bundage
The Wildcats are going to try and establish their run game early, so Bundage will be key in stopping that. Also, with the possibility of a redshirt freshman quarterback (Skylar Thompson) starting, it is important to make him uncomfortable in the pocket. With Bundage being a one-man wrecking crew, he should be able to wreak havoc this week.
Offense: Alex Barnes
There is a lot of question as to who will be starting at quarterback this week. Coach Bill Synder has not ruled out Jesse Ertz, Alex Delton, or Skylar Thompson for playing time on Saturday. The most likely scenario is that Thompson will be the starter. If that is the case, Kansas State will rely heavily on the running game. Alex Barnes is a solid running back, who seems to get better as the game goes on.
Defense: Trent Tanking
Tanking leads the team in tackles this year with 81. The senior linebacker has five games this season with 10 or more total tackles. He is the main guy on the Wildcat defense, so look for him to have an impact in this game.
Offense: Mason Rudolph
After talking with Jon over at Bring on the Cats, I didn’t want to pick a running back or a wide receiver. And the way he described it, it sounds like Rudolph could give the Wildcats fits. So he’s my pick. (my insight is gonna get me that W mwahahahaha)
Defense: Ramon Richards
I’ve picked Ramon a lot this year. And I’m not gonna stop. I see Ramon having a big game again this week. Ramon has done me wrong a few times this season but I’m not ready to give up on him yet.
Offense: Dalton Schoen
This is more insight from my Q&A. Jon said Schoen is someone the defense has to watch out for and can catch passes when no one else can.
Defense: D.J. Reed
D.J is a strength for the Kansas State defense. He’s been the shining light on a defense that doesn’t have a whole lot going for it.
When you’re the solo leader: