In order to get more info about this week's opponent, I recently had a cyber sit-down with Matt from the SB Nation blog Crimson and Cream Machine, which covers the Oklahoma Sooners. Matt and his cohorts at CCM do an excellent job covering OU, so check the site out. You can also see my responses to his questions here, and you can ask him a question here at BOTC either in the comments to this post or in this previous crossfire post.
BOTC: So, how badly is Oklahoma going to kick K-State's butt this weekend?
CCM: That is an impossible question to answer. Let’s not pretend that Kansas State hasn’t snuck up and surprised Oklahoma before. I realize that this isn’t 2003 but still the Sooners have been known to drop a sub par performance on the road. Hopefully those road woes are well behind them because in trips to Seattle and Waco OU has looked poised and used early leads to cruise to easy victories. Hopefully that will be the same this weekend in Manhattan but memories of Colorado, Iowa State and Texas Tech last year are still fresh on my mind. .
BOTC: The Sooners have been hit hard by injuries this year. Other than Ryan Reynolds, who has been the biggest loss?
CCM: The injury that defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger suffered at Washington was big and even though he is back now he isn’t playing the way he was before the injury. I would have to say that has been the other significant injury to Reynolds because in a way it is still haunting Oklahoma.
BOTC: Is there any vulnerability on this OU team that you are worried about K-State exploiting?
CCM: Absolutely there is a vulnerability and it is in the middle. Oklahoma still hasn’t found an answer for Ryan Reynolds in the middle. Texas exploited it in the second half of the Red River Shootout and Kansas had success attacking the middle of the field last week. I expect Kansas State to do the same on Saturday and until I see someone deliver a solid performance at middle linebacker I’ll be nervous.
BOTC: The loss to Texas had to hurt, but what are Sooner fans' expectations for the rest of this season?
CCM: There are so many possibilities out there for Oklahoma that the only realistic expectation we can put on the team is to win out. The Sooners are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Big 12 championship but there is always the hope that Texas leaves the back door cracked like they did in 2006.
Being currently ranked #4 in the BCS there are still numerous possibilities there as well, including a rematch with Texas in Miami. Oklahoma isn’t in control of their own destiny so they have to take care of what they can control which is their schedule. Right now a BCS bowl is still very much a possibility for the Sooners but one more loss and they are looking at the Cotton or Holiday Bowl.
BOTC: Give us somebody, other than Sam Bradford, who you expect to have a big game Saturday.
CCM: Juaquin Iglesias – He and Manny Johnson are Oklahoma’s best two receivers. Last week Iglesias snagged 12 catches for 191 yards and with the possibility of Johnson not playing on Saturday (dislocated elbow) Johnson will be the go to guy. The best part of it is that the Wildcats can’t double-team him because slot receiver Ryan Broyles and tight end Jermaine Gresham are homerun threats as well.
Thanks again to Matt for taking the time to give us more info about the Sooners.