ICYMI, there was plenty of Oklahoma-specific content here yesterday. First, TB kicked off our game preview by kicking the tires. Then Jon Morse chatted with Matt Hofeld, co-manager at Crimson and Cream Machine in this Oklahoma Q&A. Jon returned the favor for CCM's Kansas State Q&A. NOT-SO-SPOILERY ALERT: Matt and Jon both picked Oklahoma in a close road win.
In other news, the purple pen strikes again. This time, it's TCU's Trevone Boykin who gets special attention from Bill Snyder in a post-game note.
The Sooners had a bit of trouble getting to Manhattan. After a series of unexpected delays, the team was expected to arrive in Manhattan around 11 PM yesterday (Dean Blevins, News 9), but actually arrived well past midnight and were not safely in their hotel rooms until almost 2 AM, according to SI Wire.The OU Daily offers this capsule preview and tips the advantage to the Sooners. Notably, the Kansas State pass defense is the second-worst in the Big 12, so there is room for Baker Mayfield to work his (Sooner) magic. On the other hand, Oklahoma's front seven looks vulnerable to the run, a fact Kansas State will almost certainly try to exploit (at least in the first half, amirite?)
Expectations at Oklahoma are so high that a loss to Texas produces all sorts of existential angst, including questions about the Sooners' place among college football's elite (Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman). It's probably much ado about nothing, but it's good for every fanbase to be just a bit worried.
There are more immediate concerns for Oklahoma though. Doubts over the Air Raid and the inability of the offense to get untracked until late in most games is chief among them (Jason Kersey, The Oklahoman).
The Sooners have relied on a few big plays to put up points, and the Kansas State defense will work hard to prevent those big plays (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle). Elijah Lee will look to fill the gaps and prevent long runs by Samaje Perine, but also consider if the injury-ridden Wildcats secondary can keep Mayfield from shredding the defense through the air.
Kansas State also has some problems on offense, including inexplicable third quarter playcalling that led to squandering of double-digit leads in two straight games. That is definitely going to change now, and it would be helpful if Joe Hubener (or whoever else Kansas State puts under center) could execute better (Robinett, Eagle).
Under Bob Stoops, Oklahoma has never lost a game in Manhattan. Though that streak is not surprising to most fans, some players are astonished at the streak. Dalton Risner, for one, feels Kansas State can pretty much beat anyone at home (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
We've all made various complaints about the second-half playcalling against TCU, but some of those calls may have been correct, and the outcome merely a function of bad luck (the receiver falls, and bam, pick six) or poor execution (the Wildcats ran a play with just six on the line of scrimmage). The Capital-Journal's Jesse Newell consults a Division I assistant coach to break down the action in this week's Inside the Play feature.
Hopefully, the VolleyCats' success will rub off on the football team. Kansas State broke a six-match losing streak in Norman and swept Oklahoma in straight sets (25-16, 25-21, 25-19), and snapped a three-match road losing streak as well. The offense hit .300 or higher in all three sets and the defense put the Sooners on their back feet constantly, containing Oklahoma to just .135 for the whole match. THe Wildcats had a highest-ever 13 blocks in the contest, and Brooke Sassin and Brynna Vogel managed 11 kills a piece. Katie Brand had 35 assists and a season-high six blocks and three kills.
Next, the team returns to Manhattan for a match against Texas at 2 PM on Wednesday.
Good news! Kansas State is phasing out the student privilege fee. By 2019, allocations to athletics will completely cease. This puts Kansas State is somewhat elite company, joining only a handful of FBS schools that collect no athletics fees including Oklahoma, Ohio State, Texas, LSU, Penn State and Nebraska.