I’m not sure of anyone who is expecting Oklahoma and Kansas to play a nail-biter of a game on Saturday. Truth is, the most likely scenario is that the Jayhawks through their best punches at the Sooners in a first quarter flurry and then fade back into the abyss of mediocre college football teams.
That “first quarter flurry” should be a lot of fun though. Here are some of the key players for each team to keep an eye on.
Oklahoma On Offense
Jalen Hurts – He’s the Heisman front runner and the offense clearly goes through his hands. Speaking of hands, I would expect him to hand it off quite a bit as Oklahoma tries to run the clock and get away from Lawrence healthy. He’ll be pretty electric in the first twenty minutes, or so, of the game though.
Rhamondre Stevenson – Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks are going going to be the stars from the running back position but Stevenson will have his time to shine late in the third quarter and on into the fourth. The reason why his name is on this list is because he’s the only Oklahoma running back to have scored a touchdown in every game this season.
CeeDee Lamb – The secret is out. If you roll coverage over Lamb the Charelston Rambo is going to kill you. If you put Lamb in one-on-one coverage then he’s going to kill you. The best option is a Tampa-2 type coverage in an effort to keep the ball in front of you. That hasn’t worked well against Oklahoma’s star receiver either.
Kansas On Offense
Pooka Williams – It has been hashed and rehashed what he did to the Sooners last season (252 yards and two touchdowns). Needless to say, he’s got Oklahoma’s attention, especially since the departure of Khalil Herbert leaves him as the lone feature back.
Williams enters Saturday’s game averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Andrew Parchment – The Jayhawks’ leading receiver, Parchment is averaging 13.5 yards per reception and has four of the nine KU receiving touchdowns.
Carter Stanley – The Jayhawk QB has been efficient this season, completing 65% of his passes with a 9/4 touchdown to interception ratio.
Oklahoma On Defense
Kenneth Murray – Oklahoma’s defensive captain just flows to the ball nationally. His 31 total tackles are 13 more than the next highest Sooner defender.
Parnell Motley – If you were to tell me in August that Motley was on his way to an all-conference type performance then I’m not sure that I would believe you, or anyone else for that matter. Motley leads the team in passes defended which means he’s more than due to nab an interception.
Jalen Redmond – Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley has been sacked eight times through the first five games of the season. Redmond is Oklahoma’s pass rushing specialists and will be on the prowl in Lawrence.
Kansas On Defense
Dru Prox – The leading tackler for the Jayhawks, Prox has 39 take downs this season, including two sacks. He’s also responsible for one of the three fumbles Kansas has forced this season.
Darrius Moragne – A 6-7/294 defensive end, Moragne is tied for the team-high in sacks with 2.5 on the season.
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