Game 6: Oklahoma at Kansas – Preview and Prediction

Opponent: Oklahoma

Opponent’s Record: 4-0 (1-0 in the Big 12)

Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium (“The Booth”), Lawrence, Kansas

Game time: Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM

TV channel: ESPN or ABC

Radio: 810 WHB

Line: Oklahoma -34.5

After a long week that featured the loss of a team captain, the Kansas Jayhawks are rewarded with a visit from the most dominant offense in the country. Jalen Hurts is searching to become Oklahoma’s third straight Heisman winning quarterback, and Kansas will have to slow him and his explosive receivers down. In his Oklahoma State days, Les Miles was able to defeat the Sooners against long odds. The question is: can he recapture some of that magic on Saturday?

When Oklahoma has the ball

Every metric available shows Oklahoma’s dominance on offense. They are averaging over a first down per play (10.36 yards per play!) and over 600 yards of total offense per game. Under Lincoln Riley, the Sooners have produced back to back Heisman trophy winners and this season a thre peat isn’t out of the question. They have been able to carve up every defense they’ve played against. Jalen Hurts is a threat on the ground and with receivers CeeDee Lamb, Charleston Rambo, and Jadon Hasselwood he is equally dangerous through the air. Bill Bedenbaugh’s offensive line is also one of the best in the country and is anchored by 2018 freshman All American Creed Humphrey. This is a historically explosive and effecient offensive unit that is looking to come into Lawrence and put up numbers.

For Kansas, slowing down (not stopping) Oklahoma’s offense will be the key if they want a chance to win. While Hurts has only thrown one interception and historically is a very turnover-averse player, Kansas’ best opportunity to slow down the Sooners is to take the ball. If I am Les Miles, I am looking for my team to wrap up and limit the second chance plays.

When Kansas has the ball

Losing Khalil Herbert was a gut punch to the Jayhawks offense last week (https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/27762563/khalil-herbert-no-longer-kansas-jayhawks-les-miles-says), and it showed. Kansas was unable to move the ball against an angry TCU defense. Saturday, Kansas will need to recapture some of the offense they showed last season when they put up 40 against the Sooners. Oklahoma’s defense has shown improvement this season under new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Grinch has been imploring his defense to create more havoc, and I think this week he will be aggressive in getting linebackers Kenneth Murray and Caleb Kelly in the backfield. 

Getting Parchment and Daylon Charlot involved early will be crucial if Kansas wants to succeed on offense. Carter Stanley needs to have one of the best games of his career if the Jayhawks want a chance to win.

Prediction

I don’t have a lot to say about this matchup. Kansas is just outclassed. They don’t have the firepower to keep up with an OU offense that puts 50 on everyone. Sometimes you lose to better teams and that isn’t the worst thing in the world. Ideally, I want to see KU tackle better, be in position to make plays, win the turnover battle, and fight to the last whistle. If they can do those things you have to chalk that up as a win. Sagarin has the Jayhawks losing by 34. The line is as high as 34.5. I think the Jayhawks lose by 35, but you never know what will happen when Les Miles and Oklahoma meet.

Oklahoma 55, KU 20 (OU -34.5)

Season Record: 3-2 (2-3 ATS)

Last week prediction: TCU 31 KU 20 (Actual TCU 51 KU 14)