Corey DeMoss, News9.com
No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats2:30 p.m. CSTBill Snyder Family Stadium; Manhattan, Kansas
Where to find it:
On TV: ESPNOn Radio: Sooner Radio Network
Oklahoma: RB Dominique Whaley (illness, probable); DT Casey Walker (undisclosed, questionable); CB Jamell Fleming (knee, doubtful); LB Tom Wort (concussion, doubtful); K Jimmy Stevens (quadriceps, doubtful); OL Ben Habern (broken arm, out)
Kansas State: OL Shaun Simon (leg, questionable); WR Brodrick Smith (undisclosed, questionable); WR Sheldon Smith (undisclosed, questionable); OL Manase Foketi (ankle, out indefinitely); RB Bryce Brown (personal, out for season)
What you need to know…
The Sooners' season turned upside-down last week with an upset loss against Texas Tech at home. It marked OU's first loss in Norman in six years and all but ended its hopes for a BCS National Championship. The key against Kansas State will be how the Sooners respond.
Since Bob Stoops took over, his teams have responded remarkably well after losses. The Sooners have lost back-to-back regular season games only once under Stoops, and that came in his first year in 1999. In the 13 years Stoops has coached OU, the Sooners are 23-1 following a regular season loss.
However, OU also has not faced a team ranked in the BCS Top 10 the week after a loss, but will this week. Kansas State has been one of the biggest surprises in the nation this season, after starting the season unranked – and not even receiving a vote – and climbing to No. 8.
While the Wildcats' rise has been impressive, they still do not have a truly convincing win this season. Of their seven victories, only two have been by more than seven points, and those came against Kent State and Kansas.
Who you need to watch…
The Sooners were doomed by terrible timing last week, with cornerback Jamell Fleming missing the game against a potent passing attack. Luckily for OU, it matches up better with Kansas State than it did against Texas Tech.
Kansas State is a run-first team, relying on the athleticism of quarterback Collin Klein. Klein leads the team in passing and rushing, and has 14 of the team's 18 rushing touchdowns this year. The task of stopping Klein will fall to the Sooners' front seven, which is a much stronger unit than their secondary.
It will be particularly important for linebackers Travis Lewis and Tony Jefferson to keep plays in front of them and prevent long runs. Both Klein and running back John Hubert are capable of breaking big plays, so the Sooners will need to play the gaps well.
On offense, running back Dominique Whaley should be back after missing the Tech game with an illness. Whaley has been the Sooners' most consistent performer in the running game, and they missed him last week. Roy Finch broke a 55-yard run on his first carry of the game, but only averaged 2.9 yards per carry after that.
Whaley will be the key to a balanced offensive attack, which the Sooners were forced to abandon last week after falling behind. OU passed 55 times and only ran it 25 times, and those numbers will need to be to be much closer together against Kansas State.
No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats 2:30 p.m. CST Bill Snyder Family Stadium; Manhattan, Kansas
On TV: ESPN On Radio: Sooner Radio Network