October 18, 2007

The Game Up Close: K-State at O-State

For the second consecutive week, Kansas State is faced with what is essentially a must-win game. The Wildcats most likely must get a victory on the road to stay alive in the chase for a birth in the Big 12 title game. Last year's contest between K-State and Oklahoma State was a 31-27 thriller in Manhattan, and this year's game in Stillwater promises to be nothing less.

The Game Up Close: Kansas State (4-2, 2-1) vs Oklahoma State (4-3, 2-1)

Saturday, Oct. 20, 6:05 p.m. kickoff
Boone Pickens Stadium

OSU rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: Allowing 112.5 yards per game, No. 4 in the Big 12 No. 6 overall
OSU rush offense: Averaging 246.3 yards per game, No. 1 in the Big 12 No. 31 overall

The breakdown: Nobody has been better than Oklahoma State running back Dantrell Savage in recent weeks. The senior halfback has racked up 567 yards in the Cowboys' last four contests. Savage, who battled injury during the early season, looks to be back at 100 percent of late, and should present a more than formidable challenge for a Kansas State defense which has had trouble stopping the run recently. The Wildcats have allowed 358 combined rushing yards in their last two contests, and something must change if they hope to slow down a red-hot running back. Savages' backup, Kendal Hunter, is more of a situational back when the Cowboys have a healthy Savage, but the freshman used his time as the starter this season efficiently. Hunter ranks fourth among Big 12 running backs in yards gained and can still be effective when used, Don't be shocked if Kansas State coach Ron Prince moves linebacker Ian Campbell to the line of scrimmage, showing the Pokes a 4-3 look, in an attempt to slow down a dominant rushing attack.

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