If you have been paying attention to college football, you might notice one major thing: the Oklahoma Sooners have been missing from the playoff conversation. Having lost three conference games since starting the year 4-0, the Sooners are looking to rebound against the Kansas Jayhawks in week 13 at home. Kansas will have other plans as it played TCU very close in week 12.
Losing Trevor Knight for the second straight game might haunt the Sooners as freshman Cody Thomas struggled in his first career start, completing just 50 percent of his passes and throwing three interceptions. On the year, Thomas is completing 47 percent of his passes for 183 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. Sterling Shepard will undoubtedly remain the top target even in Knight’s absence. Shepard leads the team with 50 catches for 957 yards and five touchdowns while Durron Neal is second on the team with 39 catches for 497 yards and three scores. Freshman back Samaje Perine leads the run game with 1,001 yards and 14 scores while Alex Ross averaged 7.6 yards per carry, sizing up to 518 yards and three scores.
Kansas just played a tight game, surprisingly, with the Horned Frogs in week 12 as the otherwise lethargic offense managed 30 points — their third-highest output of the year. Junior Michael Cummings was solid in the loss, racking up his first career 300-yard game and throwing two touchdowns while running for another. On the year, Cummings has 1,492 yards and seven touchdowns with just three picks — easily emerging as the best option under center. Jimmay Mundine leads all wide outs with 537 yards and three touchdowns on 40 catches while Nick Harwell has a team-high 41 receptions and four scores on 429 yards. Corey Avery leads the 102nd-ranked rushing attack with 565 yards and five touchdowns on a mere 4.2 yards per carry.
Defensively, Kansas has been one of the most consistently poor units in the nation. The Jayhawks rank 96th in total yards allowed as well as 93rd in points allowed per game in the country. Oklahoma has been better, but not much better, on this side of the ball in 2014. The Sooners have the 51st-ranked scoring defense as well as the 79th-ranked total defense in the nation.
Kansas will travel to Oklahoma to take on the Sooners at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 22. The game will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 1.
PREDICTION: Kansas 17, Oklahoma 30
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.