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Oklahoma State v. Kansas State

Posted By Joe O'Connell On Oct 28 2010 @ 10:51 am In Oklahoma State | No Comments

The Cowboys will be without their top offensive threat this Saturday when they take on the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan.

On Wednesday, head coach Mike Gundy announced that wide out Justin Blackmon will not be suiting up for Oklahoma State (No. 17 AP, 6-1, 21) after he was arrested earlier this week on a DUI complaint.

In addition to the suspension, Blackmon, 20, could face a $500 fine, but will not see any jail time.

Obviously, Blackmon plays a key role in the Cowboys’ offense, which is averaging 350 yards through the air. And his 14 touchdowns will be missed, but not crippling. Looking at the Cowboys’ remaining five games this season, this Saturday’s match up against Kansas State (5-2, 2-2) is one that Blackmon can afford to miss.

The Wildcats currently sit third in the Big 12 North behind undefeated Missouri and the No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers, which just handed Oklahoma State its first loss of the season last week.

Head coach Bill Snyder’s boys were themselves eviserated by the Cornhuskers 48-13 this year, and have also lost two of their last three games after stating the season 4-0.

The Wildcats’ strength is their run game, which is averaging just over 205 yards a game. Daniel Thomas, a senior, is the top man in Kansas State’s backfield, having rushed for 895 yards and 9 touchdowns.

His best game came in the first of the year, where he totaled 234 yards running against UCLA. Thomas has also two touchdowns in four games this year.

The Wildcats also get an extra punch from running back William Powell. While he hasn’t played in two games this season, including last week against Baylor, Powell has still managed 214 yards on just 20 carries, which equals a 10.7 yards-per-carry average.

As Kansas State relies on its ground game more often than not, its offense is rather unimpressive, especially compared to Oklahoma State’s.

Senior quarterback Carson Coffman has only thrown for 1,145 yards and 8 touchdowns so far this year. As a team, the Wildcats’ are averaging just 180 yards through the air.

Most of the season, Coffman has had some inconsistent and lackluster games. Only in the last two games, against Kansas and then Baylor, has he done anything worth mentioning.

Against Kansas, he completed 15 of 16 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns. But he and his receiver corps. have not done anything this year to strike fear in opposing defenses, so if Oklahoma State defenders focuses on the run game, while simply keeping Coffman in their peripherals, a win should be easy.

And while Oklahoma State’s own collection of receivers will be watered downed, there is no reason for Cowboys’ fans to panic. With Blackmon out, look for Josh Cooper to have a big game.

He has only found the end zone once this year, but is averaging 11.1 yards a catch and had a monster game last week against Nebraska, a performance he will want to continue on Saturday.

The Wildcats are also allowing opponents 231 yards a game rushing, so Gundy will turn to Kendall Hunter, who every week is solidifying his candidacy for the Doak Walker award, given to the nation’s top running back.

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