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Open Game Thread :: Game #7 :: #16 Kansas 5-1 (2-0) @ #4 Oklahoma 5-1 (1-1)

Wow, we're already here. When the schedules came out way-back-when, I figured that, save that one exhilarating Friday in early-to-mid September down in Tampa, this would be our first test. I started to count down the days until we had to make the trip to Norman, although it was a largely unofficial countdown.

And now, after what has seemed like only a game-or-two of the season, we are already at the halfway mark. Damn, this whole expectation-stuff is tough. Your higher expectations kind of allows you to skip over the lesser-teams, and when you focus on only a portion of an already incredibly short season, it goes by in the blink of an eye.

But, anyways, on to the game. While watching, just think of two names. Of course, Todd Reesing, Jake Sharp and a host of defensive players are going to have to play excellently for us to have a shot. It's just the nature of the playing-a-much-better-team-on-the-road beast. But, if we are to win, we are going to have to capitalize on Ryan Reynolds' injury. It has been my primary harping point all week; their weakness of their defense is the middle after Reynolds' injury. His backup was not ready to go at all last week, and while a week allowed him, likely, to get up-to-speed, he still will be thinking first and reacting second, which is never good on the football field. So, I'll go out and say it.These two names, the two names that are bolded below, will be crucial. Maybe only one will see the field. Our usage pattern has been difficult to figure out; some games, we see more of one, but in others we see almost exclusively the other. In any case, one of these two or them collectively, as a duo, is going to have to have a monster game for us to win.

Tim Biere and A.J. Steward.

They will be keying on our traditional middle-of-the-field threat in Kerry Meier, and Dexton Fields will be watched closely as well. They can devote enough resources (read: 4-STAR and 5-STAR physical freaks of nature) to slow down the outside passing game, but that will leave the middle of the field wide open. Thus, enter the fifth WR/TE option; the TE. I want to say Biere will play a bigger role because of the more recent evidence of playing time, but Steward seems to fit the role of what we need out of him better. In any case, I'll drink some mighty-optimistic Kool-Aid, say they combine for, oh, say 11 catches and 149 yards and 1 TD. And that'll be enough to keep us in the game, where two "clutch" (I absolutely despise that word, but in football it can be applied, unlike baseball) Red Zone stands by our D holds Boomer Sooner to two FGs. They have a chance for a last second game-winning FG, but it doinks off the right upright.

KU 38 OU 37.

I won't be here, in case you wanted to see me. Unfortunately, I have work each-and-every Saturday morning-and-afternoon, so these early-start games force me to Tivo the game and yadda yadda yadda. In any case, win or lose, I should be back on here late Saturday night with some preliminary thoughts.

Oh, and I almost forgot. If you want some free money, take KU +21. My Kansas-winning prediction goes against everything in my head; I just wanted to be positive for a change. In all honesty, I'll take Kansas to lose 45-35. But, that is still comfortably under the 21 points Vegas is giving the Jayhawks, which is a literal steal.

Honestly, if we lose by more than 21 points tomorrow, we are way worse than I thought. Oh, and I'll do something ridiculous. Promise.