The Kansas Jayhawks close out the season at home against the Oklahoma Sooners, in what can only be described as a cruel joke for Senior Day. To help prepare us for the beatdown that is to come, I spoke with Jack Shields over at Crimson and Cream Machine, the SB Nation site covering the Sooners. He was kind enough to answer some questions for me.
RCT: The expectation coming into the year was that Oklahoma was going to be the best team in the league and contending for the College Football Playoff this year. Despite the hiccup against a much better than expected Iowa State team, it seems like that has pretty much held true. Is that an accurate assessment?
C&CM: It certainly is. Oklahoma's in line for a playoff berth if the team just takes care of business, although the defense has been a cause for concern. OU certainly isn't out of the woods as far as the regular season is concerned. West Virginia's passing attack is worrisome and a rematch with Oklahoma State could be on the horizon if freshman Shawn Robinson doesn't get the job done for TCU this weekend.
RCT: Baker Mayfield seems to be the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy at this point. What difference have you noticed in his game this year that has elevated his level of play this year?
C&CM: I think he's forcing fewer throws this season and is also a bit less likely to try to take off and run. Additionally, he has more targets this season with which he's developed chemistry. Dede Westbrook was amazing last season, but his group of targets is a bit deeper this season, which obviously helps.
RCT: I'm not sure that anyone truly believes that Kansas is going to put up much of a fight here. If they somehow keep it close, what does the game look like to make that happen?
C&CM: OU's secondary would have to give up some big plays, and that's not totally out of the question in this one. The freshmen at cornerback -- Tre Norwood and Tre Brown -- looked very solid in their first career starts against TCU, but we'll see if they can keep that going this week. If not, KU could score a few touchdowns.
RCT: Which second stringers/benchwarmers do you think will get a chance to play this week, and who are you especially excited to see get some playing time?
C&CM: Former five-star QB Kyler Murray is definitely the first player who comes to mind. He's short in stature, but he has a rocket arm and can run like the wind. In fact, some have said that he's the fastest player on the team, so he'll be a fun one to watch. On the defensive side, true freshman Addison Gumbs is someone who we'll hopefully be able to see. We saw a bit of him earlier in the year during blowouts, but we haven't been able to see him anymore since we haven't really been blowing anyone out in Big 12 play. He's a big, fast pass rusher who has drawn rave reviews in practice and has looked good in limited action.
RCT: Prediction Time! Since the result probably isn't in question, who do you think will have the longest scoring play, and what will that play be?
C&CM: Hmm... I think Baker Mayfield will hit Marquise Brown on a shallow cross, and "Hollywood" will take it to the house from, let's say, 67 yards.
RCT: BONUS - Megaman or Pac-Man?
C&CM: I actually played Pac-Man at a retro bar the other night and quit playing after three games. It's just so frustrating. I play Megaman on my SNES Classic from time to time and played it a little bit as a kid. I'm definitely more of a Mario guy, but I'll go with Megaman here.
A big thanks to Jack for helping us out. You can check out the questions I answered for him over on Crimson and Cream Machine.