When the K-State Wildcats take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday in Manhattan it is entirely possible that two diminutive players for KSU from the state of Oklahoma could turn out to be major X factors. Those two players are freshman Tyler Lockett from Tulsa, OK and sophomore Tramaine Thompson from Jenks, OK.
Of these two wide receivers the most obvious choice of playing a major factor would have to be Lockett who has elevated his play in the last two games. He has made an impact with kickoff returns for touchdowns in two straight games while also becoming a deep threat for quarterback Collin Klein. Since the likelihood of the OU offense being shut out is slim, special teams will obviously play a major role for the Wildcats. While the odds of Lockett taking another kickoff to the house is unlikely, if he can simply set K-State up with field positions better than their own 20 yard line he will have done his job there.
Lockett's receiving skills will also be something to keep your eye on as well as it seems Klein has now formed a rapport with the freshman. Last week against Kansas, he had his best day of his young career with five receptions for 110 yards with one touchdown. The OU defense struggled with the Texas Tech passing attack, particularly yards after the catch, so look for Klein possibly throwing the ball more this week.
The other Oklahoman, Tramaine Thompson, has also seen an increase in his opportunities the past couple of games, although not quite as dramatically as Lockett. Early in the season, Thompson was largely absent from the K-State offense but he had two catches for 41 yards in the win at Texas Tech and while only finishing with one catch last week against KU it was a diving grab just short of the goal line. Thompson has the ability to make some plays in the open field so if Bill Snyder decides to maybe imitate Texas Tech and run a few inside wide receiver screens then Thompson could make his biggest impact so far this season in what has to be K-State's biggest game to date.
While the K-State roster boasts a few other players from Oklahoma, Lockett and Thompson have a much better opportunity to make a noticeable impact than say OL Shaun Simon. If either player can step up on Saturday the chances of K-State pulling the upset greatly increase.