Opponent: Kansas State
Kickoff: November 11th
Location: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, KS)
Conference: Big 12
Head Coach: Chris Klieman (entering 5th season)
Last Year’s Record: 10-4 (7-2 Big 12)
Notable Outcomes: Beat Oklahoma State 48-0; beat Baylor 31-3; Beat TCU in overtime, 31-28
Key Losses: Deuce Vaughn, RB; Malik Knowles, WR; Josh Hayes, S
Key Returners: Will Howard, QB; Phillip Brooks, WR; Daniel Green, LB
Strength: Offensive line. The Wildcats return their entire offensive line from their Big 12 championship team last season. That’s a huge boost for an offense that needs to find some key replacements at running back and wide receiver.
Weakness: Wide receiver. Kansas State returns only one proven receiver from a year ago in Phillip Brooks. They’ll have to find playmakers to fill in the gaps and replace the likes of Malik Knowles, who accounted for 725 yards of receiving last year.
Way Too Early Prediction: If Kansas State can get some guys to step up in some key playmaking positions, they might very well be in a good spot to compete for a repeat Big 12 championship. The problem is that those players that left were generational talents like Deuce Vaughn and Malik Knowles. So it’ll remain to be seen how much the offense drops off. Defensively, there are a lot of holes to fill also. I still think Kansas State is in a bit of a better position than Baylor this year, so I’ve got the Bears losing on the road in this one.
33-24 Kansas State