Cats' Roar: Kansas State could become bowl eligible with another win over KU on Saturday
The Kansas State Wildcats ran their record to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 play with an easy win over the TCU Horned Frogs 31-12 last Saturday. This Saturday K-State will travel a little over an hour to the east where they will face the Kansas Jayhawks. KU is currently 0-5 in the Big 12 and 1-7 overall. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. from Memorial Stadium and will be televised on FS1.
Last Saturday the Wildcats would get on the board first. After a defensive stop forced a TCU punt K-State would drive 78 yards using just 7 plays as senior quarterback Skylar Thompson would get the touchdown run from 4 yards out. Neither team would score again during the quarter, but the Frogs had the ball at the 3-yard line and third down to start the second quarter. Junior linebacker Daniel Green had a stop for a 4-yard loss and TCU would get a field goal to make it 7-3. KSU would then move the ball into TCU territory and on 4th down from the 42-yard line sophomore Duece Vaughn would break through the line and scamper the distance to make it 14-3. Following the kickoff, the Frogs would break a long 61 yard run down to the 2-yard line. Three running plays only got them a yard and on 4th down the TCU pass was too high in the end zone and the Wildcats would take over on downs at the one. Vaughn then got stuffed on the run for a safety and the score was now 14-5. After another TCU punt Kansas State would go 88 yards in 6 plays as Vaughn would go over the pile at the 1-yard line to make it 21-5. The third quarter was very boring as neither team did much on offense and neither scored. But on the first play in the fourth quarter Thompson found senior tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe for a 73-yard touchdown pass and the game was all but over at 28-5. The Wildcats would get a 42-yard field goal with 1:36 left and then TCU would get a garbage time touchdown with 15 seconds to play.
For the day the Wildcats would gain 388 yards with just 55 offensive plays and 16 first downs while TCU had 340 yards with 69 plays and 17 first downs. Thompson would complete 13 of his 21 pass attempts for 242 yards and a touchdown and an interception. Junior Malik Knowles, Imatorbhebhe, junior Phillip Brooks, and senior Kade Warner all had 3 catches on the day. Vaughn had a team high 4 catches along with 109 rushing yards. Green lead the team with 9 total tackles with seven of those being of the solo variety along with 2.5 tackles for loss and most games that would be the best statistical line but not this Saturday. Sophomore Felix Anudike-Uzomah had six sacks on the day (the NCAA says 4) with 2 of those being striped sacks (NCAA called them forced fumbles) and he had eight solo tackles for the day.
The 1-7 Kansas Jayhawks opened the season by beating the now 5-3 South Dakota Coyotes of the Missouri Valley 17-14 but since then have been outscored by an average margin of 48-15. Their last four Conference games have been Iowa State 59-7, Texas Tech 41-14, Oklahoma 35-23, and last Saturday in Stillwater Oklahoma State pounded them 55-3. In Conference games only the Jayhawks are last in scoring offense (10.8), defense (47.0), total offensive yards (259.2) total defensive yards (502.2), rushing defense and passing offense at 120 yards a game. They are 5th in passing defense and 8th in rushing offense getting almost 139 yards on the ground.
This Saturday the Kansas State Wildcats should become bowl eligible, and they should also do it easy. K-State has dominated this series lately, in fact, in my lifetime the Wildcats have won over 56% time and in my married life it is higher at 78%. During the 25 years of the Big 12 the Wildcats have won 21 times including the last 12 times. The Wildcat defense the last 6 six quarters of play has been outstanding, and the offense has shown that it can put points on the board. KSU needs to come out early and put this game away and not ever give KU a chance to hang around and that is what is going to happen. By the time the fourth quarter starts the crowd at the game will be mostly wearing Purple and the Wildcats will be going bowling. Kansas State 51, Kansas 13.