Who: TCU (4-6 Overall 2-5 Big 12) vs. Kansas State (5-4 Overall, 3-3 Big 12)
When: Saturday 2:30pm
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium; Manhattan, Kansas
TV: Fox Sports 1
The Kansas State Wildcats are clicking on all cylinders right now. The Cats have started out 3-0 in their second half of the season. In addition, coming off an impressive performance running the ball and controlling tempo against Texas Tech last week for a 49-26 win. Now, K-State is one win away from being bowl eligible.
Standing at a 5-4 overall record and sitting 3-3 in the Big 12 conference, the Wildcats return home to face the TCU Horned Frogs Saturday afternoon. This week matchup is an intriguing one despite injuries really hurting TCU this season. The Wildcats and Head Coach Bill Snyder will need to prepare for a physical game that TCU brings. Last season, these two teams met for the first time ever in Fort Worth, Texas with K-State unbeaten at time.
Wildcats won the game in pretty much a defensive battle; Wildcats made plays offensively and on the defensive side of the ball. Speaking of the defense, the Wildcats have turned the corner slowing down high octane offenses. The player that stands out is defensive end and one of the leaders Ryan Mueller. Coming off two more sacks last week, Mueller now leads the nation in sacks with 10.5. That is more than Heisman Trophy candidate coming into the season from South Carolina Jadeveon Clowney.
The defense set the tone and layed the wood on Texas Tech from the get go. Ty Zimmerman a gutsy performance had a hurt shoulder and still came up with a pick 6. The Wildcat defense will need that same intensity against offense for TCU that has had its problems finding the endzone this season. ON the offensive side of the ball, the running game is in full swing mode for the Cats.
Jake Waters, Daniel Sams, and Jon Hubert all found the endzone for K-State against the Red Raiders on Saturday. Hubert who that he wanted to get over 1000 yards rushing at the beginning for the season will need some monster games if he is going to achieve his going. After the slow start to the season, Hubert has rushed over 80 yards in the last 4 games. His total now for the season is at 706 yards.
The running emergence is a big thanks to the offensive line that has also found themselves as well. Key on Saturday is how well K-State Offensive line does against the TCU front line. It will be a matter of who wants it more; K-State will need to ride the ship again if they want to win on Saturday and get bowl eligible.
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K-State Offensive Line: Staying right here with the Offensive line led by Center BJ Finney; yards were at a minimum in last year matchup against TCU. Big plays definitely were on the Cats side. It will be important to continue to block well up front against the TCU front without DeVonte Fields. Getting enough space for Hubert or whoever is running the football then possibly set up every now and then will a pass.
Big Momentum: As stated earlier, the Wildcats are playing well at the right time of the season. Now they have an interesting matchup with the Horned Frogs. Even though the Frogs have been hit with injuries all year, The Cats at home will need to be on their toes. Being back at the Bill with the crowd and everything else, K-State should be pumped.
Rattle the QB: Ryan Mueller has been a machine for the Wildcats all season long. Mueller had a fumble recovery in last year’s meeting in Fort Worth. Look for him to disrupt the quarterback in this game whether it is Trevone Boykin or Casey Pachall.
X-Factor: Sticking with the defense here this week look for LB Blake Slaughter to be a force as he has been for this K-State defense. With 3 multi games with double digits tackles so far; Slaughter had 6 tackles against Texas Tech last week. Look for him to meet the TCU running game head on in this important game for the Wildcats who are closing in on getting bowl eligible for the season.