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Kansas State vs. Kansas: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas at Kansas State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 Conference game in our Kansas State vs. Kansas preview and prediction.

Game info

11:00 a.m. Central Time, November 10th, 2018, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS

TV: FSN (Jeff Levering, Brian Baldinger, Lesley McCaslin)

Radio: Jayhawks Radio Network (Brian Hanni); Kansas State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson); Sirius 113/XM 199

Fun Fact: Give Bill Snyder his 23rd win over the Jayhawks in the last 27 meetings when he is on the sidelines. The 23 wins would be the most by all active head coaches over any one opponent.

 

Key players

Kansas

LB Joe Dineen

He leads the Big 12 Conference in tackles with 110 and will have the chance to have a big day on Saturday against a Kansas State team that will try to run the ball and then dink and dunk over the middle. But Dineen isn’t just a tackle machine, he’s a tackle machine by himself. His 78 solo tackles lead the Big 12 Conference by more than 25.

RB Pooka Williams

Williams is becoming a nightmare for opponents out of the backfield. Not only can he run the ball, but he is really coming on as a receiver. Over the last two games, Williams has 13 catches for 144 receiving yards compared to 91 rushing yards. He’s up to third on the team in receiving yards, while ranking first in rushing yards.

Kansas State

Who’s at QB?

Thompson, has been the Wildcats’ starter for most of this year, but he suffered an injury in the first quarter of last week’s loss at TCU and did not return. Alex Delton finished the game, which K-State lost 14-13, but he is dealing with a nagging leg injury. At his weekly press conference, Snyder did not make clear who the No. 3 would be if neither can go. But his options are fourth-year junior Hunter Hall or true freshman John Holcombe II.

DE Reggie Walker

Walker is quietly having himself a nice season. He ranks sixth in the Big 12 Conference in sacks with 5.5 and is 10th in the Big 12 with 8.5 tackles for loss. Now he gets to go up against one of the weaker offensive lines in the Big 12 Conference.

 

Key storylines

Kansas

The Jayhawks need to continue to win the turnover battle like they have most of the season. Kansas is +15 in turnover margin, which is first in the conference, and has forced 23 turnovers, eight more than any other team in the Big 12 Conference. As an underdog, to win tough conference road games against rivals, you’ve got to force a couple of turnovers, especially against a Kansas State team that has struggled at -4 in turnover margin this season, which is eight in the Big 12.

Kansas State 

Is there any juice left in this team? There are tons of question marks around the future of Bill Snyder, and the team is in the midst of a very tough season. If they care, they’ll win. Kansas will likely try to establish the run early since that has been K-State’s greatest weakness this season, its run defense. Load the box and force Peyton Bender to beat you through the air. That’s a bet and a risk I’m willing to take every single time.

Prediction: Kansas State 21, Kansas 20. This one will be a close game. But, who has the more motivation? Does Kansas come out and play for David Beaty? He was fired this week (by the way, who should replace Beaty? Find out here!, but if his players love him, maybe they’ll try to send him off on the right note in what is their most winnable game left on the schedule. In Manhattan, the players would have to be deaf to not hear the rumors circulating across campus regarding Bill Snyder’s future. Also, K-State’s quarterback situation is a problem, along with their propensity for turnovers this season, which only gets magnified if Thompson and Delton can’t go. This game won’t be all that pretty, but the Kansas State Wildcats are home and will do enough to squeak out a close win in the Sunflower Showdown.

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