Earlier this week, I wrote about why this game means so much to me on a personal level. Now, it's time to put our predictions out there for you to marvel at or scorn, depending upon your perspective. Owen over at RockChalkTalk has put together two Round Table discussions, one with their guys (which can be found through the previous link), and one which we will link to in the morning with the contributors here at BOTC. For now, I want to go on the record with my own prediction for the game, after the jump.
The way I see things playing out, how the Jayhawks decide to play will have everything to do with the final score of Thursday night's game. If the Cats come out, control the ball with Daniel Thomas, while mixing in the play-action game, this will not be close, no matter how KU plays. If they play well -- say, even, Georgia Tech well -- and KSU plays like they're capable, the Cats win 27-16 or something similar. If, however, the Hawks come out and play a sub-par game, this will get ugly quickly. I'm thinking something like 41-10 ugly. The long and short of it is, neither of these teams is anything really special. But, while KSU has generally played decent football all year (with one glaring exception) KU has been wildly inconsistent, while demonstrating the ability to play decent football and win a tough game (Georgia Tech), they've been mostly pretty bad this year (NDSU and Baylor particularly). I may regret writing this, but no facet of their game scares me at all.
On the Kansas State side of things, I just can't see our boys laying another egg. Coach Snyder will have them coached up and ready, so -- as I mentioned -- it will be all about how KU decides to play. If they play well, it's a bit closer. If they play poorly, it's a blow-out. Since the Hawks are so inconsistent, I simply can't peg them for how they're going to play. Is it possible that KU shuts down DT, and pulls off an upset? Sure. If Coffman plays his normal, mediocre-but-acceptable game, though, and is able to loosen the defense up even a bit, that shouldn't be a concern. And, defensively, I just don't see KU having the horses to make us pay for our lack of defensive speed like Nebraska did. Todd Reesing ain't walking through that door, gents!
Anyways, formalities aside, here's my prediction: KSU 34 KU 13, (simply the best- and worst-case scenarios from above averaged out) DT gets back on track, with 23 carries, for 150 or so yards, and 2 touchdowns. Our quarterback (whether Coffman or Collin Klein/Sammuel Lamur) runs for one TD and passes for one as well as completing 12 to 14 passes for about 175-200 yards.
So, what say you? Close one? Big-time, mojo-establishing blow-out? Let me know in the comments!