Fresh off a great season-opener, K-State gets its final tune-up game before turning to big league competition.
The Kansas State Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) face the Bowling Green Falcons (1-0, 0-0 MAC) in a match-up of teams that absolutely creamed FCS competition in their respective coaches’ first games. K-State got new head coach Chris Klieman’s tenure off to a good start, as did Bowling Green for new head coach Scot Loeffler, who previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for, in reverse order, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Auburn, and Temple.
K-State opened the season with a convincing 49-14 victory over Nicholls, while Bowling Green won an even more one-sided opener over Morgan State, 46-3.
Seven players scored touchdowns for the Wildcats against Nicholls, and the team’s 573 total yards of offense were the most seventh most in school history. With the starting quarterback spot firmly in his grasp, Skylar Thompson had an good, efficient passing game, throwing for 212 yards on 22 attempts with a touchdown, in addition to a 17-yard rushing touchdown. Four backs—James Gilbert, Tyler Burns, Harry Trotter, and Jordon Brown—each had at least 10 carries, while none of them had more than 18.
The Falcons held Morgan State to a mere 70 yards of total offense. On the other side of the ball, Bowling Green piled up 620 yards of offense while running more than 100 plays.
The difference was in the quality of FCS competition. While Nicholls won the Southland Conference and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I Tournament, Morgan State was mediocre even by the low standards of the MEAC.
The Wildcats and Falcons have faced each other only once before, in 1997 in Manhattan. Considering K-State’s sole loss that year was to the eventual Coaches Poll national champion, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that K-State won handily, 58-0. K-State is 9-2 all-time against teams from the MAC.
Oddsmakers have the Wildcats as the favorites by 25 points, with an over/under of 58.5, projecting a final score of about about 42-17, K-State. The line and the over/under have both grown, from K-State by 23 and an over/under of 54.5, since betting opened.
Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. CDT on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium (capacity 50,000) in beautiful Manhattan, Kansas. (Yes, that is a real place, John Hudson of the Washington Post.)
As of 1 p.m. Friday, tickets for the game remained available directly from the athletic department, some for as little as $10 in the corner nosebleed seats.
Chris Vosters (play-by-play) and Ben Leber (analysis) will call the game on FSN.
The 39 stations in the K-State Sports Network, Sirius Channel 211, and XM Channel 200 will carry radio coverage, with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), Stan Weber (analysis), and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the game. The broadcast also will be available on the TuneIn app.