With a win today, K-State locks up bowl eligibility and frees itself to pursue even greater goals in the final third of the season.
It’s time to renew the Sunflower Showdown and ensure the Governor’s Cup stays where it belongs, at the Vanier Family Football Complex, as your Kansas State Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 Big 12, No. 22/25) travel down the Kansas River to Lawrence to face the Kansas Jayhawks (3-5, 1-4 Big 12, NR/NR).
(OK, they aren’t actually traveling on the river. That would be incredibly inefficient, but wouldn’t it be cool?)
Both teams come into the game with new, championship-winning coaches: four-time NCAA Division I National Champion Chris Klieman for K-State, and one-time BCS Champion Les Miles for KU. And both teams are coming off exciting wins that came down to the wire.
Last week, the Wildcats went into halftime neck-and-neck with the Oklahoma Sooners before opening a 25-point lead that held up to a furious Oklahoma comeback attempt. K-State held on for a 48-41 victory after Oklahoma was caught cheating on an onside kick attempt.
Also last week, KU capitalized on one last Texas Tech mistake, breaking a tie at the final buzzer with a 32-yard field goal after the Red Raiders blocked their previous try but fumbled an attempted return. The Yakety Sax-esque sequence gave KU a 37-34 victory.
The Sunflower Showdown is one of the oldest active rivalries in college football, as the 11th most-played series and fourth-longest uninterrupted series in FBS. Today marks the 109th consecutive year of the Sunflower Showdown. KU holds a 64-47-5 lead in the series, but K-State has won the last 10 in a row and 23 of the last 28. Last year in Manhattan the Wildcats needed a fourth-quarter comeback to keep the streak against KU alive with a 21-17 victory.
Oddsmakers have the Wildcats as 5-point favorites in today’s game, with an over/under of 54.5. Doing the math, that projects a final score around 30-25, K-State.
Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CDT at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium (capacity 50,071) in Lawrence, Kansas. After the first really cold week of the fall, milder temperatures are forecast for today, with a projected high of 53 degrees on a sunny afternoon with light winds.
Maybe KU fans aren’t as optimistic about their chances in this game as a lot of them let on, because tickets are available in blocks of up to 32 seats from Vivid Seats, and multiple blocks of 20+ are available as of Saturday morning.
FS1 will air the game, with Cory Provus (play-by-play) and Petros Papadakis and Shane Vereen (analysts) calling the action.
Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), Stan Weber (analyst), and Matt Walters (sidelines) will call the game for the K-State Sports Network on the radio. In addition to terrestrial radio, the game will be carried on Sirius channel 83, XM Channel 381, and the TuneIn app.
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