Welcome back to Earth, Wildcat fans. It’s still rough down here, so keep your boots on.
After starting the conference slate at 4-0, including a huge win over OU, the Kansas State Wildcats hit a buzzsaw in the form of the West Virginia Mountaineers last weekend. The Mountaineer defense bottled up K-State’s freshman-led offense, and the Wildcats limped home at 4-1 with a ton of questions to be answered. There’s still a lot of season left, but the ‘Eers created a blueprint for beating the Cats that will be harder to overcome with an offense heavily populated with underclassmen and first-year starters.
And it doesn’t get any easier today. The Mountaineer defense might be the best in the Big 12, but the Oklahoma State Cowboys defense is hot on their heels. It could be a long day in Manhattan for the Cats if Deuce Vaughn is still less than 100% and Briley Moore, injured early against WVU, is unable to go today. Will Howard is going to need his other options to step up for him and make plays, like Malik Knowles who, in the sixth game of the season, finally caught his first TD pass of 2020.
And that’s just on offense. The Wildcat defense struggled at times against WVU, especially getting star RB Leddie Brown down with first contact. And that challenge with the inside run game will be amplified against the Cowboys, who feature the Big 12’s best running back in Chuba Hubbard and his lethal sidekick LD Brown. Oh, and they’ve got a good QB too in Spencer Sanders and a solid receiving target outside in Tylan Wallace. If AJ Parker is still unavailable for the Cats, and the linebackers continue to struggle, it could be another rough day for K-State’s defense.
And finally, here’s an annoying trend for you: Since Chris Klieman has arrived at K-State, he’s only ever lost games in pairs. Starting last season there was OSU/BU, UT/WVU, then Navy/ASU (last game 2019, first game 2020). That really doesn’t bode well for the Wildcats today.
Maybe the Wildcats can break that trend, but don’t expect it today against a very good OSU team.
After a couple weeks in the early time slot we’re back to an afternoon game. The 3:00pm CT kickoff will be shown nationally on FOX, with (presumably in Manhattan) Tim Brando (play-by-play) and Spencer Tillman (analyst) on the call. The game should also be available streaming via Fox Sports Go. Be sure and check out Jon’s complete How To Watch guide for more info.
If for some reason you don’t get FOX, or can’t access the stream (or just really don’t want to have your brain explode listening to Brando & Tillman), the game can be heard across the 39-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst), and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action. The game will also be on Sirius channel 81, XM Channel 81, and available on the TuneIn app. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, and Twitter updates (@KStateFB) will also be a part of the coverage.