September 25, 2010, Central Florida visited Kansas State. A storm rolled in which looked like the hounds of hell had been unleased on Central Kansas, and both teams were sent to the locker room three minutes into the contest.
After that, UCF got on the board with a touchdown, and kept K-State, with Carson Coffman at quarterback, off the scoreboard for the entirety of the first half, and three minutes into the fourth quarter the Knights held a 10-3 lead. The Wildcat field goal had been the consolation after Tramaine Thompson caught a 73-yard pass but couldn’t reach the end zone.
Then Coffman tied it up with a 58-yard pass to Aubrey Quarles. UCF retook the lead on a field goal, but a 13-play 67-yard drive ended with 24 seconds on the clock on a seven-yard run by Coffman after botching the called play — a shovel pass to Daniel Thomas.
That’s the only time these teams have met, and we’d prefer for Saturday’s contest to be, um, nothing like that at all except for the win.
The Kansas State Wildcats (2-1, 0-0 Big 12, rv AP) host the Central Florida Knights (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) in the conference opener for both teams — and the conference debut for UCF.
As noted, K-State leads the series 1-0. The Knights have blasted Kent State and FCS Villanova, but had a tight 18-16 win at Boise State in between. The Knights will present a problem for a suddenly-questionable Wildcat defense, especially given the absence of Daniel Green, as they rank 16th in the nation in passing yardage per game and second in rushing at 299.3 yards a contest. The Knights are also giving up under 300 yards a game total, and 12 points per weekend, so the potential absence of Treshaun Ward and Will Howard is also problematic.
That potent UCF offense is, of course, largely the brainchild of Gus Malzahn, the former Arkansas high school genius and Auburn head coach. Malzahn has a 98-47 career record as the bossman, and never won fewer than seven games in a non-COVID season at Auburn, but that wasn’t good enough for the Tigers and they canned him. He’s won nine games in each of his two seasons in Orlando, and has the Big 12 newcomers on a pretty good footing. Malzahn is 1-0 against Kansas State; you’ll all recall the “Tyler Lockett dropped a touchdown pass” game against Auburn in 2013.
Saturday, September 23, 7:00pm CT at Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000) in Manhattan, Kansas.
KDOT is working on I-70 between Junction City and K-18, so if you’re coming in from the west, get off I-70 at JC and go north on US 77 to Riley and come into town on US 24. From the south,
use US 56 or US 50 to slide over to K-177 and take it north instead *unfortunately, K177 from Alta Vista to I70 is still closed for reconstruction, so that route is not viable, and the next best option is to go over to K99 — you might be able to get there from K4 at Alta Vista, at least KanDrive shows K177 is partially open there.
The third-party market is not hopping this weekend. Only 11 sections outside the nosebleeds have any tickets available at all, and that’s only 120 seats total up for sale in the lower level. The upper level seats range from $35-58, averaging about $45; down below, the range is $58-148, with $82 being the rough median.
Guess what’s in the forecast? That’s right, scatted thunderstorms. and they’re expected in the evening. Bring your rain gear. The high is expected to be 88°F, right in the early part of tailgating time; it’s expected to drop to 80° by kickoff ,and should get down to 70° by game’s end.
K-State opened as a 5 point favorite, and it’s closed to -4 per DraftKings with the over at 53; that suggests a 28-24 win for the Wildcats. The money line is +154 for the Knights, -185 for the Cats. Oddshark’s computer predicts something pretty close to this, a 36-33 UCF win.
FS1, with Eric Collins and Devin Gardner (the same guys that called the Troy game).
As always, Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, and Matt Walters will be on hand on the K-State Sports Network as well as via satellite on SiriusXM 137 or 200, 954 on the SXM App.
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