Kansas State plays #18 Mississippi State in Manhattan. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 AM, and the game will air on ESPN. For all the important details you could possibly want on this game, check out AMS’ How To Watch post.
TB kicked the tires on Mississippi State, and although he suggests not putting too much emphasis on the narrow win over South Dakota, he’s not expecting the Wildcats to pull the upset either.
Many of the things that happened against South Dakota were bad, and most of those things were also anomalies that are unlikely to happen again. Expect Kansas State to be hugely motivated and to execute way better against Mississippi State (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
Kansas State still hasn’t decided who the quarterback going forward will be, so expect both Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton to play (Ryan Black, Manhattan Mercury). On the other hand, there will be no uncertainty on the Mississippi State sidelines when Nick Fitzgerald—who has drawn favorable comparisons to Collin Klein from Bill Snyder himself—gets his first start for the Bulldogs in this game after serving a one-game suspension last week (Robinett, Eagle).
Mississippi State is a legitimate Top 25 opponent with massive talent at every spot on the field. Nowhere is this more obvious than on the Bulldogs’ stout defensive line, which should present a significant challenge for Kansas State’s offensive line. But Dalton Risner and his teammates on the offensive line are not too worried (Greg Woods, Mercury).
Special teams made all the difference for the Wildcats in the opener, and it’s entirely possible that will be true against Mississippi State too. With new starters at nearly every position on special teams, this was supposed to be a weakness for Kansas State but proved to be the opposite against South Dakota (Jarrett Whitson, K-State Collegian).
So what’s the view from the other side? What do Mississippi State players, fans and prognosticators think of this game? Well, our CLANGA frenemies at For Whom the Cowbell Tolls try really hard to really hate Kansas State, but don’t quite get there.
Brett Hudson writes for the Commercial-Dispatch in Starkville and was the featured guest on the most recent episode of Bring on the PodCats. He’s pretty confident Mississippi State will win, even if a first-quarter tie is likely. He also offers this from Bulldogs’ quarterback Fitzgerald, who uses the right words to describe Kansas State’s defense while avoiding the “basic defense” mistake that Oklahoma made:
They’re very base. You’re not going to see a lot of exotic formations, a lot of exotic defenses but they’re fundamentally sound, they know their place and they’re not going to bust a coverage or anything like that. We’re going to have to play our 11 better than their 11.
Here’s your Saturday moment of pause as you get ready to watch hours and hours of college football: Kansas State has not beaten a ranked non-conference opponent since USC in 2002.
Kansas State has the early start today, but if you’re looking for other games to fill out your Saturday couch-potato schedule, look no further than HERE (all times CST, because Central timezone is best timezone).