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CLANGA!

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The Wildcats get their first real test in Starkville.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Mississippi State vs Iowa Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Kansas State will take on Mississippi State in Starkville today, in what is undoubtedly the most important game (so far) of the Chris Klieman era. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 AM, and the game will air on ESPN. For all the game-specific details (including an important note for DirecTV users), check out AMS’ handy How to Watch post.

This is the first road game of the season for the Wildcats. That would be enough of a challenge against most programs, but against an SEC foe who can run the ball and who essentially road-graded Kansas State last year? So yeah. The outlook is not particularly purple-friendly, as TB notes in Kicking the Tires, where he expects our Wildcats to keep it close, but still take a loss.

The Bulldogs’ Kylin Hill is a legitimate threat at running back and a possible Heisman contender, but that’s not all Mississippi State has to offer on offense, especially now that the Bulldogs have truly embraced the forward pass, as Drew Schneider notes.

Not content with scaring us about the Bulldogs’ offense, Drew also highlights what Clanga can do on defense, and well, it doesn’t look too good for Kansas State right now.

Still, there is always a chance the Wildcats could pull the upset here, and Skylar Thompson’s new-found confidence might just be the key to victory. That confidence received a boost in the summer when Thompson hung out with former NDSU quarterback Easton Stick, who offered Thompson good advice and congratulations after Thompson’s first win of the season.

In his weekly K-State Q&A, Kellis Robinett teased the possibility of all-white uniforms for this game, but thankfully, that monstrosity will not be revealed this weekend, and hopefully never. Instead, the Wildcats will play in their classic road combination of white jerseys and silver pants. TRADITION!

At least one Mississippi State player had this game circled for a while. Former Wildcat and current Bulldog Isaiah Zuber isn’t sure whether this is just another game, or a really special game where he gets to line up against former teammates.

Kansas State assistant Van Malone is having the opposite experience. He was a defensive quality control coach in Starkville last year, and his insider information—whether about the Mississippi State defense or about the environment in Starkville—has been helpful for preparation for this game.

Finally, In other football news...we’ve discussed this issue endlessly here and elsewhere, and now the K-State band has stepped in, asking fans to stop the vulgar chant that often breaks out during Wabash Cannonball. While I’m all for fans doing whatever they want, especially where hated rivals are concerned, the chant has outlived its usefulness and should be retired permanently.

Let’s go, Cats!