It’s been over a decade since the last time the Kansas State Wildcats and the Missouri Tigers met on the gridiron.
Back in early October of 2011, HoFHC Bill Snyder’s squad was already looking to have a special season after winning on an epic goal-line stand at Miami, and then taking down Baylor and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III in Manhattan. It was Missouri’s last season in the Big 12 conference, and were riding into Manhattan on a five-game win streak over K-State — three wins over Ron Prince, and two more over Snyder, a rare feat for Mizzou and head coach Gary Pinkel, while he was rebuilding.
K-State won that game 24-17 behind QB Collin Klein, who grabbed all three touchdowns on the ground for the Wildcats, and survived a late furious comeback attempt by the Tigers in the process. K-State would go on to a somewhat surprising 10-3 (7-2) season and a 2nd-place finish in the Big 12, while Missouri would end up at 8-5 (5-4) before heading off to greener (you know, like money) pastures in the SEC.
Now in 2022, Bill Snyder and Gary Pinkel have both been retired for some time, and Collin Klein is the offensive coordinator for the Cats. Both teams have had some success and also plenty of “meh” in the intervening decade, but both enter today’s game with some optimism and momentum.
Missouri looks to finally break out under 3rd-year coach Eli Drinkwitz. They’ve picked up some of the best-rated recruiting classes in school history since “Drink” has taken over, including landing consensus 5-star recruit Luther Burden this past season. Burden showecased his talents in the Tiger season-opening 52-24 win over Louisiana Tech. The Tigers literally ran all over La Tech in the opener, with eight players receiving a meaningful rushing snap on the way to 323 yards and 5 TDs as a team.
K-State’s defense was the star in the Wildcats 34-0 blowout of South Dakota last weekend, and were responsible for forcing the punt that was blocked for second TD. On offense, much like the Tigers, the Wildcats ran all over the Coyotes, amassing just under 300 yards of rushing yards and 4 TDs between five players...though a good chunk of that was Deuce Vaughn’s 126 yards.
So we’ve got two teams that appear to want to run the football. So the real question is which defense will do better at stopping the run game, because whichever unit can do that is likely going to help lead their team to a victory.
This should be an exciting game, and hopefully the crowd in Manhattan is ready to ignore the weather and bring the energy for this important game. The #UnholyAlliance has been suspended, lets do this!
We’ve got an 11:00am CT kickoff from Bill Snyder Family Stadium being aired on ESPN2 with Beth Mowins (Play-by-Play), Kirk Morrison (Analyst), Stormy Buonantony (Sidelines) on the call. You can also watch the game live online at WatchESPN, if you have the correct cable package.
If you don’t have ESPN2, or can’t access the stream, the game can be heard across the 38-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 SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ch. 200, and available online at K-Statesports.com. Live stats are also available at k-statesports.com, and Twitter updates (@KStateFB) will also be a part of the coverage.