Heading into this season it wouldn’t have been hard to predict that these two teams would have one loss between them coming into this game. However, it would have been much more difficult to envision the injuries that have plagued them both throughout the first half of this season. K-State is playing wide receivers at quarterback, and TCU’s two deep has looked more like a triage list than an actual football roster. They’ve been successful despite their losses, but it will be interesting to see which team’s replacement players are ready for a tough game on Saturday.
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 10th at 6:30 PM CST
WHERE: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, KS)
FORECAST: Sunny, Wind 10-15 mph, Game Temp 79°F
TV: Fox/Fox Sports Go App
BETTING LINE: TCU -10.0 (O/U 63.5)
TCU HORNED FROGS
Last weekend the Horned Frogs ran wild against Texas on their way to a 50-7 victory. In the win, TCU welcomed back a few defenders who missed the last few games and their offense was virtually unstoppable. The Horned Frogs came into the season as favorites to win the Big 12 and so far they have avoided any missteps on their way to being undefeated. For TCU, this should be another stop on the way to contending for a conference championship.
KEY PLAYERS FOR TCU
Trevone Boykin – Boykin has done a fantastic job of leading the TCU offense. They are averaging 50.8 points per game, which ranks second in the nation in scoring offense. Kansas State’s defense is very disciplined and will be a great test for Boykin’s ability.
Josh Carraway – The other Josh on the Horned Frogs is leading the team in sacks and is tied for second on the team in tackles for loss. Keep an eye on Carraway throughout the game as he is still capable of making big plays even when double teamed.
TCU’S KEYS TO THE GAME
Force The Issue – The last thing that Kansas State wants on Saturday is to get into a scoring contest. TCU will want to score early and often in the first quarter to get K-State out of their game plan.
Make Hubener Uncomfortable – Joe Hubener is normally a threat to run; however, with limited backup options the Wildcats will more than likely keep him in the pocket. Hubener staying in the pocket will provide TCU with an opportunity to use their pass rush to force the K-State quarterback into making a few mistakes.
Don’t Lose Your Edge – After such a complete destruction of their opponent last week the Horned Frogs have to be feeling confident heading into their game this weekend. In order to keep their Big 12 hopes alive, the Horned Frogs will have to guard against losing their edge by having a let down game.
WHAT HORNED FROG FANS WANT TO SEE
Take care of business. In order to become an elite team that competes for conference championships every year, TCU has to win the games that they are supposed to. This is a game that the Horned Frogs should have no problem winning and their fans will want to see that.
KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
Last weekend the Wildcats gave a valiant but eventually futile effort as they lost to Oklahoma State in Stillwater. No matter who is playing, it seems as if Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder always has a disciplined and hard-working team. To remain competitive through the rest of Big 12 play, Kansas State will need to find more weapons on offense or they could face a slide down the football pecking order.
KEY PLAYERS FOR KANSAS STATE
Joe Hubener – Hubener had done a good job of leading the Kansas State offense prior to being injured in last week’s game against Oklahoma State. He returned in the game to lead the Wildcats to a late touchdown before they lost on a last second field goal. Hubener is a gamer, and is capable of making the K-State offense dangerous. This weekend we’ll see if he has enough weapons to compete with a top-tier team.
Jordan Willis – The Wildcat junior leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks, and they’ll need a herculean effort from him Saturday to help contain a very talented TCU offense. If Trevone Boykin can be forced to make mistakes, that will start with Willis getting pressure on him from the edge.
KANSAS STATE’S KEYS TO THE GAME
Slow Things Down – While TCU might want to play at break neck speeds, the Wildcats will want to take their time on offense to grind down the Horned Frog defense. The Frog’s lack of depth on defense will make them more likely to give up long slow drives which will keep their offense sidelined.
Make It Count – Kansas State needs to maximize the points they get from every drive. They might not need to score 60 points to beat the Horned Frogs, but they will need to take advantage of every opportunity they have to put points on the board.
Bend But Don’t Break – The Wildcats defense can give up as many yards and trips to the red zone as they want as long as they only allow the Horned Frogs to attempt field goals. No one is going to completely shut down the TCU offense, but limiting their points per drive will greatly improve Kansas States chances for an upset.
WHAT WILDCAT FANS WANT TO SEE
Play a clean game that results in the Wildcats having a shot to win the game at the end. The Wildcats are in the middle of their toughest stretch of games all season, and with a visit from Oklahoma coming next week, they’ll need to make sure they stay healthy while giving TCU their best shot.
TCU is simply too stacked on offense for Kansas State to keep up. The Wildcats won’t give the game away but expect for the Horned Frogs to start to pull away in the third quarter before putting the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.