FOOTBALL 2013

Kansas State football season preview

Updated: 2013-08-26T13:31:00Z

By KELLIS ROBINETT

The Kansas City Star

•  2012 record: 11-2 overall, 8-1 Big 12 (first)

•  Projected 2013 record: 9-3 overall, 6-3 Big 12 (third)

•  Key starters lost: LB Arthur Brown, QB Collin Klein, WR Chris Harper, DE Meshak Williams

•  Key starters returning: C B.J. Finney, LT Cornelius Lucas, RB John Hubert, S Ty Zimmerman, WR Tyler Lockett, WR Tramaine Thompson.

•  Leader in the huddle: Senior safety Ty Zimmerman is entering his fourth straight year as a starter, but this will be his season as K-State’s unquestioned leader on defense. He played behind Arthur Brown and a strong defensive line last year. Now Zimmerman, a preseason All-American candidate, is one of only three returning defensive starters. He is up for the challenge, though. His football knowledge and speed make him one of the top defensive backs in the nation.

•  Here’s the catch: Replacing Collin Klein at quarterback will be hard. Replacing Arthur Brown at linebacker will be even harder. Brown was the focal point of K-State’s defense the past two seasons. He patrolled the middle of the field, stopping the run with punishing hits and defending the pass with timely interceptions. His speed and confidence made life easier for everyone on K-State’s defense. The Wildcats don’t have anyone like that this season.

•  End result: The Wildcats may not have the returning talent to match their success from last season, but that doesn’t mean they are in for a down year. The offense is loaded with playmakers. New quarterbacks Jake Waters and Daniel Sams should be able to move the ball effectively. As long as the defense shows improvement throughout the season, K-State should be able to take advantage of a soft schedule that features eight home games.

2013 schedule

Date Opponent Time Projection*
Aug. 30North Dakota State7:30 p.m.W
Sept. 7Louisiana-Lafayette5:30 p.m.W
Sept. 14Massachusetts6 p.m.W
Sept. 21at TexasTBAL
Oct. 5at Oklahoma StateTBAL
Oct. 12BaylorTBAW
Oct. 26West VirginiaTBAW
Nov. 2Iowa StateTBAW
Nov. 9at Texas TechTBAW
Nov. 16TCUTBAW
Nov. 23OklahomaTBAL
Nov. 30at KansasTBAW

| Kellis Robinett, krobinett@kcstar.com | Projections by The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff

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