Sunflower Showdown football preview: Kansas State at Kansas
11/28/2013 10:23 AM
11/29/2013 1:40 AM
11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence
Fox Sports 1; KCSP (610 AM)
KU leads 65-40-5
K-State by 16What’s at stake for K-State
The Wildcats have clinched bowl eligibility, but they can improve their stature and secure a plus-.500 finish with a victory, not to mention extending their recent domination of KU.What’s at stake for KU
In one afternoon, Kansas could transform its 2013 season. Beat Kansas State, and the Jayhawks would own four wins — just two fewer than K-State. Charlie Weis would have bested Bill Snyder, buying himself plenty of goodwill among KU fans.Goal for K-State
The Wildcats want to start fast and run the ball. They had to play from behind against TCU and Oklahoma, and that put pressure on their running game and their defense. The last thing they want to do is give the Jayhawks hope and an early lead.Goal for KU
KU should try to allow freshman quarterback Montell Cozart to gain some confidence in the passing game while not going away from senior James Sims. Let Cozart complete some passes on short and intermediate routes. Let him go into the offseason on a solid note.Three things about K-State
1 The Wildcats have locked up their fourth straight bowl berth and they can clinch their fourth straight winning season with a victory against the Jayhawks.
2 K-State’s defense is coming off its worst game of the season. Playing for the first time without injured safety Ty Zimmerman, it allowed 472 yards and 41 points to Oklahoma last week. The Sooners did most of their damage on the ground, rushing for 301 yards.
3 Junior Tyler Lockett is the hottest receiver in the Big 12, if not the nation. He caught 12 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma and has 1,103 receiving yards this season, despite missing the majority of two games because of a hamstring injury.Three things about KU
1 Junior punter Trevor Pardula has perhaps been KU’s MVP; he’s averaging 44.0 yards per punt, the 13th-best in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
2 Kansas safety Isaiah Johnson and offensive lineman Mike Smithburg were teammates of K-State quarterback Jake Waters last season at Iowa Western Community College.
3 Senior running back James Sims, who has rushed for a career-high 1,028 yards, is one of only 13 players in college football to run for 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons.Key matchup
K-State’s secondary vs. James Sims:
A week ago, Oklahoma used spread formations to keep the Wildcats’ defensive backs away from the line of scrimmage and then took advantage of running lanes in the middle with Brennan Clay rushing for 200 yards. Though Kansas can’t match Oklahoma’s offensive line, it may try to run a similar offense. K-State’s secondary needs to be ready to help its front seven.Kellis Robinett’s pick: K-State 45-21
Bill Snyder owns this rivalry, and that won’t change this weekend. The Wildcats have too much offense to be challenged for more than a half.Rustin Dodd’s pick: K-State 34-19
K-State averaged 58 points per game in its last three victories over KU. The Jayhawks’ defense should perform better on Saturday, but KU just doesn’t have enough offense to compete.
Kellis Robinett, email@example.com; and Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org KANSAS STATE (6-5, 4-4 Big 12)
|Aug. 30||North Dakota State||L, 24-21|
|Sept. 7||Louisiana-Lafayette||W, 48-27|
|Sept. 14||Massachusetts||W, 37-7|
|Sept. 21||at Texas||L, 31-21|
|Oct. 5||at Oklahoma State||L, 33-29|
|Oct. 12||Baylor||L, 35-25|
|Oct. 26||West Virginia||W, 35-12|
|Nov. 2||Iowa State||W, 41-7|
|Nov. 9||at Texas Tech||W, 49-26|
|Nov. 16||TCU||W, 33-31|
|Nov. 23||Oklahoma||L, 41-31|
|Saturday||at Kansas||11 a.m.|
KANSAS (3-8, 1-7 Big 12)
|Sept. 7||South Dakota||W, 31-14|
|Sept. 14||at Rice||L, 23-14|
|Sept. 21||Louisiana Tech||W, 13-10|
|Oct. 5||Texas Tech||L, 54-16|
|Oct. 12||at TCU||L, 27-17|
|Oct. 19||Oklahoma||L, 34-19|
|Oct. 26||Baylor||L, 59-14|
|Nov. 2||at Texas||L, 35-13|
|Nov. 9||at Oklahoma State||L, 42-6|
|Nov. 16||West Virginia||W, 31-19|
|Nov. 23||at Iowa State||L, 34-0|
|Saturday||Kansas State||11 a.m.|
Join the Discussion
The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.