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)

The series:

KU leads 65-40-5

The line:

K-State by 16

What’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,; and Rustin Dodd, KANSAS STATE (6-5, 4-4 Big 12)
Date Opponent Result/time
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)
Date Opponent Result/time
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.

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
WR 16 Tyler Lockett 5-11 175 Jr.
WR 14 Curry Sexton 5-11 183 Jr.
LT 78 Cornelius Lucas 6-9 328 Sr.
LG 55 Cody Whitehair 6-4 309 So.
C 66 B.J. Finney 6-4 303 Jr.
RG 79 Keenan Taylor 6-4 290 Sr.
RT 73 Tavon Rooks 6-5 280 Sr.
TE 85 Zach Trujillo 6-5 256 Jr.
WR 86 Tramaine Thompson 5-8 167 Sr.
QB 15 Jake Waters 6-1 210 Jr.
RB 33 John Hubert 5-7 191 Sr.
K 3 Jack Cantele 6-0 193 So.

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
DE 44 Ryan Mueller 6-2 245 Jr.
DT 98 Chaquil Reed 6-3 309 Sr.
DT 95 Travis Britz 6-4 293 So.
DE 94 Alauna Finau 6-1 258 Sr.
LB 50 Tre Walker 6-3 225 Sr.
LB 53 Blake Slaughter 5-10 227 Sr.
LB 21 Jonathan Truman 5-11 219 Jr.
CB 4 Dorrian Roberts 5-10 168 Sr.
SS 22 Dante Barnett 6-1 186 So.
FS 15 Randall Evans 6-0 190 Jr.
CB 7 Kip Daily 5-11 180 Sr.
P 38 Mark Krause 5-11 218 Sr.

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
WR 8 Josh Ford 6-3 207 Sr. 
LT 79 Riley Spencer 6-6 305 Sr. 
LG 63 Ngalu Fusimalohi 6-2 310 Jr. 
C 70 Gavin Howard 6-4 300 Sr. 
RG 73 Damon Martin 6-3 300 So. 
RT 77 Aslam Sterling 6-5 315 Sr. 
TE 41 Jimmay Mundine 6-2 240 Jr. 
WR 45 Nick Sizemore 6-0 245 Sr.
WR 12 Christian Matthews 6-1 196 Sr. 
QB 2 Montell Cozart 6-2 189 Fr.
RB 29 James Sims 6-0 200 Sr.
K 13 Ron Doherty 5-11 205 Sr.

P No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr.
DE 90 Kevin Young 6-3 287 Sr.
NT 98 Keon Stowers 6-3 297 Jr.            
DE 96 Keba Agostinho 6-2 277 Sr.
LB 93 Ben Goodman 6-0 245 So.
LB 31 Ben Heeney 6-2 230 Jr.
LB 57 Jake Love 6-0 220 So.
NB 58 Courtney Arnick 6-2 205 Fr.
CB 24 JaCorey Shepherd 5-11 190 Jr.
FS 33 Cassius Sendish 6-0 195 Jr.
SS 5 Isaiah Johnson 6-1 210 So.
CB 12 Dexter McDonald 6-1 200 Jr.
P 1 Trevor Pardula 6-5 212 Jr.

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