Kansas State University

Kansas State-Auburn college football preview

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. The Associated Press

When/where: 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

TV/radio: ESPN; WHB (810 AM)

The series: Auburn leads 3-0

The line: Auburn by 9 1/2

KANSAS STATE (2-0)

Date

Opponent

Result/time

Aug. 30

Stephen F. Austin

W, 55-16

Sept. 6

at Iowa State

W, 32-28

Thursday

Auburn

6:30 p.m.

Sept. 27

UTEP

11 a.m.

Oct. 4

Texas Tech

TBA

Oct. 18

at Oklahoma

TBA

Oct. 25

Texas

TBA

Nov. 1

Oklahoma State

TBA

Nov. 8

at TCU

TBA

Nov. 20

at West Virginia

6 p.m.

Nov. 29

Kansas

TBA

Dec. 6

at Baylor

TBA

AUBURN (2-0)

Date

Opponent

Result/time

Aug. 30

Arkansas

W, 45-21

Sept. 6

San Jose State

W, 59-13

Thursday

at Kansas State

6:30 p.m.

Sept. 27

Louisiana Tech

TBA

Oct. 4

LSU

TBA

Oct. 11

at Mississippi State

TBA

Oct. 25

South Carolina

TBA

Nov. 1

at Mississippi

TBA

Nov. 8

Texas A&M

TBA

Nov. 15

at Georgia

TBA

Nov. 22

Samford

TBA

Nov. 29

at Alabama

TBA

What’s at stake

Both teams are looking for a statement victory before conference play ramps up. A win Thursday could position either team for a potential run to the College Football Playoff.

Cheers if …

K-State scores a touchdown on special teams or defense. The Wildcats tend to win games like this when that happens.

Jeers if …

The Wildcats trail at the end of the first quarter. K-State hasn’t beaten a ranked nonconference team since 2002, and the biggest culprit in those losses was a slow start.

Three things about Auburn

1 The Tigers are one of the nation’s premier running teams. They have rushed for 200 yards in 13 consecutive games, and they have topped 300 rushing yards in eight of their past 11 games.

2 Auburn can throw the ball, too, behind Nick Marshall. The Tigers are one of five teams nationally to average more than 300 yards rushing and 200 yards passing.

3 This is Auburn’s first road game. Coach Gus Malzahn admits that it is a concern. “That’s one of the tougher places to play in college football,” he said. “It’s a measuring stick to go on the road against a top-20 team, at their place in a hostile environment. It will be a huge test. We’ll have to play well to win.”

Key matchup

K-State’s front seven vs. Nick Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne. Things didn’t go well the last time K-State went up against a ranked team that emphasized its running game. Oklahoma defeated K-State 41-31 last year behind 301 rushing yards, with quarterback Trevor Knight and running back Brennan Clay leading the way. Knight confused K-State defenders with zone-read plays and Clay totaled 200 yards. The Wildcats will have to perform better against a stronger rushing attack Thursday. Auburn utilizes four rushers and averages 330 rushing yards.

KANSAS STATE OFFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

WR

16

Tyler Lockett

5-11

175

Sr.

WR

14

Curry Sexton

5-11

183

Sr.

LT

55

Cody Whitehair

6-4

309

Jr.

LG

77

Boston Stiverson

6-4

312

Jr.

C

66

B.J. Finney

6-4

303

Sr.

RG

61

Drew Liddle

6-3

288

Sr.

RT

65

Matt Kleinsorge

6-5

306

Jr.

TE

85

Zach Trujillo

6-5

256

Sr.

WR

6

Deante Burton

6-2

205

So.

QB

15

Jake Waters

6-1

210

Sr.

RB

24

Charles Jones

5-10

197

So.

K

3

Jack Cantele

6-0

193

Jr.

KANSAS STATE DEFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

DE

44

Ryan Mueller

6-2

245

Sr.

DT

99

Valentino Coleman

6-2

285

Sr.

DT

95

Travis Britz

6-4

293

Jr.

DE

75

Jordan Willis

6-5

250

So.

LB

52

Charmeachealle Moore

6-0

217

Jr.

LB

35

Will Davis

6-0

223

So.

LB

21

Jonathan Truman

5-11

219

Sr.

CB

33

Morgan Burns

5-11

195

Jr.

SS

22

Dante Barnett

6-1

186

Jr.

FS

20

Dylan Schellenberg

6-9

195

Sr.

CB

7

Danzel McDaniel

6-1

205

Jr.

P

9

Mitch Lochbihler

6-6

240

Fr.

AUBURN OFFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

WR

1

D’Haquille Williams

6-2

216

Jr.

WR

18

Sammie Coates

6-2

201

Jr.

LT

72

Shon Coleman

6-6

310

So.

LG

62

Chad Slade

6-5

315

Sr.

C

50

Reese Dismukes

6-3

295

Sr.

RG

56

Avery Young

6-6

315

So.

RT

51

Patrick Miller

6-7

289

Jr.

TE

81

C.J. Uzomah

6-5

264

Sr.

WR

5

Ricardo Louis

6-2

212

Jr.

QB

14

Nick Marshall

6-1

210

Sr.

RB

44

Cameron Artis-Payne

5-11

210

Sr.

K

38

Daniel Carlson

6-4

216

Fr.

AUBURN DEFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

LE

97

Elijah Daniel

6-2

263

So.

DT

98

Angelo Blackson

6-4

306

Sr.

DT

54

Jeffrey Whitake

6-4

322

Sr.

RE

90

Gabe Wright

6-3

284

Sr.

SLB

26

Justin Garrett

6-1

224

Jr.

MLB

8

Cassanova McKinzy

6-3

249

Jr.

WLB

17

Kris Frost

6-2

234

Jr.

CB

3

Jonathan Jones

5-10

182

Jr.

SS

23

Johnathan Ford

6-0

199

So.

FS

9

Jermaine Whitehead

5-11

193

Sr.

CB

6

Jonathon Mincy

5-10

196

Sr.

P

38

Daniel Carlson

6-4

216

Fr.

Kellis Robinett’s pick: Auburn 35-28

K-State has the offensive firepower to beat Auburn. If it can start fast and play from ahead, an enthused crowd could carry the Wildcats to victory. But their defense may not be able to handle Auburn. The Tigers, overall, are the stronger team.

Kellis Robinett, krobinett@kcstar.com

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