The Kansas-Kansas State rivalry could be at a true crossroads.
Based on events of the past week-plus, this could very well be the final Sunflower Showdown for both coaches. The Jayhawks have already announced that David Beaty will not return next season, and Bill Snyder’s future is more uncertain than ever.
It all makes for an intriguing subplot as the two teams meet for the 116th time Saturday.
Here’s a look at the game.
Kickoff: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan
TV: Fox Sports KC
Radio: KU broadcast: WHB (810 AM) in Kansas City, KFH (1240 AM) in Wichita; K-State broadcast: KQAM (1480 AM) in Wichita, KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City
The line: K-State by 12
Five things to know
Quarterback is once again a question for Kansas State. Usual starter Skylar Thompson exited the TCU game with a head injury in the first quarter and did not return. It remains unclear whether he will be available against KU. Alex Delton finished out the TCU game, completing 15 of 25 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 36 yards and a score.
- Better than expected: Quietly, Beaty has easily covered the Vegas spread in the last two games against Snyder’s Wildcats. That includes a 30-20 home loss last season where KU entered as a 24-point underdog.
How will K-State’s defense perform this week? That’s a great question. Two weeks ago, the Wildcats allowed 702 yards against Oklahoma. Last week, they held TCU to 275. Top defensive back Duke Shelley is not expected to play against KU, but linebacker Justin Hughes and corner Kevion McGee stepped up against the Jayhawks. Is that a sign of better things to come? Or will consistency continue to elude this group?
- Elite RBs: Saturday’s game will feature two of the Big 12’s best running backs. K-State’s Alex Barnes leads the league in rushing yards per game (102), while KU freshman Pooka Williams is No. 1 in all-purpose yards per contest (144).
- Decade of dominance? With a win Saturday, Snyder would get his 10th consecutive victory over KU. As it stands now, he’s 22-4 all-time against the Jayhawks, which includes a 12-1 record in Manhattan.