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Governors Cup Preview

KU travels to Manhattan to cap off the 2014 season against the ‘Cats.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas enters their final game with both anticipation for the future and a very real desire to end this campaign with a win over one of the Big 12’s top teams. K-State has won five straight against the Jayhawks and are 10-1 in Manhattan under Snyder. The Wildcats have a shot at a share of the conference title (with Baylor next week) while Clint Bowen looks to double his win total in the Jayhawks finale.

OFFENSE

The wildcat offense is built around the athleticism of dual-threat quarterback Jake Waters. With the exception of games against Texas and Auburn the senior has played very well. As of late the focus of the offense has been the passing game which to date is amassing 9.1 yards per attempt (5th in the nation). The running game has been non-existent for the Wildcats, Waters leads the team in rushes even though he only averages less than 9.0 attempts per game in their last four. KSU rushes at a pedestrian 3.7 yards per rush (96th) and has 35 total rushing yards in the last 2 games (..yep, 35 total).

Senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett checks in this week as KSU’s all time leading receiver (edging out his father and Jordy Nelson…and an uncle). Lockett is the best receiver in the Big 12 and a sure fire 2-3 round draft pick. He’s small but lightning fast and if he gets into space consistently this offense will roll.

DEFENSE

The ‘Cats run a traditional 4-3 base package and have fielded a top 30 defense despite replacing several key pieces this season. K-State will rely on their defensive line to control the run game and take their chances with the Jayhawk passing game. They allow only 3.7 yards per rush (28th) and held Texas and Texas Tech to under 100 yards. The Wildcats have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 61% of their passes (91st).

Even with recent injuries the defensive line is the strongest and deepest unit on the team. Even so, watch for senior linebacker Jonathan Thurman (95 tackles) and senior defensive back Randall Evans (51 tackles, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles) to make an impact Saturday.  The Wildcats swarm the football exceptionally well and with a potential conference crown on the horizon, I expect the squad to be well prepared to keep themselves in the hunt

PREDICTION

KSU rolls, 27-7.

GOOD BYE SENIORS

This will be the last opportunity to suit up for a very under-coached group of seniors. The following leave us after Saturday:

25

Brandon Bourbon

RB

43

Ed Fink

TE/FB

63

Ngalu Fusimalohi

OL

38

Jaccare Givens

S

8

Nick Harwell

WR

31

Ben Heeney

LB

99

Tedarian Johnson

DL

61

Pat Lewandowski

OL

19

Justin McCay

WR

12

Dexter McDonald

CB

41

Jimmay Mundine

TE

16

Trevor Pardula

P/K

3

Tony Pierson

WR

55

Michael Reynolds

BUCK

33

Cassius Sendish

S

24

JaCorey Shepherd

CB

27

Victor Simmons

BUCK

85

Trent Smiley

TE

65

Mike Smithburg

OL

98

Keon Stowers

DL

Goodbye, good luck, and thank you for being part of our great university!