Ah, the Sunflower Showdown. Friendly midwestern folk from all across the state gathering together to tailgate in fields of sunflowers in unity to support their friends and families in a friendly game of college foot-ball.
Right? Isn’t that the wholesome image we want to project?
Whatever. They hate us and we ignore them for 362 days a year... ok well I guess 361 if you count this preview.
Anyway. Kansas leads the all-time series 65-47-5, but as any purple-clad person will tell you, K-State is 23-4 in the series since 1991 and has won the last 11 in a row. Of course, that means at one point the series was 61-24-5, which is almost equally hilarious, but if we’re being honest, the last decade matters way more in terms of perception than the first 110 years.
Kansas @ Kansas State
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, Time TBD
Manhattan, KS: The House That Snyder Built (50,000)
About the KSU Offense
Kansas State loses 8 starters on offense, but returns 59% of its offensive production from last season, mainly in the person of QB Skylar Thompson, who will be a senior this fall. KSU does return two of its top three WRs from last year in Malik Knowles and Philip Brooks, and if speedster Joshua Youngblood can step up and be an impact player, the Wildcats have the making of a decent WR corps.
However, they lose their entire offensive line from last season, as well as their top two RBs. Rushing yards accounted for 49.8% of KSU’s total offense last season, so it will be interesting to see how/if Klieman adjusts the offense to his new personnel.
About the KSU Defense
Defensively, K-State returns 63% of its defensive production with five starters back, including last year’s leading tackler, now-senior LB Elijah Sullivan. Sophomore DB Wayne Jones was fourth on last year’s team in tackles as a freshman, so he looks poised to have a big season as well alongside AJ Parker, who led the team in INTs last year. DE Wyatt Hubert is also back after leading KSU with 7.0 sacks last season.
Per preseason S&P+ projections released back in February, Kansas State is ranked #54 of 130 teams, good for 7th in the Big 12, well ahead of #113 Kansas.
Previewing this game immediately brings up bad memories. For example, I can’t wait to see how many more BS holding calls we get in this house of horrors over by Allen Fieldhouse West.
The hype for this game last year was fun. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen too many times over the last 30 years, the fun ended shortly after the game began. Les Miles has done some incredible things in his career, and although a win here probably won’t top that 2001 Bedlam game, it would still be a pretty impressive feat.
K-State may have a lot of roster turnover, especially offensively, but Kansas is in an even worse position. The Jayhawks will have hopefully recovered from the Weis/Beaty era in another year or two, but I think getting too optimistic about this matchup this year is a year too soon. My hope is that we score more than 13 points and are at least somewhat in the game in the second half. K-State 44, Kansas 28.