TCU finally doused the critics and played up to its high preseason standards last weekend, demolishing Texas 50-7. With that, they jumped to the No. 2 ranking in the country. But there’s no rest playing in the Big 12. Even as a -9.5 point favorite (5 Dimes Sportsbook) at Kansas State, the Horned Frogs know not to overlook a Bill Snyder-led team.
The last time these teams played in Manhattan, the Wildcats walked away with a 33-31 win after a Game-winning field goal. The win kind of resembled Kansas State’s most recent loss at Oklahoma State. KSU has multiple chances to end OK State’s bid for a FG to win the Game, but in the end the defense wasn’t enough.
It was a weird Game for Kansas State as starting quarterback Joe Hubener left the Game with a head injury. The guy that took his place was Kody Cook, the team’s second-best receiver coming into the Game. Cook then hurt his shoulder and Hubener re-entered. For this Game, it looks like Hubener will be good to draw the start, although his backup is still a question.
And their offense will need to be outstanding in this Game, there’s no hiding that against TCU. Hubener is still an average quarterback at best with 4 TDs on the year and only completing 51.3% of his passes. KSU’s running Game isn’t much better with Justin Silmon (260 yards, 2 TDs). Cook looked better than Hubener as a runner last Game, but Hubener still has 113 rushing yards on the year.
Considering the Wildcats offense probably can’t Score50 points, this Game will come down to their defense. They haven’t been great this year, allowing 33 points to Louisiana Tech and 36 to Oklahoma State, so something will have to change.
TCU has scored at least 50 points in three straight Games, including a 30-point first quarter against Texas last weekend. Trevone Boykin and his receivers are in complete rhythm. Josh Doctson has been unstoppable in the last three Games and already has 42 receptions for 722 yards and 8 TDs on the year. Speedster KaVontae Turpin has battled injury, but went for 138 yards and 4 TDs against the Longhorns. In addition to that, their running Game has been close to unstoppable with Aaron Green at 504 yards and six touchdowns.
KSU’s defensive front was solid against OK State, but TCU is a different level. If they can stop the ground Game somewhat, there will be some hope for the Wildcats. However, a week after allowing Mason Rudolph to throw for 437 yards, what will they be able to do against the more-efficient offense of TCU?
All signs point to a down season for Kansas State and these next two Games will decide that, as they host Oklahoma next. It’s unwise to count Bill Snyder out, but his team has a huge task in this Game.
The Horned Frogs are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record, but an interesting classic Bill Snyder stat is that the Wildcats are 22-5 ATS in their last 27 Games after allowing more than 280 passing yards in their previous Game.
TCU took this Game 41-20 last year, covering easily at home. The Horned Frogs ran for over 300 yards, while K State’s ground Game could do nothing. If that’s the case again, it could be more trouble for the home team.
Our Pick – Our model is at it’s best when predicting underdogs to win straight up. That’s exactly what Our model is suggesting in this spot, a straight up Kansas State win.
What makes us back off a tad here is the fact there have been some early season cupcakes for both teams. The more solid data we have, the more faith we have in Our model. The model gets stronger from week 4 on, but the weak teams water things down a bit.
Just the same, we’re going to side with Kansas State here +9