This may come as a surprise to most, but the Kansas State Wildcats have the Big 12’s top scoring defense when it comes to playing in Manhattan, Kansas. In four home games this season, Bill Snyder’s program has limited opponents to just 18 points per game. The stretch includes a tilt against the TCU Horned Frogs — the No. 11 scoring offense at 41.3 points per game.
Leading the defensive effort is none other than Will Geary. The defensive tackle sets the tone with his strength and commands a double team on nearly every down. Rated as the Big 12’s top defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus, Geary remains a large reason why the Wildcats have found success in defending the run. Through six games, K-State has held opponents to under 100 yards rushing three times. Despite the success on the inside, KSU lacks an elite pass rusher on the outside to compliment Geary.
Against the pass, Kansas State was expected to excel. With depth and experience, the secondary falls to the middle of the pack but has clearly improved from last season. This upcoming weekend could easily be a make it or break it type game for this unit.
Coming up with five interceptions, KSU hopes to continue the trend. D.J. Reed and Kendall Adams lead the way with two interceptions a piece. Giving up 238.2 yards through the air each outing, the Wildcats must improve down the stretch while creating more turnovers.
As a team, K-State struggles to stop opposing offenses from converting on third down attempts. This stat line is often critical especially in a conference like the Big 12 with big play threats looming all over the field. At this point in time, KSU allows opponents to convert on 42.33% of third down attempts. It’s been the downfall of this program whose offense continues to struggle without Jesse Ertz on the field.
Needless to say, a tall task awaits in stopping a high powered Oklahoma Sooners offense up next.
Thanks to the play of a young receiving corps. as well as Baker Mayfield and the offensive line, Lincoln Riley’s offense scores at a clip of 42 points per game. The number ranks 10th nationally. However, the Sooners have started extremely fast only to finish slow over the past two games. Will the trend continue? Or will the Sooners solve the riddle this weekend on the road?
Only time will tell. Until then, leave your early score prediction in the comments below.