Kansas vs. Kansas State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Jayhawks and Wildcats.
Kansas vs. Kansas State Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 26 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS
It’s the 114th Sunflower Showdown, a series dominated by Kansas State over the past seven years. However, Kansas will enter this battle for the Governor’s Cup with a rare bounce in its step. The Jayhawks rallied to stun Texas a week ago, snapping a 19-game Big 12 losing streak. End another skid this Saturday, 43 straight on the road, and David Beaty will be soaring into his third year in Lawrence. The Cats are coming off an impressive win as well, 42-21 at Baylor to padlock another bowl game for Bill Snyder. After going 6-7 in 2015, Kansas State can guarantee a winning season by handling its chief rival in Manhattan.
What To Know About Kansas
The 2-9 Jayhawks are making strides, albeit small ones. They’re averaging five more points than a year ago, while allowing nine fewer per game. It’s a start. Plus, the kids showed a lot of moxie last week against the Longhorns, rallying from 11 down in the fourth to win in overtime. The offense now revolves around running back Ke’aun Kinner, who gets tepid support from the passing game. The D is vulnerable, but improving. Kansas picked off three passes last week, and defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. and defensive tackle Daniel Wise are handfuls at the point of attack.
What to Know About Kansas State
Manhattan is home to the top-rated Big 12 defense. And the unit is littered with productive playmakers, like defensive end Jordan Willis, linebacker Elijah Lee and defensive backs Dante Barnett and D.J. Reed. But while defense clearly sets the tone at Kansas State, the offense has been enjoying an uptick in production as well. The Wildcats have averaged 37 points over the last three games, thanks to the emergence of the ground game. Quarterback Jesse Ertz has been a fixture and running back Charles Jones is a steady vet, but redshirt freshman running back Alex Barnes has been coming on particularly strong, scoring four times last week.
Offense: Kansas State. Neither team passes the ball consistently, but the Cats are far superior on the ground, averaging five yards a carry and 211 yards a game.
Defense: Kansas State. The exception to the Big 12 rule about defense, the Wildcats lead the league in both scoring and total defense.
Special Teams: Kansas State. Special teams always gets plenty of attention in Manhattan, and it’s evident this year in punter Nick Walsh and placekicker Matthew McCrane.
Coaching: Kansas State. Bill Snyder is still one of the best in the business, and he could earn his 200th career win this weekend at the Jayhawks’ expense.
Intangibles: Kansas State. The Wildcats are home, which naturally means the Jayhawks are outside of Lawrence, where they haven’t won a game since 2009.
Matchup To Watch
Willis vs. Kansas tackles Hakeem Adeniji and D’Andre Banks
This game will feature the Big 12’s top two sackers, Willis and Armstrong. Willis, in particular, ought to have a field day. His target will be a redshirt freshman, QB Carter Stanley, and his opponent at times will be a true freshman, Adeniji, who has a bright future but a long way to go.
Kansas vs. Kansas State Betting Odds
Spread: Kansas State -26
Over/Under: No line as of post
Kansas vs. Kansas State Prediction
Kansas is coming off a seminal win under Beaty. But Kansas State has momentum as well, with the offense beginning to narrow the gap on the defense. And as the Wildcats move closer to being a complete team, beating them gets a lot tougher. The Cats will frustrate the Jayhawk offense at all turns, while Ertz and Barnes will spearhead another prolific day on the ground that includes more than 300 clock-draining yards between the tackles. Kansas State will keep the Governor’s Cup for an eighth straight year.
Kansas vs. Kansas State Score Prediction: Kansas State 35, Kansas 13