It's time to start off the Big 12 season! Crazy! It feels like yesterday that the season was just getting underway.
Records: ISU (3-1), KSU (2-2)
Date: Saturday, October 3rd, 2009
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Time: 2:00pm CDT
TV: Fox College Sports
Line: ISU -2.5, O/U 47.5
- Key Players Out: Darius Reynolds and Rashawn Parker are both out for the season
At A Glance:
This is a must win game for the Cyclones if they want to be in the conversation of bowl eligibility. We're playing a toss-up game, at a neutral site, and it will be interesting to see how it all goes down. Quite frankly, neither of these teams look too impressive, and it's an equally big game on both sides as both need a win here, to build some confidence as they head into the thick of the conference schedule
Things You Should Know, Keys to the Game, and My Prediction After The Jump!
Things You Should Know:
- While Kansas State is 2-2, they have not beat a FBS team yet this season
- Kansas State is 79th in the Nation in total yards/game (322 yds/game), while ISU is 68th (354 yd/game)
- While some may make fun of their offense, they K-State is averaging about 40 more yards/game than ISU is.
- The punters ought to be ready to go. Both these teams stink at 3rd down conversions. ISU is tied for 87th at 33%, KSU is 111th at 22.6%
- K-State has a good defense. They are 31st in total yards allowed/game (321 yds/game), the 35th best pass D (185.5 yards/game), and are 54th in rushing yards allowed/game (137.5 yards/game).
- Some players to watch for: Daniel Thomas (433 yards rushing, 4 TDs, and takes some Wildcat formation snaps), Brandon Banks (19 catches for 233 yards, 10 kick returns for 394 yards and 2 TDs, 11.6 yards per punt return), and Tysyn Hartman (21 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble).
- These teams are not that different from each other: K-State has the better defense, and ISU has the better offense, but they are only slightly better than each other.
- K-State is probably my least favorite team in the conference. There's nothing I'd love more than to see them lose and have their fans have an uproar as to how such an "elite" program like KSU could lose to lowly ISU.
Keys To The Game:
- Limit the turnovers. ISU averages 3.3 giveaways per game vs. KSU's 1.7. In a game this tight, you can't give the opposition extra possessions
- Start off quickly offensively. ISU isn't a come from behind team. Plus when playing against a good defense in KSU, the chances to score go down as the game goes on.
Solid Special Teams play. Brandon Banks is a gamechanger, so ISU will either need to just not kick to him, or try to contain him. I think this game may come down to a last minute FG or something of that nature, so you can't give the game away in the Special Teams. Also, if the offense is having troubles getting going, a big return would be the perfect spark. KSU is having offensive struggles as well, so ISU can't gift them good field position, or give away a big TD.
I'll go with ISU 24, KSU 23. I think this is going to be a tight game as these teams are pretty even. If you're heading down to Kansas City, be safe and have fun!