Here is everything you need to know about the Big 12 showdown from Manhattan, Kansas between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Iowa State Cyclones in our preview.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, 2:30 PM C.T., Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, Kansas
TV: ESPN2 | Anish Shroff (Play-by-play), Ahmad Brooks (analyst), Roddy Jones (Field Analyst)
Radio: Cyclone Radio Network | John Walters (Play-by-Play) , Eric Heft (Analyst), Ben Bruns (Sideline)
Radio: K-State Sports Network | Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play) Stan Weber (Analyst) Matt Walters (Sidelines)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 132, XM 199
Fun facts: The Cyclones are 4-1 on the road this year, the most since going 4-1 away from home in 2000.
Iowa State Cyclones
Sheldon Croney Jr., running back
Remember when Mike Warren was looked at as the next Iowa State running back in 2015? Boy, talk about a turn of events. Warren has 88 rushing yards this season and hasn’t earned a carry since 10/14 against Kansas. But, with David Montgomery possibly limited with an ankle injury, it might not even be Warren, as sophomore Sheldon Croney Jr. is just as likely, if not more, to get a lot of action. Croney had four carries for 45 yards last week against
Joel Lanning, linebacker
It should be another busy afternoon for Lanning as the Wildcats appear to have their quarterback of the future in Skylar Thompson, who can run well, but also has a solid arm. Lanning is second in the Big 12 with 103 tackles, top 15 with 4 sacks, and top 20 with 8 tackles for loss.
Kansas State Wildcats
Skylar Thompson, quarterback
Thompson looked his best last week in Stillwater and clearly picked up lots of confidence, which is imperative for any young player. He was 10 of 13 for 204 yards and three touchdown passes to zero interceptions. He also had 17 rushes for 93 yards and one touchdown run.
Byron Pringle, wide receiver
What a game in Stillwater for Pringle, who recorded one of the best games in league history at Oklahoma State as he became the first player in Big 12 history to record three receiving touchdowns (four receptions, 166 yards) and a kick return score in one game.
Iowa State passing offense
The Cyclones should have Kyle Kempt back at quarterback for the finale (at least he’s listed as the starter). Kempt will look to take advantage of the worst passing defense in the Big 12. He has the big targets on the outside to do it with Allen Lazard and Hakeem Butler. K-State is giving up 314 passing yards per game, which is 34 more than the second-worst passing defense in the Big 12 (Texas Tech). The battles between Lazard/D.J. Reed and Butler/Duke Shelley will be fun to watch.
K-State running attack
Over the past two games, Iowa State has given up over 270 rushing yards combined (Oklahoma State, Baylor). We know the Wildcats want to pound away on the ground and with Thompson flashing some serious dual-threat ability last week, along with Alex Barnes, this could end up as a very favorable match up for Kansas State. The last three games the Wildcats have 217, 173 and 145 rushing yards, improving that number each week.
These are the two best teams in turnover margin in the Big 12. Iowa State leads the Big 12 at +11, while Kansas State is right behind them at +10. Incredibly, Iowa State has still yet to lose a fumble this season. Both teams have 12 interceptions. One big turnover can totally turn this game.
Kansas State 24, Iowa State 23
I think this is going to be a helluva good and close game. Watch what happens before halftime, because no team in the Big 12 has made defensive adjustments like Iowa State: In seven of its eight Big 12 games, the Cyclones have allowed seven points or less after intermission: Texas (3), Oklahoma (7), Kansas (0), Texas Tech (7), TCU (7), West Virginia (0), Baylor (3). The Wildcats need to get off to a fast start and then hang on to their lead. It’s senior day in Manhattan, so I believe we’ll see a strong start from the Cats as they build off last week’s momentum against Oklahoma State. K-State uses its red zone defense, that ranks second in the Big 12, to keep Iowa State to more field goals then touchdowns. The Wildcats are the healthier bunch right now, and while Iowa State will make adjustments, it won’t be enough as the Wildcats hang on for the victory in Manhattan.