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Kansas State vs. UTSA: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Christian

Here is everything you need to know about the Wildcats’ upcoming game in our Kansas State vs. UTSA preview.

Game info

3:00 p.m. Central Time, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS

TV: FSN (Mark Followill, Brian Baldinger, Lesley McCaslin)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (39 stations), Sirius 106, XM 210

Fun Fact:K-State and UTSA will meet for the second time ever and the second time in three seasons when the two teams meet on Saturday. The Wildcats won the lone meeting in the series, a 30-3, victory in 2015 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Key players

UTSA

RB B.J. Daniels

Daniels rushed for a game-high 90 yards against Baylor last week, along with a touchdown on 16 carries. He’s only a sophomore and last week was his breakout game. Considering Kansas State gave up 384 rushing yards last week to Mississippi State, this could be another breakout opportunity for Daniels.

DL Kevin Strong Jr. 

Strong Jr. was a second-team all-conference selection in 2017 and was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA team as well. Last season he had 27 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and four quarterback hurries. Considering the surprising struggles of K-State’s offensive line thus far, this could be an interesting storyline.

Kansas State

Who’s at QB?

I think this is the third straight week we’ve had the QB position as one of our “key players” for K-State and how can it not be? There are now reasons to be concerned about what is going on under center for the Wildcats as both Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton have failed to live up to expectations. The two combined for 100 passing yards and 38 rushing yards against Mississippi State. Yikes.

LB Da’Quan Patton

Patton came to K-State as the 5th-best JUCO linebacker in the country in the Class of 2017. Considering the Wildcats struggles on defense, Patton will need to step up, especially against a UTSA team that will probably try to establish the running game. He had four tackles last week against Mississippi State and has a relatively quiet season through two games.

 

 

Key storylines

UTSA

UTSA held its own against Baylor last week, but playing a third-straight Power 5 program can wear a team down that is playing up a level. However, if the Roadrunners wants to pull off the upset, it begins with their strong defensive line. Along with Kevin Strong, there’s Eric Banks, Baylen Baker and King Newton, son of Nate Newton. Considering the weakness of K-State’s offensive line so far, if these guys up front can cause some havoc and keep the game low scoring against a Wildcat offense that has also struggled to find its way, then maybe UTSA can hang around.

Kansas State 

K-State just needs to get it going on both sides of the ball. They’ve given up a ton of yards while struggling to score points or move the ball. I’d like to see Bill Snyder stick with one quarterback in this game, preferably Skylar Thompson, and see how it plays out. The back and forth is tough on any player, and both Thompson and Alex Delton admitted as much after the game last week. Snyder also said this week his offensive line isn’t playing “tough”. That needs to begin this week against UTSA before Big 12 play begins next week at West Virginia.

Prediction: Kansas State 27, UTSA 20. The Roadrunners will hang around. They have a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, not just on the line, but with C.J. Levine and Darryl Godfrey at safety as well. Kansas State’s offense has been anemic to date, and getting off to especially slow starts against South Dakota and Mississippi State. That’s the last thing you want to have happen against an opponent that is playing up a level. It gives them plenty of reason to stay motivated and run off adrenaline. I think the Wildcats will get the win, but to say it’ll be a nice, pretty and packaged blow out would be a strength.

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