Big 12 Previews

Kansas State vs. TCU: Preview and Prediction

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Kansas State Wildcats and the TCU Horned Frogs.

GAME INFO

Saturday, October 22, 2022; 7:00 p.m. CT; Amon G. Carter Stadium; Fort Worth, Texas

TV: FS1 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, Matt Walters; Horned Frog Sports Network (Brian Estridge, John Denton, Landry Burdine)

Records: Kansas State (5-1, 3-0 Big 12); TCU (6-0, 3-0 Big 12)

Rankings: Kansas State ranked No. 17 (AP Top 25); TCU ranked No. 8

Last Week:  Kansas State Idle in Week 7; TCU 43, Oklahoma State 40 F/2OT

Series History: Kansas State leads 8-7

Last Meeting: Kansas State 32, TCU 12

Favorite: TCU (-3.5)

Fun Fact: No team has ever won more than three consecutive meetings in this series, with TCU winning from 1984-1986 and K-State carrying in a three-win streak against TCU from 2019-2021.

 

KEY PLAYERS

Kansas State Wildcats

QB Adrian Martinez

Since his emergence in the Oklahoma game in Week 4, Adrian Martinez has been one of the most impressive players in the Big 12, regardless of position. In the last three games, Martinez has 998 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns, but that’s not the most impressive part of Martinez’s 2022 season. Although his past at Nebraska would tell you otherwise, Adrian Martinez has been extremely good at not putting the football in harm’s way. He has neither an interception nor a lost fumble to his name this season, which is incredible on its own. That is how to win close football games, which in the Big 12, you will find yourself in nearly every week.

DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Junior defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah leads the nation in sacks (1.08 per game), ranks 14th in forced fumbles (2), and is 21st in tackles for loss (1.3 per game). K-State has arguably the nation’s best pass-rusher in Anudike-Uzomah, who makes an impact every time he steps on the field. For K-State to be successful in slowing down TCU’s high-powered offense, No. 91 will need to wreak havoc early and often in the TCU backfield to keep Max Duggan off-schedule.

 

TCU Horned Frogs

WR Quentin Johnston

Over the last two weeks, TCU junior wideout Quentin Johnston has emerged as a Biletnikoff Award threat as he has absolutely gone off in back-to-back weeks. After relatively quiet showings to start the season, Johnston recorded 14 catches for 206 yards and a score two weeks ago against Kansas, and followed that up with eight catches for 180 yards and a score against Oklahoma State last weekend. His 6-4, 215 pound frame makes him a mismatch against anyone and if he continues to rip off games like that, TCU will be difficult to stop.

LB Jamoi Hodge

The easiest thing to say about Jamoi Hodge is that he is a darn-good football player. It seems like Hodge has a knack for finding the ball, and when he does, violence ensues. There is no question who the most physical defender on the field for TCU is, and when Hodge gets a chance to light someone up, he does. Hodge is third on the team in tackles (30) and second in sacks (2.5), but he also has an interception on the year and finds ways to impact opponents any way that he can.

 

KEY STORYLINES

Kansas State Wildcats

Can Kansas State’s defense slow down the TCU offense? Through six games, K-State is allowing opponents to score 16.7 points per game, good for 14th nationally. It’s almost a certainty that TCU will pass that mark, but by how much is the question? If K-State can hold TCU under 30 points, I like their chances to win the ballgame, but if the Horned Frogs get loose and get chunk play after chunk play, it could pile up on the K-State offense that prefers to chew clock and make every possession count.

TCU Horned Frogs

Can TCU get K-State off the field on third down? The Horned Frogs rank 70th in the country, allowing opponents to convert on 38.9% of their third downs. If they allow K-State to hold the ball and win the time of possession by a wide margin, it could prove stifling for the Horned Frogs offense. The good news for TCU? Kansas State’s offense hasn’t been great on third down, converting just 30.99% of its attempts. That mark is good for 116th nationally. TCU needs to win third down defensively, and offensively. They convert 41.67% offensively (51st), while K-State’s defense is among the nation’s best at getting off the field, allowing opponents to convert on just 29.1% of attempts (12th nationally).

PREDICTION: TCU 34, Kansas State 27

The difference in this game for me is TCU’s offense. Max Duggan, Quentin Johnston, and Kendre Miller make up one of the most underrated skill trios in America and the best that Kansas State has seen to this point in the year. Holding TCU to a season-low of 34 points will require a stellar effort from Chris Klieman’s defense, but I think they do enough to keep themselves in the game. In the end, TCU has just a bit too much firepower and scores one more time than K-State can match.

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