Saturday, October 21; 6:00 PM CT; Bill Snyder Family Stadium; Manhattan, Kansas
Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, Stan Webber); Horned Frogs Sports Network (Brian Estridge, Landry Burdine, Chris Blake)
Record: Kansas State (4-2); TCU (4-3)
Series History: Kansas State leads, 9-8
Last Meeting: Kansas State 3, TCU 28 (2022)
Line: Kansas State (-6.5)
Fun Fact: The matchup between Kansas State and TCU provided some instant classics last season with TCU’s 38-28 comeback win and the Wildcats OT thriller in the Big 12 Championship. While these rosters have changed a lot since last year, Saturday has the potential to add a third chapter to that story.
KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
QB AVERY JOHNSON
While fans will likely still see a chunk of snaps with Will Howard under center against TCU, Kansas State has a star in the making with true freshman quarterback Avery Johnson. The Kansas native burst onto the scene in a massive way on Saturday against Texas Tech rushing for five touchdowns en route to a 38-21 victory. TCU has been one of the better teams in the league at defending the run but with an explosive player like Johnson at the Wildcats disposal, he instantly becomes the player to watch on offense.
S KOBE SAVAGE
Kansas State’s defense has not been the strong point this season, but one player who has continued to make plays is senior safety Kobe Savage. Savage earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 7 after recording the first multi-interception game by a K-State safety since the 2014 season. Savage will have the opportunity to make some plays in Week 8 against TCU and their true freshman quarterback Josh Hoover when they get to town.
TCU HORNED FROGS
QB JOSH HOOVER
Three of the four players to watch in this preview happened to earn Big 12 Player of the Week Awards and Josh Hoover is one of them. Hoover split the title of Offensive Player of the Week with Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon by going 37-58 for 439 yards and four touchdowns on Saturday which ranks as the 10th-most passing yards by a QB in a single game this season. Hoover now turns to face a much bigger task against Kansas State but should have a chance to follow up his historic performance with some solid play in a tight contest.
LB JAMOI HODGE
Kansas State’s receivers have not been an issue this season. What has been effective for the squad is a combination of the rushing attack, and the tight end Ben Sinnott. Jamoi Hodge will be relied on heavily in stopping both wrinkles to the opposing offense. Hodge ranks second on the team in both total tackles (37) and sacks (2.5), and he will be needed to show some flash alongside junior linebacker Namdi Obiazor in order to keep the Wildcats from getting big plays on the ground.
KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
How will you manage the quarterback split? Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman listed “OR” on the starting quarterback roster spot between Will Howard and Avery Johnson headed into Week 8, but with some experience balancing two quarterbacks in the past, how will the Wildcats offense look? Texas Tech struggled against the quarterback run and has for the past two seasons, but I believe that the storyline to follow in Saturday’s game will be which QB is on the field when they need to throw the football.
TCU HORNED FROGS
Is Josh Hoovert him, or was last week an anomaly? TCU quarterback Chandler Morris will miss his second-straight game on Saturday as true freshman quarterback Josh Hoover looks to make his second career start against the defending Big 12 champs. Hoover was incredible against BYU but was careless with the football at times and threw two interceptions. Josh Hoover will now have to take on the Kansas State defense which is fresh off of a three-turnover game of their own.
PREDICTION: KANSAS STATE 34, TCU 24
Kansas State continues its stride. The game between Josh Hoover and Avery Johnson has some serious implications for the future of the Big 12 in terms of fan viewership but I believe Joel Klanderman and Kansas State will rise to the task and take control of the game. Kobe Savage is playing at an All-Conference level in the middle of the field, and I think that Avery Johnson will continue to shine against a TCU team that has been hit-or-miss on defense this season.