Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in Manhattan, Kansas in our Kansas State vs. TCU preview and prediction.
Date: October 14th, 2017 | 11:00 a.m. CT | Bill Snyder Family Stadium
TV: FOX Sports 1| Joe Davis (play-by-play), Brady Quinn (analyst) and Bruce Feldman (sideline)
Radio: WBAP 820 AM/KTCU 88.7 FM | Brian Estridge (play-by-play), John Denton (analyst), Landry Burdine (sideline)
Radio: K-State Sports Network | Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play) Stan Weber (analyst) Matt Walters (sideline)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 81, XM 81
Fun fact: Gary Patterson is the King of the bounce-back season. TCU has a 28-2 record in the three seasons it came off a non-winning record in the 17-year tenure of head coach Gary Patterson. Meantime, despite their string of success under Snyder, a win on Saturday would give the Wildcats their first victory at home over a top-10 team since defeating No. 4 Texas in 2006.
TCU Horned Frogs
John Diarse, wide receiver
Diarse had four catches for 70 yards last week against the Mountaineers. On the season he has become the favorite target of Kenny Hill with 14 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. Now Diarse leads his unit on the road against the best pass defense in the Big 12 conference.
Ben Banogu, defensive end
Banogu has burst onto the scene this fall for the Horned Frogs defense. He’s second in the Big 12 with four sacks, fifth with seven tackles for loss, and has two forced fumbles this season. Regardless of who’s at quarterback for Kansas State, they’ll have to know where #15 is at all times.
Kansas State Wildcats
Jesse Ertz/Alex Delton, quarterback
It remains to be seen who will be under center for the Wildcats on Saturday. Ertz is dealing with a handful of undisclosed injuries and left last week’s game against Texas. Delton came in and rushed for 79 yards on 12 carries with a pair of touchdowns, but only completed two of five passes for 30 yards. Delton can run the ball, but if he gets the nod Saturday, expect TCU to force him to the passing game.
Trent Tanking, linebacker
TCU has the best running attack in the Big 12 led by Kyle Hicks and Darius Anderson. As the leader of the linebackers, Tanking is in charge of trying to slow the Horned Frogs rushing attack down. Tanking leads the team and is 14th in the Big 12 with 37 tackles on the season.
Keep Kenny Hill in control
Gary Patterson said after last week’s game that he is surprised people keep acting surprised with how well and steady Kenny Hill is playing. But guess what, I’m going to keep being surprised each and every week because with each passing game and each victory, the stakes get higher. TCU fans hope Hill continues to maintain his calmness and confidence that he’s exhibited the first few weeks of the season. The Wildcats will try to get to Hill and they’ve been able to do that so far this season: K-State is ranked 11th nationally in turnover margin (+6) and will try to be the first time this season to force Hill into a game-altering turnover (although West Virginia fans will swear they did that last week, which is fair).
Stop the run
I didn’t specify which team needs to stop the run because they both do. TCU and Kansas State rank first and third respectively in rushing offense in the Big 12 conference. Meantime, TCU’s rushing defense has been better, ranking first in the conference (104 ypg), while Kansas State ranks fourth (130 ypg). The Wildcats should watch film from West Virginia last week, which held the Horned Frogs to 170 rushing yards (they are averaging 220 rushing yards per game).
Kansas State’s passing game
We know TCU can stop the run. So with Kansas State possibly going with back up Alex Delton at quarterback, the wide receivers for the Wildcats need to step up. Last week was Dalton Schoen’s breakout performance with five catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Prior to last week, Kansas State wide receivers had dropped 10 passes the past two games against Vanderbilt and Baylor. Things improved last week, but Isaiah Zuber, Byron Pringle and Dominique Heath all need to step up and do their part to help the offense and make sure they don’t make the little mistakes that cost them a chance at the upset.
TCU 35, Kansas State 24
Gary Patterson has this team playing very confident football right now. They weren’t at their best last week against West Virginia, but quality, veteran teams find a way to pull off the win anyway. Regardless of if it’s a banged up Ertz or a healthy Delton, either quarterback is going to have its struggles with this TCU defense. Plus, the Kansas State wide receivers are no where close to what West Virginia brought to Fort Worth last week. Lastly, Kansas State has not looked like a typical Bill Snyder team this season will ill-timed drops, turnovers and penalties. TCU is playing much sharper football coming into this game.