Kansas State Wildcats
Head Coach: Bill Snyder
2013 Record: 8-5 overall, 5-4 Big 12
2013 Bowl Result: Beat Michigan 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
2014 Returning Starters: 6 offense, 5 defense
Odds to Win 2015 College Football Championship game: 100/1
Odds to win 2014 Big 12 Championship: 10/1
Regular Season Wins: over 7.5 -130 / under 7.5 even
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Kansas State won the Big 12 title in 2012, but regressed in 2013 with the loss of key pieces. The Wildcats did end their season on a positive note by beating Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl but still K-State lost 5 games in 2013.
This year Kansas State is considered a dark horse candidate to contend for the Big 12 title. The Wildcats are always dangerous under the leadership of longtime coach Bill Snyder. Let’s take a look at Kansas State on offense, defense, special teams and their schedule.
Last season, the offense averaged just over 400 yards per game and 34 points. Senior quarterback Jake Waters returns to helm the offense. He completed 61.2% of his passes for 2,469 yards with 18 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. along with 118 carries for 312 yards and 6 touchdowns. Waters split snaps with Daniel Sams last year. Sams threw for 452 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4 picks. He was much more dangerous with his legs though with 152 carries for 807 yards and 11 touchdowns. Sams was going to move to receiver in the spring but decided to transfer to McNeese State.
Receiver Tyler Lockett also returns for his senior season, and should be one of the top receivers in the country. Last year he had 81 catches for 1,262 yards and 11 touchdowns. Curry Sexton had 39 catches for 446 yards last year. Deante Burton, Kyle Klein and Andre Davis will also get a lot of targets.
The biggest question is a at running back, where the Wildcats must not only replace Sams but tailback John Hubert who had 198 carries for 1,048 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus 13 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Besides Waters no other returning Wildcat had more than 5 carries last year. Senior DeMarcus Robinso looks to be the feature back, but sophomores Jarvis Leverett and Charles Jones will also get carries as will freshman Dalvin Warmack.
Senior center B.J. Finney along with tackles Cody Whitehair and Boston Stiverson should anchor a strong offensive line that will give Waters time to throw.
The Kansas State defense gave up 359 yards and 23 points per game last season. However, only 5 starters return from that unit.
Pass rusher Ryan Mueller burst on the scene last year with 11.5 sacks as a junior. He returns to anchor the line. Tackle Travis Britz is also talented. JUCO transfer Terrell Clinkscales could start right away at tackle.
Linebacker Jonathan Truman is the lone returner from a unit filled with new faces, including JUCO transfer D’Vonta Derricott.
The secondary must replace talented safety Ty Zimmerman. Saftety Dante Barnett and corner Randall evans headline a secondary that should remain strong.
Kicker Jack Cantele made 11 of 13 field goals last season and 40 of 41 extra points. His longest kick was 44 yards so leg strength could be an issue. Punters Mitch Lochbihler and Nick Walsh will compete to replace Mark Krause. Lockett is one of the top return men in the country with 4 touchdown returns in his career.
Kansas State has a tough home game against Auburn in the third week of the season. The other two non-conference games are home games against Stephen F. Austin and UTEP. In conference, They have road games at Oklahoma and Baylor, but get Texas and Oklahoma State at home. Playing Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State in three straight weeks will be a challenge. Kansas State closes with 3 of their last 4 on the road including the season finale at Baylor. Anything more than 9 wins would be a surprise for this team, and that might even be a stretch.
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