2015 Kansas State Wildcats Football Preview

Team Info
Kansas State Wildcats
Head Coach: Bill Snyder
2014 Record: 9-4 overall, 7-2 Big 12
2014 Bowl Result: Lost to UCLA 40-35 in the Alamo Bowl
2014 Returning Starters: 6 offense, 6 defense

Betting Info
Odds to Win 2016 College Football Championship game: 175/1
Odds to win 2015 Big 12 Championship: 13/1
Regular Season Wins: over 7 -125 / under 7 -105
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Kansas State faces a rebuilding year under legendary coach Bill Snyder.
Kansas State faces a rebuilding year under legendary coach Bill Snyder.

Last season, Kansas State was the third best team in the Big 12 behind only Baylor and TCU. The Wildcats actually had a chance to win a share of the league title in the season finale at Baylor but a 38-27 loss ended those dreams. A narrow bowl loss to UCLA in the Alamo Bowl put a little bit of a damper on what had been a great season.

Many expect a rebuilding year for coach Bill Snyder and the Wildcats in 2015 with only 12 starters back. Still, Kansas State is always dangerous and could play spoiler in the tough big 12. Let’s take a closer look at the Wildcats.


Co-offensive coordinators Dana Dimel and Del Miller get six starters back but four of those are on the offensive line. The skill positions are virtually all new players.

That starts with quarterback Joe Hubener who has never started a game at quarterback in his life, even in high school. The former walk-on played other positions in high school but is a gifted natural athlete. He served as the back-up to quarterback Jake Waters last year, who has since graduated. Hubener completed 9 of 17 passes last year for 235 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and also ran for 142 yards with 3 touchdowns. Hubener beat out sophomore Jesse Ertz and freshman Alex Delton for the job in spring practice. Either could step in if Hubener isn’t up to the task. All three are better runners than Waters.

Junior running back Charles Jones returns after rushing for 540 yards on 133 carries with 13 touchdowns, and he also made 8 catches for 75 yards with a touchdowns. Back-up DeMarcus Robinson is gone after rushing for 437 yards with 5 touchdowns. Most of the back-up carries should go to freshman Dalvin Warmack.

The receivers will look totally different with the departures of Tyler Lockett (106 catches, 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns) and Curry Sexton (79 catches, 1,059 yards, 5 touchdowns). Lockett is now with the Seattle Seahawks. No other receiver had more than 20 catches last year, so they are untested. Even tight end Zach Trujillo is gone after making 19 catches for 389 yards and 2 touchdowns. Deante Burton and Kody Cook look to take over as the featured receivers after combin9ing for 37 catches last year. Dayton Valentine will take over as the tight end.

The line must replace center B.J. Finney but every one else is back. The line must improve especially in run blocking as no back averaged more than 76 yards per game on the ground.

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Coordinator Tom Hays also gets six starters back on the defensive side for Kansas State. The defense was good but not great in 2014, and looks to improve.

Defensive tackle Travis Britz was all conference last year and looks to anchor the unit. Marquel Bryant and Jordan Willis will start at the ends. The unit must replace productive  end Ryan Mueller.

The linebackers must replace leading tackler Jonathan Truman. Elijah Lee made 4.5 sacks last year despite playing mostly on third downs. He will anchor the unit this season along with Will Davis.

The secondary returns three senior starters in strong safety Dante Barnett, along with corners Denzel McDaniel and Morgan Burns. The secondary should be the strength of the defense.

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Special Teams

Sophomore kicker Matthew McCrane converted 18 of 19 field goals as a freshman. Punter Nick Walsh is also back. The Wildcats must replace Lockett as the primary return man. Burns returned a kick for a touchdown last season and will handle the job full time in 2015. Look for Judah Jones to return punts.


Kansas State has home non-conference games against South Dakota and Louisiana Tech sandwiched around a road game at UTSA. Only a huge surprise would result in them losing any of those games. In October, K-State travels to Oklahoma State, hosts TCU and Oklahoma, before traveling to Texas. November brings a home game against Baylor, a road game at Texas Tech, home against Iowa State, and the Sunflower Showdown at Kansas Thanksgiving weekend. Kansas State closes the season at home against West Virginia in early December.


With so many new faces on offense and a very difficult October and early November stretch, more than 6 wins will be hard to come by. I think the Wildcats squeak into a bowl but this will be a rebuilding year.

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