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These two teams could not be coming off of more different games in the week before. Kansas State heads into the game coming off a comeback win over No. 3 Oklahoma, while Texas Tech is coming off a game where… Well, you all know what happened.
Here are five things Texas Tech fans need to know about Kansas State:
Skylar Thompson can throw
Historically, the Kansas State offense hasn’t been like most other Big 12 offenses in terms of its productivity through the air. The Wildcats have only had one QB throw for at least 2,000 yards in the last five seasons: Skylar Thompson last year (2,315 yards).
Through two games the senior quarterback has thrown for 593 yards and three touchdowns. He’s the best quarterback this team has had in several years, probably since Collin Klein. Thompson isn’t flashy but he knows how to operate within this offense.
Baskets of turnovers
One of the biggest reasons why Kansas State was able to upset No. 3 Oklahoma was the Wildcats’ ability to force turnovers. Through two games this year Kansas State has forced four interceptions and recovered two fumbles. Three of those interceptions came from a freshman quarterback in Spencer Rattler, but the Wildcat defense knows how to create havoc.
Bowman threw three interceptions himself against Texas last week and Kansas State will look ot force him into making similar mistakes in this contest.
Skilled skill player
For the WIldcats, talented skill position players are usually in short supply. But this year Kansas State has a dandy of a running back in freshman Deuce Vaughn. Through two games Vaughn leads the team in rushing yards (92), receiving yards (153) and has two of the team’s six rushing touchdowns.
Almost all of the Wildcats’ offense comes through Vaughn and Thompson. the two are a dangerous duo and shutting them down is the key to stopping this offense.
One of Kansas State’s strength is always its solid fundamentals. The Wildcats are never a team with much pizzaz or flash, but they play intelligent football. This shows itself in the turnover numbers.
Through two games the Wildcats have yet to commit a turnover. Last season, Thompson only threw five interceptions and tossed just four the year before. One way Kansas State have been uncharacteristically undisciplined is in the penalties the team has taken this season.
KSU averages 10.5 penalties per game this year for an average of 96.5 yards per game.
All or nothing defense
If the Wildcats aren’t forcing turnovers, their defense is getting toasted. This season Kansas State gives up an average of 358.5 yards per game and 4.5 touchdowns per game through the air. The Wildcats also give up an average of 144.5 yards per game on the ground.
The Kansas State defense is the personification of feast or famine. Offenses that can avoid turnovers will find success against this unit.
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