This season is starting to take a turn in the wrong direction for the Kansas State Wildcats going into the Texas Tech game on Saturday. Things aren’t going as they would like them to in Manhattan. Confused? Well, they aren’t supposed to be the favorites. They are supposed to play the spoiler role and be the underdog, but the media isn’t buying it right now.

That’s right, ESPN, CBS and FOX pundits among others are stating the Wildcats case for being the second best team in the BCS Championship hunt behind only Alabama. Throw in Florida, Oregon and maybe even Notre Dame as competitors for the coveted BCS number two spot and that certain team from middle-America is holding its own.

Up next for K-State is Texas Tech and third year head coach Tommy Tuberville. He knows a thing or two about beating some of the top teams in the country. You have probably seen the stat stating that Tuberville is 6-2 against top 5 teams, we will get to that again in a minute. If K-State is playing a ranked team with a coach that is 6-2 against the top five, shouldn’t K-State be the underdog? But they aren’t, in fact they are a touchdown favorite at -7. Maybe this is yet another sign that the Mayans were right about the world coming to an end in a little over a month.

Back to the Tuberville versus the top five stat, that’s a tough one to ignore, so I did little research and using the Coaches Poll at kick-off and breaking down Tuberville’s schedules, this is what I found.

  • I have Tuberville at 4-5 overall against Coaches Poll top five since 2001
  • He was 3-3 with Auburn and 1-2 with Tech.
  • 2-3 at home and 2-2 on the road
  • 1-2 as a ranked team, 3-3 as an unranked team
  • 2-1 in September, 2-2 in October and 0-2 in November

So what does it all mean? Nothing really, but after seeing that last bullet point K-State has to be happy that we are playing him in late October, as in the last Saturday in the month. The latest in the season he is ever knocked off a top five team is October 22. That is also his most recent, against Oklahoma last season when an unranked Texas Tech team left Norman with a 41-38 win.

One of the things that Kansas State has surprised teams with this season is their defense. In the score-happy Big 12, Kansas State has not allowed more than 21 points in a game. That includes two of the Big 12’s best offenses and those games were played at West Virginia and at OU. But Texas Tech has a good defense as well. They only give up 234.8 passing yards per game, 138.5 rushing for a total of 373.3 in total defense which all rank third in the Big 12.

K-State is holding Big 12 opponents to 113 yards less than their Big 12 average. That equates to a offensive output decrease of 26.5% yards per game. If that holds true on Saturday, Texas Tech will gain 120 yards less than their average of 455, or 335 total yards.

What about turnovers? In their game against TCU last week, Tech was the recipient of three turnovers while not giving up the ball once. Remember, that was a 56-53, three overtime game. K-State leads the Big 12 with a +10 turnover margin and Tech comes in at number four with a +1 margin after the +3 from last week. With two very good defenses on the field, this may be the game changing stat. Whoever can capitalize on an extra possession might very well walk away with the win.

Offensively, this game features two of the top five most efficient quarterbacks in the nation. Collin Klein comes into the game at number two with a 175.8 rating and Seth Doege at 169.6 ranks fifth. In fact, the Big 12 has 4 of the top 5, Nick Florence from Baylor is third at 172.8 and Geno Smith is fourth with 172.  Alabama’s AJ McCarron is first at 183.6.

Continuing with offensive efficiency, K-State ranks ninth in the Big 12 in passing yards per game with 199.5, but is second in yards per attempt at 9.7. Tech is second in passing yards at 357.2 and fourth per attempt at 8.4. Another stat shows K-State scores .68 points per play, that’s a touchdown every 8.8 plays versus Tech’s .51 points per play.

So will the defenses or offenses reign supreme tomorrow afternoon? I’m not sure, but here we are at game eight in the 2012 season. Favorites to win the game, the Big 12 and maybe even a chance at something bigger. This year’s team is never satisfied with where they are at. They always find something or someone to use as motivation to prove that they belong. This season they are running out of things to prove.

PowercatRyan’s Big 12 Predictions:

  1. Texas -19.5 at Kansas, 11:00 FSN – I thought KU was improving and then last week happened. Texas doesn’t have a great defense, but they can score.
  2. Texas Tech @ Kansas State -7, 2:30 FOX – Snyder and Klein are rolling. KSU back home after two road games. All signs point to another double-digit win.
  3. TCU +7 @ Oklahoma State, 2:30 FSN – Is OSU 100% at QB? Looks like another close game for TCU.
  4. Baylor +2.5 @ Iowa State, 6:00 FSN – Iowa State has trouble at the QB spot. I find it hard for them to be able to out-score the Bears in this one, even at home.
  5. Notre Dame @ Oklahoma -11.5, 7:00 ABC – The Irish have gotten lucky at home against Stanford and BYU. I don’t see them surviving in Norman.

*Lines are from LVH. Times are central.

About The Author

Ryan was born and raised around the “Little Apple”, and is a life-long Kansas State fan and 2007 graduate. He is also a lover of all things Tallgrass Brewing. Was once quoted on November 11, 2006 as saying, "If we beat Texas, I will get a Powercat tattooed on my ass!"

Related Posts