The Kansas State Wildcats (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) are just one win away from bowl eligibility heading into this Saturday’s competition with the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) and they’re looking to become the fourth Big 12 team to secure a bowl game with a 2-4 or worse start.
The K-State found a great deal of success in the running game last weekend against the Texas Tech Red Raiders with a combined rushing yardage of 291 and they will likely look to senior running back John Hubert to contribute to the mix. Hubert, who is averaging one touchdown in K-State’s last four games and 109.5 rushing yards per game, has been a major player for the team and will be needed if the Wildcats hope to take down TCU.
TCU, which is tied for the conference lead and is sixth in the nation in forced turnovers, leads the Big 12 with 70.4 percent of its scrimmage yards coming from underclassmen.
This will be an interesting matchup given K-State’s returned focus on fundamentals, which has resulted in their leading of the Big 12 in fewest penalties committed and fewest penalty yardage.
The Wildcats have only given the ball up four times since their five turnovers in the 33-29 loss against Oklahoma State.
K-State’s defense has been remarkable compared with the beginning of their season when it was nowhere to be found. The Wildcats have several heavy-hitters making big plays this season, notably defensive lineman Travis Britz; defensive end Ryan Mueller; and defensive back Ty Zimmerman.
Sophomore Britz currently leads the nation with four blocked kicks, Mueller, a Big 12 defensive-player-of-the-year candidate, leads the conference with eight sacks, and Ty Zimmerman who, despite a concerning shoulder injury, came away with an interception and broken up pass against the Red Raiders, last Saturday.
Though the defense had a rough start at the beginning of the season, K-State has still ranked No. 1 nationally, since 1999, in non-offensive touchdowns with 91.
Head coach, Bill Snyder has praised the offensive line for their continued growth, which has allowed K-State’s offense to run the ball more effectively. Speaking of, the K-State offense has been remarkably stable, averaging 198 passing yards and 225 rushing.
K-State has also had booming fourth quarters in their three-game win streak, outscoring their opponents 56-14.
It will be an interesting game as TCU head coach, Gary Patterson, returns for the first time to alma mater, K-State. Patterson graduated in ‘83 and played safety and linebacker for the Wildcats.
The Kansas State Wildcats will face off against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.