A Summers View: This Week’s Key Matchup Against TCU
The season continues to turn upward as the Kansas State Wildcats throttled the Texas Tech Red Raiders last weekend. Up next, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs and former Wildcat Head Coach Gary Patterson. On line for the Cats, that important 6th win of the season, making the Wildcats bowl eligible once again. This week’s key match up, I showcase the run game of John Hubert, who after a slow start, has kicked into high gear. His success, against the TCU defense, will help determine the outcome of this weekend’s match up. But first, let’s take a quick look at the teams leading into this Big 12 contest.
TCU enters Saturday at 4-6 (2-5 in Big 12 play) after narrowly escaping Iowa State (the same Iowa State the Wildcats handled 41-7 the previous week) 21-17. The Horned Frogs needed a Trevone Boykins TD with 38 seconds left to secure the win. Starting QB Casey Pachall finished the game 20-36, passing for 245 yards but did throw 2 interceptions. Trevone Boykins, the Horned Frogs backup QB, rushed for all three TCU touchdowns on 5 carries for 29 yards. Aaron Greene led the Horned Frogs in rushing with 72 yards, while Brandon Carter led TCU in receiving with 6 catches for 93 yards. Boykins filled in for Pachall after the QB broke his non-throwing arm on September 7th. Pachall is seen as more of the passing QB, while Boykins is more versatile. (Hmm, their QB situation sounds familiar?) Where K-State has finally found the groove with dual QB’s, TCU hasn’t been as successful. The win against Iowa State was TCU’s first since beating Kansas 27-17. After that, the Horned Frogs dropped 3 straight, 24-10 at Oklahoma State, 30-7 against Texas, and 30-27 in overtime against West Virginia.
Kansas State manhandled the 25th ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders by a score of 49-26 in Lubbock. It was a big win for many reasons. First, it made the Cats even in Big 12 play at 3-3, and above .500 overall at 5-4. Coach Snyder added a few milestones to his legendary career. With the victory, Coach Snyder became the 46th head coach to reach 175 career wins, 11th to do so at one school. He also became the 3rd coach in Big 8/12 history with 100 conference wins, joining only Barry Switzer (100) and Tom Osborne (153). But Coach Snyder wasn’t the only Wildcat making history in the Cats win over Tech. John Hubert led the Cats in rushing, setting the tone early with a 63 yard touchdown run on the Wildcats second offensive play. When the game was finished, Hubert led the Wildcats rushing attack with 157 yards on 23 carries. The rushing total moved Hubert into 4th All-Time at Kansas State in the rushing yards category. The game also marked the 10th time Hubert has rushed for over 100 yards, also tied for 4th most in school history.
The theme from last weekend’s game was rushing dominance. The Wildcats turned in a blueprint Snyder victory, rushing for 291 yards and 5 scores, while forcing 5 sacks and 3 turnovers. (including a 43 yard interception return touchdown by Ty Zimmerman). Both QB’s scored twice on the ground, as Jake Waters rushed for 38 yards and passed 6-9 for 69 yards and 1 TD through the air while speedy Daniel Sams added 81 yards on 11 carries and 11 yards passing. The Wildcats scored 28 unanswered first half points and controlled the clock the majority of the contest. This brings me to this week’s key match up.
TCU has a good defense, allowing only 125.2 rushing yards per game, 1st in the Big 12. Kansas State currently sits 3rd in the league in rushing offense at 197.7 yards per game. Who will win in this key match up? Kansas State’s quick turnaround has coincided with the emergence of a strong run game and finally minimizing the mistakes. The turnover margin for Kansas State has continued to move up, currently sitting at -3 compared to TCU’s +1. Can John Hubert, who has gotten himself going, continue to carve up defenses, helping allow for Daniel Sams to run free and Jake Waters to find open receivers down field? TCU’s scoring defense is allowing 22.9 points per game; Kansas State’s offense is averaging 34 points per game. Something will have to give in Manhattan tomorrow; will it be Bill Snyder’s squad getting the team’s 6th win? Or will Gary Patterson return to his Alma Matter and inch closer to bowl eligibility? We will find out on Saturday.