Spread: Mississippi State (-7.5)
Time and Location: 12:00 ET, Starkville, Mississippi
Kansas State raced out to a 38-0 lead at halftime and never looked back, finishing with a 52-0 victory over Bowling Green. The Wildcats ran the ball 58 times and were devastatingly effective. The defense was also excellent, allowing only 5 first downs the whole game.
Kansas State had very little interest in passing the ball, although when they did they were strong. Quarterback Skylar Thompson was 10-13 with 151 and 2 touchdowns, both scores going to Malik Knowles. The two touchdowns were part of a 5 catch 99 yard performance.
The run game was the bread and butter for Kansas State. 333 yards and 5 touchdowns were all produced on the ground. James Gilbert led the team with 103 yards and 2 scores. Harry Trotter, Jordan Brown, and Joe Ervin also scored on run plays.
Daniel Green had the best performance of any player on the Kansas State defense. He had 4 solo tackles, one TFL for a sack, one pass defended, and one forced fumble, all good for best on the team.
The Kansas State defense stuffed Bowling Green completely. 140 total yards were all BGSU could get. 61 on the ground and 71 in the air. That’s pretty impressive.
The Bulldogs beat Southern Mississippi 38-15 on Saturday, but the victory didn’t come without a loss. Quarterback Tommy Stevens left the game with what seemed to be a head injury and isn’t a sure thing to play this week. Luckily, backup Garrett Schrader was solid in his stead.
The two quarterbacks combined for 16 of 21 passing with 176 yards and 2 scored. The scores were off Stevens’ throws to Osiris Mitchell and Stephen Guidry.
The run game saw 5 different players with 5+ carries with Kylin Hill in the lead. Hill rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown. Lee Witherspoon and Nick Gibson also scored touchdowns.
The defense wasn’t the traditional force that we’re used too, although they did the job. They forced 3 turnovers by way of 2 interceptions and a fumble. USM was able to move the ball to the tune of 344 total yards.
The pass defense wasn’t great, allowing 234 yards and 2 touchdowns. The line wasn’t able to get too much pressure with only 2 sacks across the team. The run stop was better and only gave up 110 yards.
Brian Cole II led the team with 7 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, and 1 for a sack.
Analysis and Pick
Kansas State looked really good against a team that was better than Mississippi State’s opposition. 52 points against a decent team is nothing to sneeze at, especially when your defense holds them to 140 yards and no points.
I’m absolutely taking Kansas State to cover this game even though it’s in Mississippi. Their defense was incredible all around and is playing an underwhelming offense. Mississippi State has okay weapons but will either be playing a backup or freshly injured starter.
Kansas State has a dynamic offense and dominant running game that should be able to keep the Bulldogs within reach while running time out. That being said, I’m taking the over here. 48 is very low for any college game, especially for two teams that combined for 90 points last week.
Neither team is afraid to throw and we should expect at least one quick strike from someone. Good offenses will prevail this week.