Texas Tech at Kansas State
The No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats host the No. 15 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Week 9 in a battle between two surprising teams in the Big 12. Texas Tech had won five straight in this series before a 34-41 home loss to Kansas State in 2011. The Wildcats erased a 20-28 halftime deficit behind Collin Klein, who threw for 146 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 110 yards and three scores.
Oddsmakers have installed Kansas State as a 7-point favorite with a total set of 60 points.
The Wildcats (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) have been one of the biggest surprises in the country, let alone the Big 12. This team has gone on the road and beaten then-No. 6 Oklahoma and then-No. 13 West Virginia already, clearly cementing themselves as the favorites to win the conference.
Kansas State not only beat the Mountaineers, it crushed them 55-14 in convincing fashion. It had scored 52 points by the end of the third quarter while amassing 479 yards of total offense. The defense held this high-powered WVU offense to a measly 243 total yards.
Collin Klein went 19 of 21 passing for 323 yards with three touchdowns, while also rushing for 41 yards and four scores. John Hubert rushed for 52 yards on 16 carries. Tyler Locket caught a game-high nine balls for 194 yards and two scores, and Chris Harper added six receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats rank 42nd in the country in total offense (434.9 yards/game), including 14th in rushing (233.9 yards/game). They are 23rd in total defense (327.3 yards/game), giving up 100.0 yards on the ground and 227.3 through the air.
After totaling seven touchdowns against the Mountaineers, Klein is certainly the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy award. He is completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 1,397 yards with 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He is also second on the team in rushing with 551 yards and 14 scores.
The Red Raiders (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) appear to have finally turned the corner in head coach Tommy Tuberville’s third year on the job. They have beaten two ranked opponents in then-No. 5 West Virginia and then-No. 23 TCU over the past two weeks after falling to Oklahoma 20-41 at home.
Texas Tech played a thrilled at TCU over the weekend, winning 56-53 in triple overtime. It did squander a 36-26 lead over the final 4:06 of regulation as the Horned Frogs fought back to tie it at 36-36 on a 42-yard field goal from Jaden Oberkrom with 18 seconds to play in regulation.
Both teams scored touchdowns in their first two drives of overtime, but the stage was set after TCU had to settle for a field goal in the third overtime. Seth Doege’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Alex Torres was the game-winner.
Doege finished 30 of 42 passing for 318 yards and a whopping seven touchdowns. Eric Ward was on the receiving end of three of those scores, and Torres caught two. Kenny Williams had a team-high 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The Red Raiders rank 11th in the country in total offense (516.1 yards/game), including 4th in passing offense (361.7 yards/game). They most surprising aspect of this team is their stop unit, which ranks 7th in the land in total defense (282.0 yards/game).
Prediction: Kansas State 38 – Texas Tech 24
I look for the Wildcats to win and cover Saturday against the Red Raiders. This team just will not be denied behind the leadership of Collin Klein and a stingy defense. They don’t make mistakes because they are led by arguably the best college football coach in the land in Bill Snyder. It would be foolish to bet against this team at this point. Somehow, they are still undervalued as only a 7-point home favorite over Texas Tech.