K-State Run Offense vs. Miami Run Defense
Quarterback Collin Klein had a breakthrough game against Kent State last Saturday when he led the Wildcats with 152 yards rushing. Despite using three different running backs, none were able to manage any significant success. K-State will have to find other ways to move the ball on Saturday if they hope to have a chance. The University of Miami defense is filled with experienced players, nine of which have recorded seven or more tackles in a single game including two sacks, one of which was against Ohio State. One of K-State’s four running backs will have to step up in a major way on Saturday, or the Wildcats could be in for a long night.
Miami Run Offense vs. K-State Run Defense
Led by senior quarterback Jacory Harris and sophomore running back Lamar Miller, the Hurricanes present a potent offensive running game. The Wildcats have looked impressive on defense so far this season, allowing an average of only 64 total yards on the ground; however, they have yet to face an offense this dangerous. For K-State, the defensive line will have to step up and make more tackles at the line of scrimmage. With K-State junior linebacker Arthur Brown leading the defense into this matchup with his former school, the Wildcats have all the motivation they need to prove themselves on defense.
K-State Pass Offense vs. Miami Pass Defense
So far this season, the Wildcats have struggled the most when trying to find success through the air. After the first two games of the season, they have only one receiver with over 30 yards and none with 100 or more. If the offense was that stagnant against Eastern Kentucky and Kent State, it’s hard to imagine how things will be against Miami. Led by senior defensive back JoJo Nicolas, the Hurricanes secondary is loaded with experience. Expect Miami’s solid coverage to make throwing the ball a challenging endeavor for the Wildcats.
Miami Pass Offense vs. K-State Pass Defense
Though the Hurricanes have had more success throwing the ball than K-State, it is unlikely that Miami has faced a more talented backfield so far. Led by defensive backs David Garrett and Ty Zimmerman, the Wildcats have allowed opponents an average of only 100 yards through the air. Jacory Harris will likely look to receivers Tommy Streeter and Allen Hurns as his primary targets, who have a combined total of 14 receptions for 178 yards and demonstrate both size and speed at the receiver position. The Wildcats still hold the upper hand, with an arsenal of experienced and talented defensive backs looking to throw a blanket over the Miami receivers.
K-State Special Teams vs. Miami Special Teams
Place kicker Anthony Cantele showcased his abilities against Kent State after hitting three field goals, including a career-long 49-yarder. Cantele has consistently placed kicks in the back of the end zone, preventing the opportunity for teams to bring the ball out. Miami kicker Jake Wieclaw has also been successful for the Hurricanes this year and will make returning the ball a challenge for the Wildcats. Special teams will play a big part in this contest for K-State and the return teams will need to provide good field position on punts and kicks.
The Wildcats will be on the road for the first time this season and will take on their most challenging opponent thus far. With a young and inexperienced offensive line, the hostile Miami crowd will likely cause some issues up front. K-State’s fate against the Hurricanes will rely almost completely on its offense continuing to improve. It is unlikely that the Wildcats will have the potency to put up enough points to win the game, but the defense should keep the final score respectable.
Final Score Prediction: 24-17 Miami