Wildcats eye first road win of the season against TCU

Sophomore Quarterback Skyler Thompson runs out on the field with the rest of his team minutes before kickoff in their football game against Oklahoma State in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 13, 2018. The Wildcats defeated the Cowboys 31-12. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

It’ll be a tale of two teams looking to improve after less-than-stellar weeks as the Kansas State football team travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday.

The Wildcats will be hoping to bounce back after being annihilated last week against the Oklahoma Sooners in a 51-14 loss.

The Horned Frogs are also looking to bounce back after a game they hope to forget, an upset by the Kansas Jayhawks 26-27.

Both teams come into this game with identical overall and conference records (3-5, 1-4).

With the Wildcats record at 3-5, the remaining four games of the season will determine if they will be making a bowl game to extend the program’s bowl appearance streak to nine straight bowl appearances. As the Wildcats will need to win three of their four remaining games to become bowl eligible games, a win on Saturday would certainly be a big help.

K-State is still looking for their first road win this year, as they have dropped all three road games this year.

TCU will be looking to snap their three-game losing streak.

Both the Wildcats and the Horned Frogs currently sit in a three-way tie in last place in the Big 12 along with Kansas.

[realted title=”OPINION: Snyder’s legacy is a K-State miracle, but he needs to move on” url=”https://www.kstatecollegian.com/2018/10/31/opinion-snyders-legacy-is-a-k-state-miracle-but-he-needs-to-move-on/This is a good chance for redshirt”]

Sophomore quarterback Skylar Thompson and junior wide receiver Isaiah Zuber need to reconnect this week and have a big game as the Horned Frogs defense has given up 194.3 passing yards per game this season.

Thompson and Zuber have shown they can be a good quarterback/wide receiver duo this season and they will have an opportunity to showcase themselves and do damage to the Horned Frogs.

Junior running back Alex Barnes will also have an opportunity to have a big game against a Horned Frogs defense that has given up 145 rushing yards per game.

Barnes has had a solid junior season — rushing for 816 yards on 151 carries, along with nine touchdowns — and has the ability to carry this team with another big game. His biggest game this year was against Baylor, as he rushed for 250 yards and scored three touchdowns. Barnes only got 13 carries last game against Oklahoma, but if he gets going early, he will likely get more carries.

The big matchup will be the Wildcats defense against the Horned Frogs offense. The Wildcats defense has been very sub-par for most of the season to say the least. The Wildcats have consistently been having trouble wrapping up and tackling, and consistently saying they need to do a better job tackling to the media after the game. This game will be a great opportunity for the Wildcats to show they can be better.

As the Wildcats have given up 251.5 passing yards per game this season, this game will be a good test as the Horned Frogs have averaged 242.9 passing yards. The Wildcats will want to get after sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson. Despite throwing for 1,334 yards this season, he has thrown just one more touchdown (nine) than interceptions (eight). It will be big for the Wildcats to put pressure on Robinson and get him rattled early in the game.

Needing three wins in their last four games of the year to become bowl eligible —with the final two games against quality opponents Texas Tech and Iowa State — this game is a must-win for the Wildcats.

This game will speak for the state of the K-State football program, which is not in a good state right now. After last week’s loss in Norman, there is uncertainty looming around in the program. We will see if this team will come ready to play and have a strong performance, or if we will see another sloppy team continue to look for an identity.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on FS1. This game can also be heard on 101.5 KROCK in Manhattan.