Know Your Opponent: Here’s a few things to keep in mind as the Wildcats prepare to take on Bowling Green this weekend

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Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter of the football game against Nicholls State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team rolls off a 49-14 domination of Nicholls State last Saturday into a home date with the Mid-American Conference’s Bowling Green Falcons.

Like head coach Chris Klieman, Bowling Green’s head coach is in his first season at his school. Scot Loeffler’s comes to Bowling Green after being the offensive coordinator at Boston College.

Bowling Green dispatched FCS Morgan State with relative ease last Thursday. They put up 620 yards and 37 first downs on their way to a 46-3 win.

Bowling Green’s offense is an interesting take on the power run-type schemes that K-State is using this season, except they run it in a hurry-up, no-huddle style.

They love to line up with one running back and two tight ends — called 12 personnel — and run the ball behind the seven blockers. They rarely needed to go five-wide last week and opted to stay in 12 or 11 (one running back, one tight end) on traditional passing downs.

Junior running back Andrew Clair and senior running back Davon Jones are the two main backs in the offense, providing 87 and 76 yards last week respectively.

At quarterback, senior Darius Wade will be the starter. He is a highly mobile, left-handed quarterback, but he is not the world’s most accurate passer and he is a little quick break the pocket and scramble.

They mostly use play-action in the passing game and like to get Wade rolling out off the run fake. He is decent on the run and is more than capable of tucking the ball to pick up yardage if no one is open.

K-State’s junior defensive back AJ Parker indicated that the Wildcat defense practices against high-tempo all the time. It will be interesting to see how the defense wears down as the game progresses because of the combination of physical play and speed.

The Wildcats should focus on stopping the run and getting plenty of rest for their defense. K-State’s ball-control offense should be an asset in this situation if they can sustain long drives to give the defense rest.

The defense on display last week from Bowling Green was a pretty standard 4-3. It is a new scheme from what they played last year with a new coordinator, which is a good thing for the Falcons because they were 125th out of 130 teams in points given up last season.

PREDICTION: I think Bowling Green is less of a challenger than Nicholls was last week, but I worry about the style matchup. I think K-State has the athletes to impose their will on Bowling Green in much the same way as they did against Nicholls. K-State covers the 23.5-point spread winning 55-17.

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