Know Your Opponent: Two first-place Big 12 teams go head-to-head

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Defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah stops TCU from carrying the ball down the field. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

No. 17 Kansas State (5-1) (3-0)

K-State did not play last week, leaving time for players to heal injuries and receive extra film on TCU. Even with the bye week, the Wildcats will need to focus on containing the electric Horned Frogs offense. If the defense struggles to slow TCU down, the Wildcat offense will need to play with a new aggressive mindset to keep up. Playing well on both sides of the ball is crucial in taking down the No. 8 team in the country. A win for K-State would result in the Wildcats leading the conference and a possible top 10 ranking.

No. 8 TCU (6-0) (3-0)

The Horned Frogs arrive at their home game against K-State as one of the hottest teams in college football. Defeating Kansas and Oklahoma State in close fashion, TCU has already displayed a high level of intensity. Ranking as third-highest scoring offense in the Football Bowl Subdivision, few teams have the game-breaking ability TCU has. The weapons surrounding quarterback Max Duggan and the play of the offensive line have propelled the veteran signal caller to new heights in his play. The defense, which continues to allow close games, is the sole weakness of the roster. 

 

Key Matchup to Watch: Quarterback Max Duggan vs. the K-State Defense

Duggan has become a star for the Horned Frogs in his senior season. After showing steady improvement since his freshman year, he has become one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Duggan lies just under 70 percent completion with 1591 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, with only one interception. His contributions extend to the running game, collecting 261 yards and four touchdowns throughout six weeks. His multifaceted game brought trouble to every defense they faced.

Duggan’s 0-3 career record against K-State gives a glimpse of hope for the Wildcats. K-State’s defense has repeatedly provided Duggan with trouble, most recently from defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah’s four sack performance last year. A similarly productive defense could result in the first time any team has controlled the barrage of points Duggan puts on the board. The Wildcat’s previous successes and continued impressive performance provides the defense with a chance to gain the upper hand on the TCU offense.

To control the star quarterback, the Wildcats must limit his two greatest weapons: running back Kendre Miller and wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Both have flashed throughout the year, with Johnston hitting his stride against Kansas and Oklahoma State. Consistent tackling, lockdown coverage and constant pressure must be enforced on all three TCU stars to help the Wildcat offense keep up.

 

Key Players:

K-State:

Defensive End Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Safety Josh Hayes

TCU:

Wide Receiver Quentin Johnston

Running Back Kendre Miller

 

Prediction: TCU 37-28

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