Know Your Opponent: Wildcats battle Troy Trojans

Celebrating the touchdown with his teammates, senior running back Treshaun Ward looks up to the crowd. The Kansas State Wildcats defeated the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 45-0 on Sept. 2 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (Reece Bachta | Collegian Media Group)

No. 15 K-State (1-0)

The 45-0 victory against SEMO left Kansas State with nearly nothing to be desired. The offense excelled at spreading the ball through quarterback Will Howard and pounding the rock with the duo of DJ Giddens and Treshaun Ward. Defensively, the front seven provided constant pressure while the secondary exhibited potential to match the front’s efficiency. The Wildcats will continue the season as weekly favorites often, as long as its play doesn’t slip up.

Troy (1-0)

The Trojans entered the season unranked but still receiving recognition. Troy gained 10 ranked votes in the preseason AP poll after finishing 2022 ranked No. 19. The Trojans were led by its No. 8 ranked scoring defense, allowing 17.1 points per game. Troy failed to match its 2022 performance in Week 1, allowing 30 points to Stephen F. Austin in an 18-point victory. The Trojans must return to its 2022 defensive play to reclaim its top 25 ranking and to compete against the best.

Matchup to Watch: Wildcat front seven vs. Kimani Vidal

K-State faced off against FCS first team All-American and SEMO all-time rusher Geno Hess in Week 1. Even with his prowess, Hess was stifled in the matchup, taking 10 carries for -4 yards, averaging less than zero yards per carry. The Wildcats’ front seven played at a near perfect level, led by linebacker Austin Moore with six tackles, three of which were tackles for loss. The Wildcats once again go head-to-head with another highly productive running back.

Week 1 may have been even more productive for Troy running back Kimani Vidal than for the K-State front seven. Vidal broke the program’s single game rushing record with 248 yards against Stephen F. Austin. Not only did Vidal excel on the ground, but he also led the team in receiving yards with 54 on two catches. Vidal has produced for the Trojans since his 2020 freshman year, rushing for at least 500 yards every year. The 2022 season was his best, rushing for 1,132 yards and 10 touchdowns. In Week 2 he faces the test of not repeating the smothering of a similar style runner in Hess.

Key Players


Wide receiver RJ Garcia

Linebacker Austin Moore


Running back Kimani Vidal

Cornerback Reddy Steward

Prediction: K-State 34-20