Down in the cornfields in Kansas, two of the country’s more bitter rivals will meet in a crucial undercard NCAA football betting affair on Thursday night, as the Kansas Jayhawks play host to the Kansas State Wildcats.
KSU is absolutely a one dimensional team, and it proved it last week when it ran up against one of the best defenses you’ll ever see in that of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. When RB Daniel Thomas was taken out of the game, there was just no chance to get the offense kick started no matter who was taking snaps under center. A bit of a one man wrecking crew, Thomas has been great this year, rushing for 691 yards on a stunning 127 carries. His average of 5.4 yards per carry was drastically cut last week, and it also marked the first time this season that he didn’t find pay dirt. QB Carson Coffman tried his best last week, but he just couldn’t get it going through the air. He has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 730 yards and six scores against three picks. The defense for the Wildcats was absolutely blown apart by the Huskers’ ground game, something that is worth noting. Any team that averages allowing 246.6 yards per game to opposing rushers has to immediately have a big, red caution sign in the air.
The Jayhawks just don’t have the same type of talent quite yet that the Wildcats do. HC Turner Gill is doing everything that he can do, but his defense just isn’t good enough to compete with the best in the Big XII and his offense doesn’t have enough playmakers. The ‘D’ gave up a season worst 55 points last week in a 55-7 blowout against the Baylor Bears in one of the most disgraceful games that this program has seen in years. Just like Coffman is doing the best he can with KSU, QB Jordan Webb is doing what he can for the Jayhawks. Unfortunately, the frosh has really only had one good game this year, a three TD performance against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and he has yet to break 250 passing yards in a game in his career. RB James Sims is an okay running back, but his numbers aren’t going to blow you away at 329 rushing yards and three TDs on the year.
What we have to remember in the Sunflower State showdown is that these teams both have a bad perception after getting blown away last week. All too often, there is a major reaction to just one week of play by the oddsmakers, and that’s what we see this week with the men in black and purple favored by just 2.5 points. KSU isn’t the real deal, nor will it really compete in the Big XII North when the season ends. However, the Wildcats are a bowl team. Kansas isn’t anywhere near that level quite yet. It’ll be another tough loss for Gill and the gang in this rivalry on Thursday night.
NCAA Football Free Pick: Kansas State Wildcats -2.5