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Week 11 – Kansas State at TCU
Posted Nov 7, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Kansas State at TCU


Kansas State (9-0) at TCU (6-3) Nov. 10, 7:00, FOX

Here’s The Deal: As if anyone needed more proof that Collin Klein is the most valuable player in college football, his health concerns could turn the tide in the race for the BCS championship, the BCS title and the Heisman. However, this could also be the time when Kansas State proves to everyone that it’s more than just No. 7.

While Klein is expected to go after reportedly suffering a head injury to go along with a wrist problem, the rest of the team will still likely have to pick up the slack – is this the time when the machine breaks down? Kansas State has gotten to No. 2 in the BCS and on the very of playing for the national championship because it does everything right offensively, keeps the defense off the field, and controls games throughout. A lot of that has to do with Klein, who’s fantastic at moving the chains both with his arm and his legs for an offense that rolled up 154 points over the last three games in tests against West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. With the high-powered Baylor offense up next, and Texas to close things out, there aren’t any layups the rest of the way.

TCU is realistically out of the Big 12 title chase, but it became bowl eligible last week with a double overtime victory over West Virginia and is playing well enough to give the Wildcats a slew of problems. The run defense is the best in the conference, and the offense has been able to keep up the pace at times scoring 39 points or more in three of the last four games. This might not be the TCU team of previous seasons thanks to injuries, suspensions and other issues, but it’s just dangerous enough to throw a curveball into the BCS title chase.

Why Kansas State Might Win: Oklahoma State 36, TCU 14. The Wildcats just tagged the Cowboys 44-30 a week after TCU lost to them big. The Horned Frogs turned the ball over three times in the loss, couldn’t convert on third downs and committed ten penalties – which all plays into Kansas State’s hands. TCU just isn’t tight enough overall with 23 turnovers on the year and nine in the last three games, while getting it with ten penalties or more three times in the last seven outings. No matter what Klein’s status is, the Horned Frogs can’t win unless they’re perfect.

The Wildcats are second in the nation in passing efficiency with Klein deadly accurate down the field and hitting on the big plays when he’s getting his chances. TCU has the overall numbers against the pass and has been good at coming up with picks, but not lately. The D was lit up by Baylor, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State for over 300 yards in each of the last three weeks, and the chance is there to get torched if the safeties have to come up and worry about the ground game. However …

Why TCU Might Win: What is the Kansas State offense going to do? Even if Klein is playing, is he fine? The offensive line has been great in pass protection so far, but TCU will bring the heat from all angles as it tries to generate pressure and force quick throws. TCU is eighth in the nation against the run, and while it hasn’t played anyone who can blast away with the ground game, it has been able to hold up well against the quick runners who like to bounce it to the outside. In this game, the TCU defense might key on John Hubert first and rely on the back seven to take care of Klein.

Can the Horned Frogs hang on to the ball? To beat Kansas State, you have to keep the Wildcat defense on the field. TCU is third in the nation in time of possession, keeping the ball for 34 minutes per game, and is much, much stronger at getting off the field ranking fifth in the nation in third down defense. Shorten the game, hold up to the long drives KSU likes to run, and hope for the best.

What To Watch Out For: So what happens if Klein isn’t able to go? Daniel Sams completed 5-of-6 passes for 45 yards while running seven times for 20 yards late against the Cowboys, but now he’s on high alert to be ready to do far more. The 6-2, 211-pound redshirt freshman is a very fast, very athletic option with the ability to be a dangerous dual-threat option. The New Orleans native is a perfect fit for what Kansas State likes to do, but he’s not Klein.

Can TCU get Devonte Fields back in a groove? The freshman sensation was dominant over the first part of the season, but he hasn’t come up with any sacks in the last two games with just a half a tackle for loss. Pass rush might not be a big key to slowing down Kansas State, but Fields and the defensive front have to get into the backfield and get to the running game before it gets room and time to move. Fields will have a lot to do with that.

What Will Happen: Kansas State will be pushed really, really, hard. TCU will keep it conservative, will milk the clock, and will make every possession important. However, even though it will be close, the Horned Frogs will commit a few big turnovers to turn the tide towards the Wildcats. The national title dream will stay alive, but there will be some sweating.

CFN Prediction: Kansas State 31 … TCU 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Kansas State -10 O/U: 55
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 4