Bud Light Weekend Preview: Kansas State at TCU

Editor’s note: Houston Texans Digital Media Manager and AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl Outreach Committee Member Eric SanInocencio is pinch hitting for us this week on the Bud Light Blog, check out his take on the biggest Big 12 matchup of the season so far!

Going into the start of the 2014, not many had this weekend’s TCU (7-1) vs. Kansas State (7-1) game circled on the college football calendar. Fast forward three months and this Saturday’s matchup in Fort Worth is not only a pivotal conference matchup, but a game with National Championship implications.

The Big XII champion could very well be decided at Amon G. Carter Stadium this Saturday, with TCU and Kansas State coming into the game with a combined 9-1 record in conference play. The Wildcats (5-0), the league’s lone undefeated squad in Big XII play, currently tops the standings. TCU is just a game behind, tied with Baylor in second place at 4-1.

In the all-important College Football playoff rankings TCU holds a slight edge, as the Horned Frogs checked in at number six. Kansas State isn’t far behind at seven. All eyes will be on Fort Worth, as national discussion will form around the team that can come away with a victory on Saturday.

TCU’s success traces back to its offense, which is second in the Big XII in scoring. Head coach Gary Patterson’s attack is putting up 48 points a game, having scored over 40 points in a game on five different occasions. The Horned Frogs tallied an astounding 82 points in a win over conference rival Texas Tech, and even in their lone defeat to Baylor were able to rack up 61 points.

TCU has a balanced attack; ranking in the top three in the league is both rushing (214 ypg) and passing (335 ypg). Led by junior quarterback Trevone Boykin, the Horned Frogs have become efficient, completing 57 percent of pass attempts and converting 206 first downs.

Boykin leads the Big 12 and is fourth in the country in total offense (361.9 yards per game). He is just the third quarterback since 2009 to average over 300 yards per game passing (309.0) and at least 50 yards per game rushing (52.9). You might recognize the other two…Heisman Trophy winners Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel.

While the offense gets top billing, the TCU defense has also been stout. TCU leads the Big XII in turnover margin (+15) and is fourth in the league in total defense, only giving up 370 yards per game.

While the TCU defense is good, the Kansas State defense is great.

Head coach Bill Snyder’s defensive unit allows just 18 points per game, a top 20 mark in all of college football. They have been particularly stingy against the run, giving up only 100 yards per game on the ground. Combined, the Wildcats are giving up 321 yards per game, which is tops in the Big XII. Senior linebacker Jonathan Truman has been the team’s defensive leader, racking up a team-high 73 tackles on the season.

Offensively, K-State has features two of the nation’s top receivers. Seniors Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton have combined for nearly 100 catches this year to go along with eight touchdowns. The pair has helped senior quarterback Jake Waters throw for 1,878 yards on the year with an impressive 11-to-3 touchdown to interception ratio.

Waters, a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien award, is a capable dual-threat, having run for 404 yards and seven touchdowns. Waters has totaled 200 passing yards in nine-straight games, a streak that is the longest by a Wildcat under head coach Bill Snyder.

Game Notes
— Kickoff is at 6:30 pm and will be shown nationally on FOX
— Game will feature the only pair of top 10 teams facing off against each other
— KSU’s Jake Waters is the fifth player in school history to be named at least a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award
— TCU’s Trevone Boykin was also named a Dave O’Brien semifinalist
— There are 14 former Kansas State players currently in the NFL, including Houston Texans linebackers Zac Diles and Justin Tuggle
— Maxwell Football Club named TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin as a semifinalist for the 78th Maxwell Award, presented to the nation’s Collegiate Player of the Year.

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