Kansas St Wildcats 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 20, 2021
Record – 4-6
ATS – 6-4
Get on that ROLLER COASTER, buh buh.
The Wildcats were upset at home by Arkansas St in an entertaining week one affair (L 35-31) and then proceeded to rattle four consecutive wins in Big 12 action. That included a yuuuuge upset in Norman when they took down the mighty Sooners (W 38-35). Things then took a turn to TURD TOWN as they lost their final five games, three of those in blowout fashion.
Kansas St Wildcats 2021 Outlook
The Cats sputtered on offense LY (#7 rushing Big 12, #9 passing) and averaged fewer than 400 YPG for the 6th consecutive season. QB Skylar Thompson got off to a good start and led the upset over Oklahoma but was injured (OFY) in week three. He’s back for what seems like his 12th season ** and should have a fine season. The good news is that backup QB Will Howard got lots of work LY. Kansas St boasts one of the most exciting players in the Big 12 in RB Deuce Vaughn who led the team in rushing (642, 5.2, 7 TD) and receiving yards (434, 17.4, 2 TD) in 2020. He’s a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. The WR group needs to be more consistent but Malik Knowles has a lot of upside. Note the sneaky addition of TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe from Illinois. The OL is experienced and has decent size and are led by an excellent center in Noah Johnson. If they get a full season out of Thompson they could push towards the 30 PPG mark.
** fact check false
The stop unit was a major disappointment in 2020 as the Cats ended up #7 in the Big 12 in run defense and #9 in pass efficiency D. They allowed 30+ on six occasions and yielded a 69 BURGER vs Texas in the season finale. They only return six starters on this side of the football and have some work to do. They lose a pair of starters up front including their fine pass rusher Wyatt Hubert (8.5 sacks LY, 20 career) as well as DT Drew Wiley, so they’ll have to find a replacement(s) for that PENETRATION. They also need to find a new group of starters at LB. The good news is that the secondary is poised to improve given that almost everyone is back (experience=better next yr?) and that includes their #1 tackler S Jahron McPherson. We still wonder how well this defense will stack up during Big 12 play.
The Cats have a great weapon returning punts in Phillip Brooks (2 TD) and P Ty Zentner had a decent 2020 campaign (40.8, 39.2 net).
Overall – There are two dangerous non-conference games to deal with (Stanford, Nevada) and things get HOT AND HEAVY early in Big 12 play when they face Oklahoma St, Oklahoma, and Iowa St in successive weeks.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 20
Over 5.5 -130
Under 5.5 +110
That’s a tough number. Six wins feels like the upper limit but these guys are well coached and we like their QB quite a bit.
Kansas hosted Nebraska on October 28, 1939 which was the 2nd televised college football game EVER. Amaze your QUINTUPLE-MASKED MULTI-GENDERED NEIGHBOR with that trivia nugget.
The offense promises to be better this season but we still worry about that defense. Also note that the MIDSECTION of the Big 12 is very competitive and it’ll be tough to navigate conference play with more than four wins. Our best guess is that they find a way to cobble together six wins and make a bowl appearance.
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