Massachusetts (0-2) at Kansas State (1-1)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 14, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000) -- Manhattan, Kansas.
Television: K-StateHD.tv. Home Record: UMass 0-1, K-State 1-1. Away Record:
UMass 0-1, K-State 0-0. Neutral Record: UMass 0-0, K-State 0-0. Conference
Record: UMass 0-0, K-State 0-0. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Kansas State Wildcats will conclude their season-opening,
three-game homestand on Saturday evening when they entertain the Massachusetts
UMass underwhelmed during its first FBS season in 2012 (1-11), and the losing
trend has continued so far in 2013. After a shutout loss in their difficult
opener at Wisconsin (45-0), the Minutemen put forth a disappointing showing in
their home debut on Saturday by falling to FCS foe Maine, 24-14.
Like UMass, Kansas State has a loss to an FCS opponent on its record as well,
dropping a 24-21 decision to North Dakota State in the season opener on Aug.
30. Luckily for the Wildcats, they were able to bounce back last week, showing
the big-play ability that made them a national championship contender in 2012
in a 48-27 win over Louisiana.
Kansas State has defeated UMass in both previous meetings. In 2009, the
Minutemen came to Manhattan as a heavy underdog, fighting hard for 60 minutes
before losing 21-17.
UMass has undoubtedly been one of the worst offensive teams in the nation
through the first two weeks of the season, averaging just 7.0 ppg on a meager
238.5 ypg. Putting forth a dud on the road against a ranked Wisconsin team is
excusable, but the Minutemen could only manage 265 yards at home versus Maine
Inefficient quarterback play is largely to blame for the team's woes, as Mike
Wegzyn was just 13-of-25 for 139 yards last week with a touchdown and an
interception, and he has completed less than 50 percent of his attempts this
season (22-of-48). A.J. Doyle has also seen time under center, although he
hasn't fared much better (12-of-24, 101 yards, TD).
Tajae Sharpe recorded 11 of his team-high 12 receptions on the season in the
loss to Maine, tallying 85 yards and a touchdown. Bernard Davis (three
receptions, 37 yards) has the team's only other touchdown catch this year.
Stacey Bedell has acted as the club's workhorse back, carrying the ball 35
times in two contests, although he has gained just 128 yards (3.7 ypc) and has
yet to find the end zone.
While the defense has not performed as poorly as the offense, there isn't much
to get excited about on that side of the ball either. The unit is allowing
34.5 ppg and 556 ypg.
Ed Saint-Vil recorded 14 tackles against Maine to bring his team-leading total
to 20. Devin Brown (18 tackles, INT) is also off to a solid start.
Kansas State's offense came out firing in the win over Louisiana, posting 454
yards in the 21-point victory to raise its season average to 34.5 ppg.
The Wildcats used a two-quarterback system to solid effect in the triumph.
Jake Waters was productive (22-of-31, 278 yards), but he also derailed a
couple of drives with interceptions. Luckily, Daniel Sams picked up the slack,
gaining 63 yards and a score on eight carries while also completing a 27-yard
Waters' .717 completion percentage is impressive, but he'll need to cut back
on his turnover rate (two TDs, four INTs) or he'll be losing even more snaps
to Sams in the future.
Tyler Lockett has posted a pair of 100-yard receiving games to start the
season and sits with 15 receptions for 224 yards and a touchdown. Tramaine
Thompson has been a big-play threat with 154 yards on just eight catches (19.2
ypc), while also returning 94-yard kickoff return for a score.
John Hubert (79 yards) is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry this season, but
he did to score a pair of touchdowns in the win over Louisiana.
The Wildcats defense, which allows 25.5 ppg and 375 ypg, stepped up with a
couple of big plays in their latest win, including a 32-yard interception
return for a touchdown by Ty Zimmerman.
Ryan Mueller has been a menace behind the line of scrimmage with four TFL and
two sacks. Blake Slaughter also has a pair of sacks, and Jonathan Truman leads
the unit with 18 tackles.
K-State may only be a shell of the team it was last season when it qualified
for the Fiesta Bowl, but it showed last week that it still has plenty of
offensive firepower, and against a hapless UMass squad, expect another
impressive point total out of the Wildcats.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 45, Massachusetts 13
09/11 10:38:47 ET