TCU (4-6) at Kansas State (5-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000) -- Manhattan, Kansas. Television: FSN. Home Record: TCU 3-2, KSU 4-2. Away Record: TCU 1-3, KSU 1-2. Neutral Record: TCU 0-1, KSU 0-0. Conference Record: TCU 2-5, KSU 3-3. Series: Tied, 3-3.
GAME NOTES: The Kansas State Wildcats will try to become bowl eligible on Saturday afternoon when they host the TCU Horned Frogs in Big 12 Conference play at Bill Snyder Stadium.
Meanwhile, TCU needs to win here and then beat No. 4 Baylor in the regular- season finale in order to become bowl eligible for a ninth straight season and 15th time in a span of 16 years. Head coach Gary Patterson, the winningest coach in TCU history, is returning to his alma mater for the first time as head coach -- he graduated from K-State in 1983 and was a former safety and linebacker. The Horned Frogs are coming off last weekend's 21-17 win at Iowa State, which snapped a three-game slide.
Kansas State is trying to qualify for a bowl game for the fourth straight season. The Wildcats have responded from a midseason three-game slide by winning their last three contests, including Saturday's 49-26 road triumph at nationally-ranked Texas Tech. Following this tilt, they'll host Oklahoma and then play at Kansas to close out the regular season.
The all-time series between these two schools is tied at three wins apiece, although K-State won the most recent meeting, 23-10, last November.
The Horned Frogs found themselves trailing Iowa State by three late in regulation of Saturday's matchup in Ames. The offense rose to that challenge and put together a 10-play, 58-yard drive, capped by Trevone Boykin's one-yard touchdown run to put TCU on top, 21-17, with 38 seconds to play. That score -- TCU's only points of the second half -- turned out to be the game-winner, and it was the third of the day for the versatile Boykin, who leads the team in total offense (1,479). Boykin is the only player in the nation this season with a 100-yardvrushing game, a 100-yard receiving game and a 200-yard passing game to his credit. Aaron Green kept the decisive drive alive with a 22-yard scamper on 4th-and-1. Quarterback Casey Pachall turned in a less than stellar performance, as he threw for 245 yards and was intercepted twice. He needs one TD pass to tie Sammy Baugh for third place on TCU's career list.
Whereas the Horned Frogs have had their struggles on offense this season, they enter the weekend ranked 21st nationally in total defense. In fact, they are on pace to become the first Big 12 team since 1996 (Nebraska) to lead the league in both sacks and interceptions. TCU currently tops the Big 12 with 28 sacks and 17 picks, the latter of which is tied for fourth in the country. All-American cornerback Jason Verrett has tallied 12 pass breakups and 14 passes defended on the season, in addition to a pair of interceptions. Since 2012, he leads the nation with 36 passes defended (eight INTs, 28 PBUs). In last week's win over Iowa State, the defense allowed only one offensive touchdown and 283 total yards on the day. Paul Dawson registered a game-high 14 tackles.
Kansas State took to the ground game to try and keep Texas Tech's high-powered offense off the field in last weekend's matchup. And in doing so, the Wildcats gashed the Red Raiders for 291 rushing yards and five touchdowns for a team average of 6.5 yards per carry. John Hubert notched his third 100-yard game of the season with a game-high 157 yards (6.8 ypc) and a touchdown, while quarterbacks Daniel Sams (7.4 ypc) and Jake Waters (4.8 ypc) each notched a pair of rushing TDs. Hubert is fourth in school history with 2,651 career rushing yards. With the ground game working so well against the Red Raiders, Sams and Waters combined for only 76 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-11 passing. The Wildcats put up 35 first-half points, their most in a road game since scoring 43 against Kansas during the 2002 season.
K-State did a fine job bottling up Texas Tech's top-ranked passing offense, as quarterbacks Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield needed 64 combined attempts to produce 354 yards. Additionally, the Wildcats notched five sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned 43 yards for a touchdown by Ty Zimmerman in the fourth quarter. It was the 13th career pick for Zimmerman, which is tied for third all-time in school history. Linebacker Jonathan Truman had a team-high 12 tackles, while defensive back Randall Evans tallied 10 tackles and an interception. Defensive end Ryan Mueller had three sacks on the day, and he currently leads the nation with 10.5 on the season. He was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week and now sits one sack away from tying the K-State single-season record.
TCU is fighting an uphill battle in order to avoid missing out on bowl eligibility for the first time in nine seasons. That said, the Horned Frogs have been anything but a pushover this year, as five of their losses were one- possession games in the fourth quarter or overtime, including four against ranked teams. They'll need a bounce-back game from Pachall here if they hope to stay alive in the postseason hunt.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 31, TCU 20
11/14 16:03:31 ET