Can Kansas State Overperform for a Second Straight Season?
Kansas State is a tough one. Last year they weren’t supposed to be good at all, but the National Champion FCS coach came to Kansas State and shook things up to the tune of eight wins. In 2020 Skylar Thompson returns for his second season as the full-time starter and he’ll look to turn up the production level in year two of the Klieman system. The Thompson led offense last season only mustered 29 points per game. As far as Big 12 standards go that’s not great, but the defense more than made up for it only allowing 21 points per game in 2019.
The defense returns pass rush nightmare Wyatt Hubert and defensive back AJ Parker as well as linebacker Elijah Sulivan which should provide some solid continuity from last season. They also add a few defensive transfers that should make up for the players they lost.
Offensively the Kansas State offense still plays Snyderball. They control the clock and protect the ball. That worked at North Dakota State but the Wildcats will be middle of the pack in the Big 12 if they can’t turn it up on offense, which doesn’t seem like something Skyler Thompson is capable of. The offense looks even shakier when you take into account they’ll lose four of their 5 starters from the final game last season and their most productive running backs.
The bottom line, it’s not probable that Kansas State will be bad. It’s just unlikely that they’ll be able to recreate the winning percentage of last season. Floating around .500 with an unexpected win seems attainable for Chris Klieman’s team though.
Big 12 Media Preseason Poll Ranking
Projected Win Total
Best Offensive Returners
QB Skylar Thompson, WR Malik Knowles, KR Joshua Youngblood, OL Josh Rivas
Best Defensive Returners
DL Wyatt Hubert, DB AJ Parker, LB Elijah Sullivan, DB Wayne Jones
DL Kimari Gainous (JUCO), DL Nate Matlack, TE Briley Moore (UNI), DB Hunter Henry (Rice) Kiondre Thomas (Minnesota)
RB Harry Trotter, OL Josh Rivas
Texas Tech vs Kansas State Tailgating (2017)