September 13, 2007

The Game Up Close: Missouri State at K-State

Kansas State is where everyone thought they would be after two games: 1-1. Many expect K-State to breeze to victory number two this weekend against a Division I-AA opponent, but Coach Ron Prince has made it clear that the Bears are not to be taken lightly. Prince claims to be worried about a Missouri State spread offense that is averaging 56.5 points per game. Will K-State continue to build momentum as they head into Big 12 play or will the Bears pull out the upset?

The Game Up Close: Kansas State (1-1, 0-0) vs. Missouri State (2-0, 0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 16, 6:05 p.m. kickoff
Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan

Missouri State rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: Allowing 67.5 yards per game, No. 1 in the Big 12, No. 23 overall
MSU rush offense: Averaging 320.0 yards per game, No. 1 in the Gateway, No. 4 overall (I-AA ranking)

The breakdown:: Missouri State is averaging 320 rushing yards in two games this season. Grant it, those two games were against less-than defensive juggernauts, Missouri-Rolla and Tennessee-Martin, but nevertheless, Missouri State's running game has been solid. Running back Gerald Davis has gained 194 yards already this season, and has found the end zone on five separate occasions. Freshman Kingjack Washington joins Davis in the Bears' backfield. Washington has run for 140 yards this year, and will likely see at least some carries against the Wildcats. The K-State defense has been solid when it comes to stopping the run however, and they've done it against much stronger competition. Tim Tibesar's 3-4 style of defense is quickly becoming a proven run stopper, and should have no problem holding up on Satuday. The Wildcats' defense is allowing just 67.5 yards per game and shouldn't miss a beat even without injured linebacker Antwon Moore. Expect the Bears' running game to be slowed considerably, as it faces the fastest defense it will see all year.

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