Kickoff: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi
Radio: KKGQ (92.3 FM) in Wichita, KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City
The line: Mississippi State by 7 1/2
K-State football fans learned a lot about the Wildcats during the first two games of the season, but they will find out much more on Saturday. A nationally televised road game against Mississippi State will show us what this team is truly made of.
Running up the score against weak competition is one thing. Winning in front of cowbells against an undefeated SEC opponent is another.
Here’s guessing the Wildcats are up for the challenge. This matchup is no longer the mismatch it was a year ago when Mississippi State rolled to a 31-10 victory in Manhattan. The Bulldogs lost three first-round picks on defense and an experienced quarterback on offense, while the Wildcats seem to have improved on both sides of the ball following a coaching change.
This game should be competitive and might go down to the wire.
K-State can make a major statement by pulling off an upset, and it might happen. But it’s also been a long time since the Wildcats have won a game like this. They haven’t won a nonconference road game against a Power Five opponent since 2011.
Two factors seem to tilt this game in Mississippi State’s favor. For starters, Kylin Hill remains every bit as dangerous as he did last year when he averaged 12.4 yards per run against the Wildcats. He leads the SEC with 320 yards this season, with 179 of them coming after contact. K-State has the weapons to match Mississippi State on offense, but Hill will be a challenge for K-State’s untested defense. The Bulldogs are also opportunistic on defense, and have forced seven turnovers through two games.
The Wildcats haven’t made many mistakes so far under Klieman, but that will change this week. That could open the door for the Bulldogs to win a close one.
Mississippi State 28, Kansas State 24