KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (10-0)
at BAYLOR BEARS (4-5)
Kickoff: Saturday, 8:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Kansas State -12.5, Total: 74
The No. 1 team in the nation takes to the road when Kansas State clashes with Baylor on Saturday night.
Kansas State has won seven of nine all-time versus Baylor, and is 6-2 ATS in all lined meetings. However, KSU has lost its past two trips to Waco. The Wildcats pulled off a come-from-behind 36-35 victory over the Bears last year behind 259 total yards and 3 total TD from Collin Klein. But the Heisman front-runner had a season-low 195 total yards in last week’s 23-10 win at TCU. Baylor also has an outstanding quarterback in Nick Florence who leads the nation with 395 total yards per game. But Florence also struggled last week, completing just 12-of-33 passes and gaining a season-low 255 total yards.
Can Kansas State win comfortably on the road? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
KSU is 3-0-1 ATS on the road this season, outscoring visitors 32.2 to 16.0. Despite the poor yardage total, Klein still rushed for two touchdowns in last week's win at TCU, giving him 19 rushing TD for the season, the most among FBS quarterbacks. And although he threw an interception, that pick was just the first one he tossed since the third game of the season, way back on Sept. 15. The Wildcats would like to find another rushing option other than Klein. Junior RB John Hubert started the season with four 100-yard rushing efforts in his first five games, but hasn't reached 80 yards since, gaining just 256 yards on 72 carries (3.6 YPC) over the past five contests. In terms of the passing game, senior WR Chris Harper has done a great job getting open in the past four games with 87 receiving YPG. Considering Baylor allows 321 passing YPG (third-most in FBS), Harper will be a key to this game. KSU is tied with Kent State for the national lead in turnover margin (+20), with a mere three giveaways in the past seven games.
Baylor has lost five of the past six games SU, but is 4-2 ATS over this stretch. Before last week, Florence had thrown for at least 289 yards and 2 TD in every game this season, but was held to 172 yards and no passing touchdowns in the 42-34 loss at Oklahoma. But that shouldn't stop him from throwing the football, especially with Kansas State ranked 80th in the nation in passing defense (251 passing YPG). Florence also has a superstar receiver at his disposal in Terrance Williams, whose 159 receiving yards per game leads the nation. However, Williams had just one catch for nine yards in last year's meeting with KSU. Despite Florence's struggles through the air last week, he did do nice job rushing the football, picking up 83 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Sophomore RB Lache Seastrunk was even better with 91 yards and 3 TD on the same amount of rushing attempts. His success in the past two weeks (32 carries, 194 yards, 6.1 YPC) has helped the Bears protect the football better, as they have not turned the ball over in two straight games, a huge improvement from the 12 giveaways over their previous three games. Defensively, Baylor has allowed the most yards in the entire nation at 520 YPG.