College Football Pick’em
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No. 8 TCU plays host to No. 17 Kansas State on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, in a prime-time battle of two of the best teams in the Big 12. Both sit at 3-0 in the Big 12, a loss ahead of Texas and Oklahoma State in the standings. The Horned Frogs beat the Cowboys 43-40 last week in double-overtime thanks to a masterful effort from wide receiver Quentin Johnston in the fourth quarter.
Kansas State opened Big 12 play with a dominant 41-34 win over Oklahoma, but games against Texas Tech and Iowa State were much closer. The Wildcats needed a week to get healthy, and should have star running back Deuce Vaughn back to lead a cadre of impressive playmakers. Perhaps the biggest compliment to Kansas State is that the Wildcats have won games with all of offense, defense and special teams.
The Wildcats have won three straight games over TCU. Last season, Kansas State crushed TCU 31-12 in what will be remembered as the final moment of the Gary Patterson era. Vaughn rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns in the win, and one year later, this showdown carries some pivotal implications on a national level.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 22 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium — Fort Worth, Texas
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Super Q: Johnston has quietly emerged as one of the best receivers in college football. After a quiet start, the projected first-round NFL Draft pick has exploded for 386 yards receiving and two touchdowns on 22 catches in the past two weeks. Johnston is averaging a ridiculous 8.4 yards after catch with 14 tackles broken in six games. Kansas State’s defensive backs will have their hands full.
Under control: After seven weeks, there is only one team left in college football that has not thrown an interception: Kansas State. Quarterback Adrian Martinez had 30 interceptions in his career at Nebraska, including 10 in 2021. However, offensive coordinator Collin Klein has done a tremendous job of playing to Martinez’s strengths. The senior has 900 yards passing to go with 546 yards rushing and nine scores on the ground. The combination of Martinez and Vaughn has been deadly.
Strength on strength: TCU has been the highest-scoring team in the Big 12 through six games at more than 45 points per game en route to a 6-0 record. However, Kansas State takes pride in slowing down talented offenses, holding opponents to just 16.7 points per game. Defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah leads the nation with 6.5 sacks in six games. TCU offensive coordinator Garrett Riley has his work cut out to create space against a future NFL defensive lineman.
TCU has gone on an impressive run, stringing together three AP Top 25 wins to go with a rivalry game victory over SMU. Unfortunately, a fourth is too much too ask. Kansas State comes in off the bye and has the physicality and depth to rough TCU up a week after an emotional double-overtime victory. Prediction: Kansas State +3.5
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