Who: Kansas State Wildcats (7-5)
What: 2022 TaxAct Texas Bowl
When: 8:00 p.m. CST
Where: NRG Stadium (Houston, Texas)
How: ESPN, the ESPN app, and 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge
LSU needed a miracle to reach bowl eligibility and got one from a Max Johnson to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat and break even on the season. Of course, Johnson is no longer with the team and has transferred to A&M and LSU is without many of their usual starters or even usual backups, which mixed with an interim coach leads for this game being little more than a good chance for the Houston Alumni to see their Tigers in play without leaving the city.
Tell Me More:
Kansas State finished the year a game better at 7-5 (4-5 Big 12) but finished just inside the top 30 in SP+. KSU had a strong start to the season with a dominant win over Stanford and besting future NFL draft pick Carson Kelly and Nevada before running into the buzzsaw of Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Iowa State. The Wildcats then rattled off four straight wins in conference before ending the season with losses to Baylor and Texas.
On offense, the KSU offense is led by running back Deuce Vaughn, who has 1,311 yards on 123 rushes and 434 yards off 25 receptions and was named as a First Team All-American. He is one of only two players in the nation with 1,000 or more rushing yards and 400 or more receiving yards. On defense, Felix Anudike-Uzomah leads the team with double digit sacks (11) and 14.5 TFL.
This K-State team falls in line with what you’d traditionally expect from both Kansas State and Chirs Klieman, a run-first team who plays fundamentally sounds defense. Kansas State is perfectly content to play this game between the hashmarks, upholding a 2:1 run to pass ration on offense and on defense allowing 3.6 yards per attempt.
Between KSU’s proclivities and LSU’s rosters limitations, I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of airing it out Tuesday night. I know the 8:00 weeknight kickoff is a bummer for a lot of people*, but this game shouldn’t take too long.
Zach note: Not if you’re pregaming by watching LSU vs. Kentucky in men’s hoops!
With LSU missing nearly every secondary player they originally started the year with, I would expect Kansas State to take more shots than they normally would just to kick the tires, but unless they land a few punches early I don’t think it will be their gameplan moving forward.
Our friends over at DraftKings have Kansas State favored by 5 points, and that honestly feels pretty right. This game will be mostly a war of attrition played behind the 40-yard line, with maybe two or three explosive plays. Show me 27-21 Kansas State.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.