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Season Preview: K-State’s Ongoing QB Battle, Tight Series with OSU

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Don’t worry Oklahoma State fans, I double checked the Kansas State roster and there is no Byron Pringle, nor is there anyone else I could find that resembled any type of chip that the Wildcats could let loose in the teams’ Week 7 matchup.

The Cowboys’ 45-40 loss to K-State in Stillwater last season was a definite low point, but the games between the bordering state schools have been tightly contested for a while.

A scary stat: In the teams’ previous 10 meetings, K-State has outscored OSU a combined 366-340. OSU has won six of those 10 games, but the Cowboys’ highest margin of victory in that time was only 10 points in 2010. Not even the 2011 team had an easy time against the Wildcats, winning by 7 points at home.

Quarterback Battle

Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton’s ongoing quarterback battle from 2017 continues in 2018.

Oklahoma State fans will be familiar with Thompson, who rolled into Boone Pickens Stadium last season and completed 10-of-13 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 93 yards and a score. However, in the Cactus Bowl, Delton came off the bench and was the bowl’s offensive MVP after having 210 totals yards and four touchdowns.

Neither Thompson nor Delton are pure passers. They combined for eight touchdown passes in 2017, for reference Mason Rudolph threw 37. With that, I don’t see coach Bill Snyder running a conventional two-quarterback system, with the two somewhat occupying the same space, but it could just be a matter of feeding the hot hand.

Inexperienced Defensive Front

The Wildcats top three returning tacklers are all defensive backs – not ideal.

Gone are classic defensive names such as Jayd Kirby, Trent Tanking and Will Geary, and with the depth the Cowboys bring at running back, any team with uncertainties in the box should be a little worried.

With that said, K-State returns a lot of its secondary with guys such as Kendall Adams, Denzel Goolsby and Duke Shelley, who had a combined seven interceptions in 2017.

The matchup between K-State’s secondary and OSU’s well-rounded group of receivers will be interesting Oct. 13, especially with an inexperienced quarterback in OSU’s backfield.

Outlook

K-State will probably have another typical K-State season, in beating who it is supposed to beat and upsetting one or two teams it’s not.

The game also has the potential to be a bit of a trap game for the Cowboys, who’s next opponent is Texas, who might or might not be back. The UT game, though, comes after a bye week for OSU, so surely all the focus will be on the Wildcats.

This also might be the last time the Cowboys face Bill Snyder, who turns 79 in October, but people have been saying that for eons.

“Am I surprised that he’s coaching? No I’m not,” Gundy said at Big 12 Media Days. “I’ll be surprised when he’s not coaching.

“Certainly not surprised he’s coaching, and the everyday operation and/or game day approach with his team is very similar to what it was when I competed against him as a player in 1989.”

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