January 15, 2021

#45 Kansas State Wildcats

Wildcats fans, don’t get used to the winning record (7-5 in 2019), that was short lived. The Wildcats lost 28 seniors at the end of 2019, 15 of which were starters and five of them being their entire starting offensive line. Take that, mix it with a tough schedule and that leaves you with a losing record.

Kansas State Wilcats 2020 schedule (3-9, 1-8 Big 12)- *BOLD is projected wins

Sept. 5 Buffalo

Sept. 12 North Dakota

Sept. 19 Vanderbilt

Sept. 26 at West Virginia

Oct. 3 Texas

Oct. 10 Kansas

Oct. 17 at TCU

Oct. 29 at Iowa State

Nov. 7 Texas Tech

Nov. 14 at Oklahoma

Nov. 21 Oklahoma State

Nov. 28 Baylor

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) and running back James Gilbert (34) celebrate Thompson’s touchdown against Oklahoma during NCAA football game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)

Offense

With his fourth season around the corner, QB skylar Thompson has evolved a significant amount over his three year college career. Thompson threw for 2,315 yards and 12 TDs last season, leading the Wildcats to the Liberty Bowl. The focus for Thompson, getting the young play makers of Joshua Youngblood and Malik Knowles more involved and making better use of his tightends (especially off-season acquisition of TE Briley Moore).

Thompson’s main targets will be Sophmore receiver Malik Knowles and Phillip Brooks. They combined with Wykeen Gill for a total of 69 catches for 923 yards and six touchdowns. Getting transfer TE Briley Moore and return specialist Joshua Youngblood will help make this a legit receiving corps.

The backfield will be the three headed horse of Harry Trotter, Jacardia Wright and Joe Ervin. Trotter (263 yards last season) will be the Wildcats leading running back. With no returning starters to block on the offensive line, the three of them have their work cut out for them.

Defense

The Wildcats will enter the season with a couple bright notes on this side of the ball for 2020. The heart of the Wildcats defense, LB Justin Hughes, has received a medical redshirt and will be on the field this season. DE Wyatt Hubert is coming off a first-team All Big 12 selection last season, leading the Wildcats in sacks (seven) and was the top lineman with tackles (33). Giving the Wildcats some experience and talent down in the trenches.

That was all the bright notes for the Wildcats though on this side of the ball. The Wildcats are left with the LB corps that hasn’t excelled and defense backs that have experience, but have NOT been shutdown by any stretch of the imagination.

Special Teams

K Blake Lynch will be returning with a Wildcats history best career 89.2% FG accuracy (33 of 37). Focus will be replacing punter Devin Anctil, who earned second-team All Big 12 honors last year.

Final Thoughts

The cards are stacked against the Wildcats. 28 Seniors…..GONE, 15 starters…..GONE, the entire starting offensive line…..GONE, a less than impressive defensive and a schedule that has them facing four top 25 teams (and seven top 50 teams). If you bought the kool-aid, get your money back, because this Wildcats program will be exposed for the program they truly are.