Kansas State Wildcats Football: 2015 Preview and Prediction


Previewing the Kansas State Wildcats 2015 season as head coach Bill Snyder has to replace a lot of stars on both sides of the ball after a nine-win season.

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is one of the best coaches in college football. I mean, he’s in the Hall of Fame and the stadium is named after him, so naturally, the head man of the Wildcats knows what he’s doing and can never be counted out no matter how many starters he has to replace.

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Offensive Outlook

Gone are quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Tyler Lockett who were one of the best duos, not just in the Big 12 either, but in the entire nation. Waters completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,501 yards and 22 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. He also added 484 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground as one of the more underrated signal-callers in the country last year but in comes Joe Huebner who is looking to start his first game at any level at quarterback.

Huebner is an exceptional athlete who played other positions before converting to quarterback after he walked on the team as an athlete. This is what Snyder does at K-State, he has as much success in finding walk-ons and junior college talent better than most and that’s one reason why he can compete with the heavyweights in the Big 12.

He’s incredibly raw and has big shoes to fill but Snyder has proved in his past that he can get guys up to speed quickly to excel in his system. But it will be more of a challenge with last year’s top three receivers gone, including do-it-all Lockett.

Lockett leaves as the schools most prolific wide receiver in program history after he had 108 catches for 1,515 yards and 11 touchdowns. Curry Sexton is gone after he had 1,059 yards and tight end Zach Trujillo departs after averaging more than 20 yards per catch last year. In total, Kansas State has to replace 19 of their 23 touchdown receptions from a year ago.

The running game should be a focus as Huebner gains experience and an untested group of receivers get their feet. Further, leading rusher Charles Jones returns after he had 540 yards and 13 touchdowns, but he needs to double that production for the Wildcats offense to keep the chains moving. All-Big 12 center B.J. Finney is in the NFL but four starters return on the offensive line looking to help Jones in that pursuit. The rushing attack ranked 104th last year and has to be a lot better to avoid putting too much pressure on Huebner.

Defensive Outlook

The secondary looks really good and they’ll have to be with TCU and Baylor having two of the best offenses in the country and West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma running pass-happy offenses. Dante Barrett was second on the team with 77 tackles and tied with Morgan Burns for second on the team with three interceptions. Danzel McDaniel may be a first-team corner with his ability to shut down the short-intermediate passing game.

Kansas State ranked second in the Big 12 in pass defense last year with the front seven losing impact performers in leading tackler Jonathan Truman and Ryan Mueller who led the team with six sacks.

Stepping in to try to fill their shoes are middle linebacker Will Davis and Elijah Lee who played mostly in passing situations last year but could be the unit’s breakout star this year in an expanded role. Defensive tackle Travis Britz should end up on some All-Big 12 teams at the end of the year but more production is expected of Marquel Bryant, Jordan Willis and Will Geary.


There’s no question that Kansas State has a lot of production to replace on both sides of the ball and repeating with another nine-win season would seem to be too tall of an order. I’m never going to underestimate a Bill Snyder-coached team but he has his work cut out for him with a raw quarterback in Huebner and the loss of Lockett who will also have his presence missed in the return game.

Losing Mueller and Truman can be minimized if Lee and Davis develop as I think they will this year but the running game has to be better than it was last year for this offense to have any sort of consistency and efficiency. The veteran offensive line is a huge asset for Snyder to work with and with four of their five toughest opponents having to come to the Little Apple, there’s a chance for a big upset or two.

The season will be defined by the four-game stretch in the middle of the year with TCU, Oklahoma, at Texas and vs Baylor an opportunity to give the team confidence and momentum to finish the season strong or crush them and end the year with a whimper.

Overall, I think this is an eight-win team with a chance at a ninth win in the bowl game.

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