Kansas State football: 3 bold predictions vs. UCF in Week 4

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Kansas State football (2-1) is coming from a catastrophic loss to Missouri. Dramatically, Kansas State lost in the way of a walk-off 61-yard field goal. They have been licking their wounds and hoping for a more acceptable performance this week. The Wildcats have played three games and are about to go into their fourth game, in the way of opening Big 12 action against a strong newcomer to the conference in the name of UCF.

The UCF Golden Knights (3-0) come to Bill Snyder Family Stadium on entirely of a roll as they are undefeated where they rolled past Villanova 48-14. They lost their starting quarterback, John Rhys Plumless, against Boise State when he suffered an unspecified leg injury.

Let’s move ahead to Saturday’s game in Manhattan.

3. The Kansas State offensive line will struggle yet again

Kansas State had a lackluster effort, giving up three sacks last week against a formidable foe in the name of Missouri. This was not the Troy Trojans they were playing, and with increased competition, you could see the glaring holes in the offensive line. Another area for improvement was that they needed help opening up gaps worthwhile as the running game struggled regularly on Saturday.

Granted, the Wildcats have dearly missed Christian Duffie, their valued right tackle, who hasn’t played a snap so far this season, and it has shown. He adds much-needed stability to that line when All-American offensive guard Cooper Beebe tows down that left side. Up to this point, it has been a makeshift line, with Carver and Willis on the right side of the line.

Kansas State has injuries that are preventing them from reaching their full potential.
MANHATTAN, KS – SEPTEMBER 02: The Kansas State Wildcats get set to come onto the field for pre-game warm ups before a game against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on September 02, 2023, in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

2. Kansas State’s injuries will keep this game closer than it should be

Kansas State got bit by the injury bug last week against Missouri. It’s been hard enough with Christian Duffie out, but there were some other injuries to the team that may be difficult to overcome.

Daniel Green, the standout senior middle linebacker, will be out the rest of the season due to a right pectoral injury. There will be a true freshman by the name of Austin Romaine will step into that role. Romaine steps onto the roster with three lone tackles in limited action vs. Troy.

Treshaun Ward, the standout running back, is considered doubtful for this game due to an injury to his midsection. He has been a staple to this Kansas State offense, as he and Giddens have split most of the carries through the three weeks and spearheaded the double-headed monster in the backfield.

Starting quarterback Will Howard is considered doubtful. When Howard spoke about his injury:

"“It hurt, but I was fine,” said Howard, who completed 25 of 39 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing ten times for 21 yards. “I was good enough to play, so that’s all that matters. “I just banged my leg up. You have to rise up with adversity, and that’s what the message is right now.”"

If Howard isn’t ready to go, the true freshman out of Wichita, Kan., Avery Johnson, will start his first college football game. He didn’t get a chance to pass the ball last week, but he had six rushes for 24 yards as he was solely used in a run design scheme. If you’re looking for some drama in the quarterback room, you’ll likely walk away disappointed.