At quarterback, the Wildcats are led by senior Carson Coffman who leads the Big 12 with an 169.7 efficiency rating. In the 48-24 victory over Missouri State last week, he completed 18 of 26 passes for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The star of the offense so far has been at running back and his name is Daniel Thomas. In just two games he has rushed for 371 yards which puts him third in the nation while also scoring four touchdowns. His backup, William Powell, who might see some action has rushed for 121 yards on only 10 carries and has scored two touchdowns.
When the Wildcats look to air it out they will likely target one of two players. Sophomore wide receiver Broderick Smith leads the team with 9 catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Aubrey Quarles has also been a major contributor with 8 catches for 95 yards and one touchdown.
The offensive line returned four starters from last season but only three are starting as Zach Hanson beat out Clyde Aufner at right tackle. The left tackle spot is the position with a new starter as junior Manase Foketi has been solid in his first two starts. Along with returning starters Zach Kendall (left guard), Kenny Mayfield (right guard), and Wade Weibert (center) the offensive line has led the way for the second-ranked rushing attack in the Big 12, averaging nearly 260 yards a game on the ground.
Kansas State on defense:
The defensive line lost a lot of starters to graduation and lacks experience however they do have outstanding defensive end Brandon Harold already having a big year. He leads the team with 14 solo tackles and 3 tackles for loss. The opposite starting defensive end is Antonio Felder and the new defensive tackles are Ray Kibble and Prizell Brown.
Leading the linebacking corps for the Wildcats is junior Alex Hrebec who leads the team in total tackles with 20 which is also tied for third in the Big 12. He is joined by one-time Iowa State commit Troy Butler who has moved to outside linebacker from his safety spot and sophomore middle linebacker Jarell Childs.
In the Kansas State secondary, senior cornerback Terrance Sweeney has six passes defended which actually is the best in the country while he also has one interception and has one forced fumble.
Kansas State has impressive statistics so far this season but they have clearly not been tested. UCLA returned home after scoring 22 points against the Wildcats and were shutout by Stanford. Scoring 48 points is usually very impressive but Kansas State did it last week against Missouri State which doesn't mean much. This is a game that should come down to one thing: turnovers. These teams are pretty evenly matched up and there is no home field advantage so it should be another close game like last year and should come down to who makes the costliest turnovers.
One thing that the Cyclones showed last year under Rhoads is that they fight back when they are down and I believe that will be the case again this weekend. They were outclassed by the Hawkeyes last week but Iowa this season is just clearly an outstanding team playing on another level. I believe the Cyclone offense will have a big day and that it will be the passing game that will come through at Arrowhead. The Cyclones will bounce back in Kansas City and win their first Big 12 game of the season.
CSR Prediction: Iowa State 38 Kansas State 28