The Cornhuskers (5-1 overall, 2-0 Big 12 Conference) also have the eighth best rush offense and are seventh in the country in total offense. The Wildcat defense will again be asked to shut down a powerful offense (Nebraska averages 39.7 points per game)
Player of the Game on offense: Running back Leon Patton
I was surprised with how well Patton ran last week, and he will need to continue breaking tackles and fighting for those precious extra yards in order to keep the clock running and keep the ball away from the Cornhusker offense. Freeman will struggle reading the secondary, and Patton will have about 85 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Player of the Game on defense: Safety Marcus Watts
Why not? Watts has been playing inspired football recently, and he is becoming the silent leader of the defense. He is a big reason why Oklahoma State went away from Manhattan with a loss, with his punt block and interception on the last play of the game. He will need to continue playing solid to help the defense shut down Nebraska.
Surprise contributor: Kicker Jeff Snodgrass
If this game is close down the stretch, Snodgrass will be called in to put away the Cornhuskers. He is currently second in the Big 12 and 11th nationally with his 1.5 field goals made per game. He is 9-of-13 on the season, and will need to have one of his best games when he's called upon.
Player you shouldn't expect too much out of: Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson
Nelson is currently second on the team with 17 receptions for 221 yards receiving, but he hasn't found paydirt all season after scoring eight touchdowns a season ago. Last week he played sparingly and did not even record a reception. He will again be used sparingly by Prince and will be a non-factor in this game.
Three keys to a Wildcat victory:
Don't let Nebraska take the lead – Once Nebraska gets ahead, they have a tough time giving up the lead. Conversely, once K-State gets behind, the Wildcats have a tough time mounting a serious comeback. The Cornhuskers have a much better defense than Oklahoma State's, and will not allow the Wildcats to come back once they get behind.
Control the clock – This may seem like an obvious statement, but it's one of the most important factors for K-State. The Wildcats need to continue running the ball and keeping the ball out of the Nebraska offense. The Cornhuskers are the fourth-best scoring offense in the country, but won't be able to score if the Wildcats control the time of possession.
Continue progression of young ‘Cats – Prince said the offensive line he used last week would remain intact for this week's matchup. That means sophomores Brad Rooker and Caleb Handy, and freshmen Brock Unruh, Freeman and Patton will all be making just their second starts of the season. They played well last week, but now that a team has had a week to scout them, let's see how well they match up with the Cornhuskers.
Final Score: KSU 24, NU 34
K-State was impressive in last week's comeback victory over Oklahoma State, but Nebraska has too much firepower to allow that to happen again. The Kansas Jayhawks made an attempt two weeks ago to comeback against the Cornhuskers but were unable to win the game, losing in double overtime. Nebraska will score first and lead for the whole game. The Wildcats will make a valiant effort to come back, but the Huskers will be too much for K-State to handle.