Wildcats face tough another tough test this week
The Wildcats have a 13-game winning streak over the No. 24-ranked Missouri Tigers (6-1 overall, 2-1 Big 12 Conference). That streak has been going since 1992, and will probably end in Columbus, Mo., this weekend. The Tigers are too balanced and have too much firepower to let K-State come into their house and upset them on their Homecoming night.
Player of the Game on offense: Wide receiver Jermaine Moreira
So far this season Moreira has been the go-to guy for young freshman quarterback Josh Freeman. Freeman has started the last two games and played the entire second half against Baylor three games ago. In those contests Moreira has a total of 12 receptions for 259 yards for an average of 86.3 yards per game. Expect more of the same this weekend, as Freeman will look to get Moreira the ball a lot in this game.
Player of the Game on defense: Linebacker Brandon Archer
He is leading the team and is eighth in the Big 12 in tackles this season with 55. He also has a lot of success against Missouri. In each of the last two meetings with the Tigers, he has recorded an interception return for touchdown. These include a 25-yarder in 2004 and a 45-yarder in last year's season finale.
Surprise contributor: Wide receiver Yamon Figurs
Figurs hasn't put up the numbers that everybody has expected of him so far this season. The Missouri defense will try and shut down Moreira in this game, and that means Figurs will get a lot of one-on-one coverage. He will need to use that to his advantage, and he will also need to have a couple of long punt returns to help the offense get better field position.
Player you shouldn't expect too much out of: Running back Leon Patton
After rushing for only 13 yards on 12 carries last week, Patton showed that maybe the 301 all-purpose yards he gathered against Oklahoma State was just a fluke. He will also be going up against the 3rd best rush defense in the Big 12. I'll be surprised if he rushes for more than 65 yards.
Three keys to a Wildcat victory:
Stop Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel – I don't actually think this is legitimately possible, but if defensive coordinator Raheem Morris can come up with a scheme to slow down the dual-threat quarterback, then the Wildcats will actually have a chance. Daniel is one of the top quarterbacks in the conference, and if he gets time in the pocket Saturday, he will show K-State fans why. The Tigers like to play actiona nd the offense Mizzou runs is custom tailored to Daniel's skill set (as well as the same he ran in High School) and the Cats will need to disrupt his timing and force him off-schedule. Let's see what Coach Morris can cook up.
Find some sort of running game – With only 22 yards rushing last week against Nebraska, the Wildcats have to do something on offense to establish a running game. Prince can't let Freeman throw the ball 50 times a game and expect to come out with a victory against the Missouri defense. Someone is going to have to emerge from the shadows at tailbak and provide the ground game to keep the Tigers from blitzing every down on defense.
Create turnovers – The stingy Wildcat defense has done a pretty good job of forcing the opposing team into turnovers, and that is going to be crucial in this game. Turnovers are called the great equalizer. Somebody will have to find a fumble opportunity or get an interception to breathe some life into a struggling K-State offense.
Final Score: KSU 10, MU 28
Missouri is an elite team in the Big 12, and K-State isn't – plain and simple. Daniel will light up the Wildcat secondary and running back Tony Temple will eat up the clock with 125 yards rushing. I don't see any reason why Missouri will lose this game, and it will probably be even uglier than the 21-3 loss to Nebraska last week.