#36 Kansas State Football 2015 Preview

Kansas State Wildcats

Overall Rank: #36
#6 Big 12

Kansas State Team Page#36 Kansas State Football 2015 PreviewBuy Kansas State Football Tickets

Kansas State is coming off another stellar season under the leadership of veteran head coach Bill Snyder as the Wildcats won nine games in 2014. With the loss of Jake Waters at quarterback and Tyler Lockett at wide receiver and in the return game, the 2015 season has the look of a rebuilding one offensively. But, having said that you can never truly count out a Bill Snyder coached team. They definitely have been known to overachieve at times.

2014 Record: 9-4, 7-2
2014 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. UCLA (L 35-40)
Coach: Bill Snyder 187-94-1 at Kansas State, 187-94-1 overall
Offensive Coordinator: Del Miller, Dana Dimel
Defensive Coordinator: Tom Hayes

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Charles Jones, RB, 540 yards
Passing: Joe Huebner, QB, 235 yards
Receiving: Kody Cook, WR, 281 yards
Tackles: Dante Barnett, S, 77
Sacks: Elijah Lee, LB, 4.5
Interceptions: Two with three each

Other Key Returnees: FB Glenn Gronkowski, OL Cody Whitehair, OL Boston Stiverson, DT Travis Britz, DE Jordan Willis, CB Danzel McDaniel, CB Morgan Burns

Key Losses: QB Jake Waters, WR Tyler Lockett, WR Curry Sexton, LB Jonathan Truman

The offensive line is going to be the foundation of the Wildcats success offensively since it is going to take some time for the skill positions to come together chemistry wise. Cody Whitehair and Boston Stiverson will lead a group that returns four starters. Defensively, the secondary brings back plenty of talent and experience. The trio of Dante Barnett, Danzel McDaniel and Morgan Burns will need to be big-time playmakers this fall. If the secondary can increase the amount of interceptions and set up short fields for an inexperienced offense, it will be a huge bonus for the Wildcats. Charles Jones will need to be able to match or surpass his 13 touchdowns from last season at running back as the offense will likely feature Jones and his fellow running backs Dalvin Warmack and Justin Silmon a lot early on.

Overcoming the losses of Jake Waters at quarterback and a pair of 1,000 yard receivers in Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton will be difficult. Defenses are more than likely going to stack the box and dare whomever wins the quarterback job to beat them. It will be up to wide receivers Kody Cook and speedsters like Dominique Heath to step up and create big plays to take the top off of opposing defenses. Defensively, the Wildcats are going to need to generate more of a consistent pass rush as Kansas State only averaged 2.00 sacks per contest in 2014. Improved sack production from the likes of defensive ends Jordan Willis and Marquel Bryant, along with Travis Britz, will only make the Wildcats defense that much stronger and create more opportunities for turnovers and so forth.

The Bottom Line:
Kansas State has the benefit of playing most of their difficult games at home in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. A trip to Stillwater against an improved Oklahoma State team on October 3rd will be a swing game early on for the Wildcats. If they can steal that one, it would then springboard them into a showdown with TCU at home on October 10th.  If the Wildcats can find a way to be 5-3 or 6-2 after the Baylor game on November 5th, they will be in prime position to have another nine win season as the schedule loosens up the rest of the season. Overall, it is going to be a battle offensively until someone steps up as a Tyler Lockett type of playmaker for Coach Snyder. However, the defense should help Kansas State get back to a bowl game in 2015 and hover around eight wins since there will be guys, despite their inexperience, that step up into key roles for the Wildcats this season.

Projected Bowl: Liberty Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 134.2 (101st in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 287.4 (16, 5)
Total Offense: 421.6 (47, 6)
Scoring Offense: 35.8 (24, 4)
Rushing Defense: 140.3 (33, 4)
Pass Defense: 229.0 (64, 2)
Total Defense: 369.3 (41, 3)
Scoring Defense: 23.2 (29, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.62 (22, 3)
Sacks: 2.00 (74, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.38 (85, 6)


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