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Kansas State Wildcats vs. Massachusetts Minutemen Free Pick 9/14/13

Massachusetts Minutemen (0-2) at Kansas State Wildcats (1-1)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Snyder Family Stadium)

The Line: Kansas State Wildcats -37 -- Over/Under: 50.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: Live Web Video

Storyline: K-State’s 48-27 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday won’t erase the sting of their season-opening loss to North Dakota State, but it has pointed them in the right direction, for now at least. After UMass, though, the road gets treacherous, with games against Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor before an open date and a chance to come up for air. For Umass, a 24-14 loss to Maine Saturday, in which they gave up 541 total yards, while only producing 265 of their own, is indicative of another woeful season.

The Breakdown: The Wildcats remembered their offense this week and looked like a different team, racking up 454 total yards of offense and getting some big play help in the form of Tramaine Thompson’s 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Ty Zimmerman’s 32-yard pick six. Thompson also returned a punt 61 yards to Louisiana-Lafayette’s one-yard line, setting up a touchdown on the next play. Jr. QB Jake Waters had a better outing this week, connecting on 22-of-31 for 278 yards, but still threw two interceptions. Jr. WR Tyler Lockett led all receivers with 8 receptions for 111 yards, while Sr. RB John Hubert and Soph. backup QB Daniel Sams combined for 119 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Defensively, K-State was once again on the porous side, surrendering 370 total yards, 193 through the air and 177 on the ground.

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Massachusetts Minutemen  Free Pick 9/14/13

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The Umass Minutemen followed a 45-0 season-opening beatdown at Wisconsin with a 24-14 loss to Maine, giving up nearly as many total yards in both games (598 to Wisconsin, 541 to Maine). Problems seem to exist on both sides of the ball for the Minutemen. Stopping the run has proved to be nearly impossible as the Black Bears ran at will, compiling 247 yards and two touchdowns, while the UMass  ground game barely saw the light of day, with just 64 yards on 20 attempts.  Soph. QB Mike Wegzan threw for 139 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 13-of-25 passing. Soph. WR Taje Sharpe was the lone standout for the Minutemen, with 11 catches for 85 yards and 1 touchdown.

Rick’s Pick: Whether or not K-State’s win against Louisiana-Lafayette signals any sort of return to form, we’ll soon find out. But it won’t be this week. Umass has nothing at all on either side of the ball that can hurt K-State. The line for this one opened at a whopping -37 for K-State and while I see the potential for a cover, we’re talking about a massive number so I’d lean towards the over as a much safer play.

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