Kansas State Wildcats (0-0) at Stanford Cardinal (0-0)
|Date & Time||Friday September 2, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Stanford Cardinal -15 -- Over/Under: 54
Fox Sports 1
The Kansas State Wildcats will travel to play the Stanford Cardinal in a non-conference game to open up the 2016 season.
The Stanford Cardinal were 12-2 last season and won the Rose Bowl against Iowa by a score of 45-16. The Stanford offense averaged 37.8 points per game with 223.7 rushing yards and 211.8 passing yards per game in 2015. Ryan Burns looks to be the quarterback that has to replace Kevin Hogan from last season. Burns comes into this season with almost no experience, but will be able to play with one of the most electrifying players in the country, Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey was the leading rusher last season with 2,019 yards and 8 touchdowns, while also leading the team in receiving with 645 yards and 5 touchdowns. Stanford also returns their second leading receiver from 2015, Michael Rector, who had 559 yards and 7 touchdowns. Stanford only returns 2 of their 5 offensive line starters, but should be able to transition to a new line with no problem. The Stanford defense gave up 22.6 points per game with 139.9 rushing yards and 228.4 passing yards per game. Solomon Thomas will anchor the Stanford defense on the defensive line, after posting 10.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Quenton Meeks had 3 interceptions last season and will return in the secondary this season.
The Kansas State Wildcats were 6-7 last season and lost their bowl game against Arkansas by a score of 45-23. The Kansas State offense averaged 29.9 points per game with 157.7 rushing yards per game and 176 passing yards per game in 2015. Kansas State needs to gain some stability at the quarterback position after going through a lot of injuries last season. It appears that Jesse Ertz will start at quarterback, after getting hurt on the first drive of 2015. Charles Jones and Justin Silmon return at running back after combining for 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. Deante Burton led Kansas State in receiving last season with 510 yards and 4 touchdowns and will be returning this season. The Kansas State defense allowed 31.5 points per game with 166.7 rushing yards and 285.5 passing yards per game. Kansas State’s 2015 leading tackler, Elijah Lee, will be returning at linebacker. Lee also led the Wildcats with 3 interceptions. Jordan Willis will help anchor the defensive line after totaling 15.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in 2015.
Kansas State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the PAC-12 and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Friday games. The over is 4-1 in Kansas State’s last 5 road games. Stanford is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Friday games and 19-8 ATS in their last 27 September games. The over is 4-1 in Stanford’s last 5 games.
Kansas State must be better on offense if they want to hang with Stanford. The Wildcats look like they should be better this season, while Stanford looks to have another good team. Stanford does have to replace their star quarterback from last year, so it could be a slow start for their offense. However, I think Stanford will come out in much better shape than they did last season against Northwestern, and I like them to win big here.