2018 Preseason Preview: Kansas State Wildcats

Bring on the Cats.

1. Quick Facts

TEAM: Kansas State
MASCOT: Wildcats
2017 RECORD: 8-5 (5-4)
HEAD COACH: Bill Snyder
STARTERS LOST: Offense 3; Defense 6
STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 8; Defense 5
LOCATION: Bill Snyder Family Stadium; Manhattan Kansas
GAME ON TEXAS TECH’S SCHEDULE: Eleventh game on November 17th

2. Difference Makers

RB Alex Barnes (6-1/227): As a sophomore, Barnes ran for 819 yards on 146 carries with 7 touchdowns and 5.6 yards per carry. Truthfully, the offense was the three quarterbacks and Barnes on the ground and they were all averaging over 5.5 yards per carry.

WR Isaiah Zuber (6-0/182): 51 catches for 510 yards and 4 touchdown for about 10 yards per catch. Byron Pringle left early last year (I don’t think he got drafted) and the receivers really are guys that have a lot to prove.

DB Denzel Goolsby (5-11/192): A lot of talent graduated, but two defensive backs were pretty good last year, 17.5 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 2 run stuffs, 2 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups and 1 forced fumble. That’s a pretty productive line for a defensive back (I’m almost positive Goolsby is a safety).

DB Kendall Adams (6-1/221): A linebacker or a defensive back? I’ll let you pick, but Adams had 57 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 1 run stuff, 3 interceptions, and 3 pass break-ups. The other significant returning starter is probably Reggie Walker, a defensive end with 2 sacks, but these guys lost a lot of talent at linebacker and along the line. They always figure it out though.

3. Coaches Corner

First and foremost, congrats to Bill Snyder who signed a new 5 year contract and he will coach until he doesn’t want to coach any more. Dems da rules. Long-time offensive coordinator Dana Dimel has moved on to be the head coach at UTEP. In comes Andrew Coleman, who played at Kansas State and was the receivers coach or passing game coordinator for K-State since 2013. He probably knows exactly what he wants to do. Charlie Dickie and Collin Klein become co-offensive coordinators, Dickie has been at Kansas State since 2009 and is the offensive line coach, and Klein graduated from K-State in 2003 and started coaching, at first as a graduate assistant for K-State, then one year at Northern Iowa in 2016 and then as the quarterbacks coach for the Wildcats for 2017.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats get a new defensive coordinator as well as the old one retired. In comes Blake Seiler as the defensive coordinator and Brian Norwood as the co-defensive coordinator. Of course Seiler is a K-State grad and has been a coach for Kansas State since 2009 and just moved up the ladder. That’s a really quick turnaround. Norwood is new to Manhattan and he’s hopped around a bit, including a stint at Texas Tech in 2000. Norwood was at Penn State for 7 years, then Baylor for 7 years, a couple of years at Tulsa and now landing at Kansas State. Surprisingly, Norwood did not play at Kansas State, he played at Hawai’i.

4. Advanced Stats

A perfectly capable team, and I’d expect a better offense and maybe the defense to fall off a bit. Oh, and is there any surprise that Kansas State is terrific in field position. How perfectly K-State.

Offense Defense
S&P+ 36th 55th
Efficiency 85th 84th
Explosiveness 30th 76th
Field Position 2nd 15th
Finishing Drives 51st 55th

5. Game Thoughts

I’m running out of time in the offseason, so these game thoughts are going to be pretty sparse for this game and the Baylor game. Plus, this is the end of the season, so who knows what this team will be by November.

Disclaimer: To any Kansas State fans, I’m not a Kansas State expert, just trying to learn and educate myself as much as I can over the course of writing this post.


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