EMAWOnline – K-State vs. UCF: Notes & Stats


Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Location: Manhattan, Kan.

Stadium: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,00)

Series: K-State Leads, 1-0

TV: FS1 (watch)

Eric Collins (Play-by-Play); Devin Gardner (Analyst)

1) For the second-straight year, Kansas State will open Big 12 Conference play looking to rebound from a close loss, as the Wildcats host UCF Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family in the Big 12 opener for both teams. The Wildcats are looking to bounce back from a 30-27 loss to Missouri last week, while the Knights head into their first-ever Big 12 matchup at 3-0. The sold-out contest will kick at 7 p.m. on FS1.

2) K-State scored over 40 points in each of its first two games of a season for a second time under head coach Chris Klieman (2019). The Cats have hit the 40-point mark in four of their last five regular-season games. Since Collin Klein took over as offensive coordinator for the 2021 Texas Bowl, K-State is averaging 33.8 points per game. The Cats currently rank fifth in the Big 12 in scoring offense (38.0 ppg).

3) Senior quarterback Will Howard has been workmanlike through three games as he enters the week second nationally in points responsible for (24.0 ppg), 14th in passing touchdowns (8) and 25th in total offense (292.0 ypg). Howard also now ranks eighth in school history with 32 career touchdown passes, while he is ninth in school history in touchdown responsibility (45).

4) The K-State defense enters the week ranking in the top 15 nationally in rushing defense (3rd – 50.0 yds/gm), tackles for loss (6th – 9.3 TFLs/gm) and 3rd down defense (15th – 29.5%). Since the Wildcats switched to a 3-3-5 alignment to start the 2021 season, K-State has allowed just 20.7 points per game to rank 21st in the nation and second in the Big 12 (Iowa State – 19.6).

5) Senior linebacker Austin Moore and safety Kobe Savage lead the team with 16 tackles, while Moore ranks seventh nationally with 6.0 tackles for loss. Defensive end Khalid Duke – who is moving from linebacker back to his natural home at defensive end – has 3.0 sacks over the first three weeks to rank 12th in the nation, while Jacob Parrish ranks 23rd in passes defended with four.

134 – Total career starts by K-State offensive linemen, including all 70 starts from a year ago.

133 – Number of Big 12 wins for K-State since the league was formed, which ranks third behind Texas and Oklahoma.

75.6 – Career winning % by Chris Klieman, which ranks fourth nationally among FBS coaches with at least 10 years experience.

50.0 – Rushing yards per game given up by K-State this season, which ranks third nationally.

20.7 – Points per game allowed by K-State since the start of 2021, ranking 21st nationally and second among returning Big 12 teams.

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