Breece Hall has strung together two solid showings and he’ll need to do the same against Kansas State. He has 313 rushing yards over the last two games, and he’ll be facing a Kansas State defense that is only allowing 86 rushing yards per game. Kansas State is already pretty battle tested playing both Oklahoma schools, and a season opening win against Stanford.
Oklahoma’s Kennedy Brooks only had 91 yards against the Wildcats’ defense. If Breece can get north of 100 yards on Saturday, my guess is that’ll make the Iowa State offensive operation run a whole lot smoother.
Beau Freyler, true freshman, had 8 total tackles against Kansas leading the team in that department. Whether he was filling in for some of the banged up secondary or whether the Professor thinks Freyler is worthy of that much playing time is yet to be seen. The secondary seems to be about the only part of the Iowa State defense still in flux. Datrone Young, Jaquan Amos, TJ Tampa and Freyler have all played good amounts of minutes in the first five games. Can Freyler anchor himself as a sure starter for the secondary? We could find out Saturday.
The imposing figure of 5’6, 172 pound Deuce Vaughn seems to be more hype than height. K State fans said to a nauseating degree how Vaughn is better than Breece Hall. Vaughn isn’t Hall, but he’s not bad either. He has four more touchdowns than any other wildcat (7), and has 444 rushing yards on the year.
His small frame makes him extra shifty and hard to get a hand on. Iowa State is going to have make some solid open field tackles if they want to contain Vaughn.
The X factor, as it often is, could be special teams on Saturday. (Grrrrrrr) The Wildcats have a preseason all big 12 return man, AND a guy who already has 275 kick return yards this year. They’re two separate guys. Phillip Brooks got the all conference nod and it was enough for every team to not kick the ball anywhere near him. Sadly, Malik Knowles seems to have taken on the mantra himself as he’s become an extraordinary return man himself.
Hopefully it’s touchbacks galore on Saturday, because if not, K-State could make us pay in a hurry. My guess is we start to get some momentum and then give up a huge kick return immediately derailing said momentum. Just a hunch.