Two of the country’s top quarterbacks square off Saturday night as the Kansas State Wildcats take on the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field.
Kansas State’s Collin Klein has rushed for more touchdowns than he’s thrown, but his versatile play has the Wildcats atop the Big-12 standings and fourth in the Bowl Championship Series rankings.
Klein rushed for three touchdowns and 105 yards in Kansas State’s 27-21 win over Iowa State last week, one of their closest games all season and the only time they’ve been out scored in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats were up 24-14 at the close of the third quarter after Klein rushed 12 yards for his last score, but the Cyclones answered with a two-yard run by running back Jeff Woody.
Kansas State’s defense then held the Iowa State scoreless for the rest of the fourth quarter, and captured the win.
The Wildcats may have a tougher time containing West Virginia’s potent passing game, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Geno Smith.
The Mountaineers saw their chances of a perfect season dashed, with their lowest scoring output of the season in their 49-14 loss to Texas Tech. Smith was averaging more than 400 yards passing a game and completing 80 percent of his passes, but the Red Raiders held him to a more-human 275 passing yards and one touchdown.
Buried by a 35-7 first half, the Mountaineers failed to score on their first three drives in the second half, and Texas Tech responded with a 29-yard touchdown catch by receiver Darrin Moore from Seth Doege, who had six touchdown passes on the day.
The Red Raiders exposed West Virginia’s third-worst pass defense in the country, as Doege went 32-for-42 for 499 yards.
Despite their defense’s worst performance of the season, the Mountaineers are only allowing 131.3 rushing yards per game, which should help them against Klein and the Wildcats.
The contest begins at 7 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by FOX.
Betting Odds: West Virginia is favored by 3 points
Over/Under: 72 points
Prediction: If the game becomes a shootout, West Virginia has to be favored due to Smith’s ability to score quickly and often. Unless Klein can control the clock by rushing more, the Mountaineers should win.
Predicted Score: West Virginia 45, Kansas State 40