On Saturday (10/21/23), TCU faces Kansas State in a much anticipated Big 12 game. In this article, find a breakdown of the matchup and the latest betting odds. In addition, find our best bet which is TCU +6.5.
TCU Vs. Kansas State Prediction
Last season, TCU and Kansas State faced off in the Big 12 championship. It was an instant classic that the Wildcats won 31-28 in overtime. It was also TCU’s only loss on their way to the national championship. The Horned Frogs get an opportunity for some revenge here, but these teams look very different than they did a year ago.
TCU rolled out freshman quarterback Josh Hoover on Saturday in place of the injured Chandler Morris, and he far exceeded even the highest expectations for him. Hoover completed 37 of 58 passes for 439 yards and four touchdowns, earning the highest PFF passing grade in the country for the week at 92.1.
Kansas State had an impressive outing from its freshman quarterback, as well – Avery Johnson had a school record five rushing touchdowns against Texas Tech in his debut. However, he only attempted three passes of 10+ yards, and I’m left wondering about the upside of this downfield passing offense.
If I’m reading the tea leaves, it sounds like Will Howard will still get the start as he did last week before making way for Johnson. Howard is very familiar with TCU defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie’s scheme, but the Frogs stymied him in that Big 12 championship game for the most part, holding him to 199 passing yards with a 56.3% completion rate.
Looking at these two quarterback situations, the edge has to go to TCU. Hoover is making his first true road start in Manhattan, but I have faith in Sonny Dykes’s coaching helping to elevate his play, particularly against a Kansas State pass defense I’m not sold on. There’s plenty of variance in this game, so the TCU Moneyline looks like an enticing Round Robin piece, as well.
TCU Vs. Kansas State Prediction: TCU +6.5
TCU Vs. Kansas State Best Odds
TCU @ KSU
Oct. 21, 6:00 PM
Odds updated October 21st, 2023, at 9:13 pm
The spread for this game opened with Kansas State as 7.5-point home favorites, which I quickly bought. The spread now sits at 6.5 points after dipping as low as 6 points earlier in the week. 7 is a key number in betting spreads, so I’d wait to see if the market heads back that direction before making a wager here.
TCU Vs. Kansas State Key Matchups
While I spent a lot of time breaking down the freshman quarterbacks above, there are other matchups that will determine the outcome of this game. Let’s break some down.
JP Richardson Vs. Kansas State’s Secondary
Josh Hoover wasn’t alone in TCU’s impressive 44-11 win over BYU. JP Richardson had an impressive game with six catches for 104 yards and a score. The shifty slot receiver transferred from Oklahoma State before the season, and last week was his best game in a TCU uniform. His consistency as a receiver will be crucial for Hoover making his first road start.
Kansas State will be very familiar with Richardson – while at Oklahoma State last season, he finished with two catches for -1 yard on eight targets against them. The Wildcats lost their top three cornerbacks from last season, however, and have some inexperienced players now starting on the back end.
— Reel Analytics (@RAanalytics) October 18, 2023
Treshaun Ward and DJ Giddens Vs. TCU’s Run Defense
Regardless of who is playing quarterback for Kansas State, they’ll continue to lean on the run game – they rank 25th in the country in rushing plays per game. DJ Giddens leads the way with 94 carries for 541 yards and four touchdowns while Florida State transfer is coming off his first 100-yard game and has contributed 337 yards and three touchdowns for the season.
TCU’s run defense has been solid overall, ranking 51st in rushing success rate allowed. In Gillespie’s 3-3-5 scheme, there’s speed all over the field with players flying to the football. Linebackers Jamoi Hodge, Shadrach Banks Jr., and Namdi Obiazor each have 23 run stops this season per PFF. Obiazor is the site’s top ranked tackler in the country.
The future is bright for K-State at running back with DJ Giddens
Redshirt Freshman Year Stats – 518 yards rush yards 5.8 average 6 TDs 8 receptions 98 yards pic.twitter.com/yYaYUHcUQj
— The Kansas State Fan (@Thekstatefan) January 3, 2023