MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State and Kansas will have plenty in common when they meet Saturday in their annual Big 12 clash at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan. Both teams have identical conference and overall records, and each has lost five of their past six games after opening the season with promising 2-1 starts.
TV: 12 p.m. ET, FSN. LINE: Kansas State -12
The biggest difference between these teams is the status of Kansas coach David Beaty, who will be on the sideline for the first time since his lame-duck tenure began. Beaty was informed after a 27-3 loss at Iowa State last weekend that he will not be brought back next season, even though he still has two years remaining on his contract. Beaty is 6-39 in five seasons with the Jayhawks and 2-31 in conference play, which includes a 27-26 win against TCU on Oct. 27, ending a 14-game conference losing streak. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, 79, is also feeling the heat to after a 14-13 loss to TCU on Saturday, guaranteeing the Wildcats will have a losing record in Big 12 play for the first time since 2015.
KANSAS (3-6, 1-5 Big 12)
Pooka Williams Jr. continues to be a shining star for the Jayhawks, posting the third-best rushing output after the first eight games (711) in team history, trailing only Gale Sayers in 1962 (972) and Kerwin Bell in 1980 (932). Williams is also the first true freshman from the Big 12 to accumulate at least 600 rushing yards and 200 receiving yards since former Kansas running back Corey Avery in 2014. Williams could have company in the backfield after junior Khalil Herbert posted a season-high 91 rushing yards on 21 carries against Iowa State last weekend.
KANSAS STATE (3-6, 1-5)
The Jayhawks have the top rusher in the Big 12 in Alex Barnes, who averages a conference-leading 102 rushing yards a game with nine touchdowns. Barnes has enjoyed success against Kansas in his three-year career, totaling 103 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries as a freshman, and 128 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries as a sophomore. Barnes posted the eighth 100-yard effort of his college career last week against TCU, finishing with 102 yards on 23 carries.
1. Kansas State DB Duke Shelley has three interceptions in conference play, which ranks third in the Big 12, and 12 passes defended, which is sixth in the nation.
2. The Jayhawks have won the past nine games in this series.
3. Kansas punter Kyle Thompson leads the conference with an average of 43.9 yards per punt and has put 21 of his 55 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
PREDICTION: Kansas State 31, Kansas 20
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