Kansas State Wildcats (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, 2-0 O/U) at Vanderbilt Commodores (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, 0-2 O/U)
When and Where: Saturday, Sept. 16, Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tn., 7:30pmET
Line: Kansas State -4
Kansas State gets their first test against a Power Five team when they meet Vanderbilt on Saturday night. The Wildcats destroyed Central Arkansas (55-19) in their opener and then crushed Charlotte last week, 55-7. Vandy dominated Alabama A&M last week, 42-0 after beating Middle Tennessee State in their opener on the road (28-6).
KState runs all over 49ers
Most Bill Snyder teams are all about defense and the run. That was the case on Saturday when the Wildcats rushed for 304 yards in an easy win over Charlotte. The defense was also stellar as they held the 49ers to just 168 total yards, including just 58 passing yards. The defense also scored twice led by a Kendall Adams 30-yard interception return for a TD in the first quarter and an Adams 46-yard fumble return for a score in the second quarter. Running back Alex Barnes led the offense with 99 yards on 16 carries and a score. Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz completed 16 of 21 for 178 yards but no scores. He didn’t have to throw a touchdown pass because the Wildcats ran for five TDs. Ertz has completed 70.3 percent of his passes this season for 511 yards and four scores with no TDs. Last season, he completed 57.6 percent of his throws for 1,755 yards and also ran for 1,1012 yards with 12 TDs.
Defensively, K-State allows just 294.5 yards per game including 166.5 on the ground. They’ll get tested a lot more than in their first two games.
Bench gets to play against Alabama A&M
If you blow out an FCS team or a low-major squad in FBS, you can go to your bench in the second half. That was the case for Vanderbilt on Saturday against Alabama A&M. The Commodores were able to turn to freshman quarterback Deuce Wallace, who threw seven passes in his first game. Junior quarterback Kyle Shurmur appears to be on the ascent after completing just 54.4 percent of his passes last season for 2,409 yards and nine TDs with 10 picks. This season, Shurmur (6-4, 227) has completed 76.1 percent of his passes for 498 yards and seven TDs with no picks this season. He threw for 202 yards against Alabama A&M, while the ground attack amassed 174 yards on 35 carries. Star running back Ralph Webb was held to just 54 yards and a TD on 13 carries. He led the Commodores with 1,283 yards rushing and 13 TDs last season. Freshman Jamauri Wakefield (6-1, 220) might be the heir apparent next season. He had 64 yards on 15 carries in his first action of his career.
Defensively, Vandy has been very stingy this season, holding opponents to just 171.5 yards per game overall and 66.5 rushing yards per game.
Kansas State is:
- 4-0 ATS last 4 overall.
- 0-5 ATS last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- 3-7 ATS last 10 after a SU win.
Kansas State is the better overall team. Vandy may be improved but the Wildcats are a much tougher test than MTSU, who is a very good Conference USA team. That Kansas State defense is legit and that should propel the Wildcats to a low-scoring road win by double digits.