Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Kansas State Wildcats season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Kansas State Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 5-7 overall, 3-6 in Big 12
Head Coach: Chris Klieman, 1st year
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE KANSAS STATE OFFENSE
– The Kansas State offense didn’t work. In a league loaded with high-octane offenses, being dead last in total O is a problem. The running game was solid, but the passing game was the worst in the conference, and it was painfully inconsistent.
Seven starters are back for new offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham, who steps in after helping Chris Klieman’s NDSU team rip apart everything in its path on the way to the national title. The Bison ground game was the star, and the style and attack should work immediately with the talent in place.
– Ball State transfer James Gilbert has the talent to be a special back in the new attack, but with Alex Barnes off being a Tennessee Titan, keeping all the top guys healthy is everything. The 5-9, 198-pound Gilbert has been banged up in his career, and the depth is a wee bit thin, even with Jordon Brown transferring in from North Carolina.
– No matter who’s running the ball, the production should be there behind a line that should be terrific despite the loss of new Denver Bronco Dalton Risner at right tackle. Scott Frantz is a good veteran at left tackle, Adam Holtorf is a reliable center, and overall, this should quietly be one of the Big 12’s better lines as long as injuries don’t hit – and if it can stop defenses from making so many plays behind the line.
– It’s sink-or-swim time with Skylar Thompson at quarterback after Alex Delton transferred to TCU. Don’t expect Michael Phelps, but Thompson is a perfect fit for the attack and should be a total yardage machine with his running skills. Also expect more of a passing attack with three of the top four wide receives back along with Michigan State transfer Hunter Rison.
Leading receiver Isaiah Zumber – 52 catches for 619 yards and five scores – is coming off of hip surgery, but he’s expected to be fine. No. 2 target Dalton Schoen is reliable, and watch out for TE Nick Lenners to grow into big part of the attack after getting knocked out in the opener last season.