Kansas State Wildcats Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Kansas State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Kansas State Wildcats Preview
Head Coach: Chris Klieman, 4th year at Kansas State, 20-16
10th year overall, 92-29: 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 8-5, Conference: 4-5
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Kansas State Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis
Kansas State Wildcats Preview 2022
Kansas State was closer than it might have seemed to being deep in the hunt for big things.
Granted, life in the Big 12 is about winning the tight games to get out of the middle of the always even pack, but it didn’t get hammered in any of the five losses, slipped through enough wins to get bowling with ease, and then rolled a totally depleted LSU in the Texas Bowl.
The first three years under Chris Klieman have been solid for a program that’s used to being solid. Now what’s it going to take to be sensational and rise up and be in the Big 12 Championship mix?
This would be the year to do it.
Oklahoma is in a reboot and Texas is still trying to find itself – and then both of them are bolting.
The program knows how to fill in the parts instantly, it’s bringing in a dynamic veteran quarterback in Adrian Martinez, and there should be enough firepower to get that boost needed to win all those tight games.
2012 was the last time Kansas State won a piece of the Big 12 Championship, and it hasn’t won it outright since 2003. It’s about time to get back to that form, and it starts with …
Kansas State Wildcats Preview 2022: Offense
The Wildcats weren’t as bad offensively as the stats might make it seem, but they finished ninth in a ten team league averaging 362 yards per game, the running game was just okay, there was only an average of 28 points per game, and the 200 passing yards per outing were ninth in the conference. That’s all about to change if …
The offensive line has to rise up fast. The skill parts will be sneaky-great, and there’s talent at tackle around all-star Cooper Beebe, but the interior needs to be even stronger with three starters gone. Again, Kansas State always fills in the gaps.
The backs are in place to roll no matter what. The 5-6, 173-pound Deuce Vaughn is tough enough to handle the work coming off a 1,404-yard, 18-touchdown season. The depth is unproven, but the rushing production will also come from …
Adrain Martinez. He might not be the passer Skylar Thompson was, but he’s a veteran baller who threw for close to 8,500 yards and ran for over 2,300 with 35 scores in four years for Nebraska. He fits the offense, and so does backup Will Howard who can run, too.
The receiving corps is terrific. Vaughn led team with 49 catches, but Phillip Brooks is the top returning yardage receiver, Malik Knowles is a big all-conference caliber target, and there’s a little help coming from the transfer portal.
Kansas State Wildcats Preview 2022: Defense
The defense was better than the offense. It finished third in the Big 12, was good enough to hold on against the stronger passing teams, and it allowed just 21 points per game.
There are plenty of losses, and unlike the offense there’s a whole lot more instant talent coming in to play a big role. The back seven/eight in the alignment should be terrific once the transfers get used to their jobs, and the pass rush should be fine, but …
The overall developed depth is a bit of a question mark. That goes for the offensive side, too, but for now it’s about figuring out how to get the starting 11 up to speed and then all the other parts should fill in.
The line isn’t exactly a concern, but the tackles have to rise up around veteran Eli Huggins. The pass rush starts with Felix Anudike-Uzomah and gets veteran Nate Matlack in the mix, but again, the overall depth and options need work.
The linebacking corps should be fine with Will Honas a ready-made producer from Nebraska after missing all of last year with a knee injury. With Honas on the outside and leading tackler Daniel Green back in the middle, Kansas State will have one of the best 1-2 hitting punches in the Big 12.
The secondary already has established corners in Julius Brents and Ekow Boye-Doe, and the safeties are getting reinforcements with former QB Shawn Robinson coming in from Missouri – he first started at TCU – and JUCO transfer Kobe Savage ready to go.