UTSA-Kansas State preview: Roadrunners set to face third Power Five school in three weeks

By Mary Scott McNabb

UTSA will travel to Manhattan, Kan., this weekend to close out their three-game tour against Power Five schools. The Roadrunners are slated to take on legendary head coach Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday.

Kansas State (1-1) is coming off a 31-10 loss to Mississippi State, while UTSA (0-2) is coming off a 37-20 home loss to Baylor. Kansas State has a history of bouncing back well after a loss, so UTSA will have a big task in front of them. The last time the two teams met was at the Alamodome in 2015, where Kansas State won in blowout fashion by a score of 30-3. Although UTSA lost last week against Baylor, they took a step in the right direction.

Here are three keys to the game if UTSA wants to win and avoid an 0-3 start to their season.

UTSA vs. Kansas State details

Date: Sept. 15, 2018

Location: Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.

What channel is UTSA vs. Kansas State on? 

UTSA vs. Kansas State will be broadcast on regional Fox Sports networks.

How can I buy tickets to UTSA vs. Kansas State?

Click here to buy tickets to the UTSA vs. Kansas State game in Manhattan, Kan.

UTSA vs. Kansas State preview

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Throughout their first two games this season, UTSA has been outscored 24-3 in the first quarter. In both matchups, they’ve looked extremely sluggish and sloppy coming out of the gate. Against Arizona State, lazy defense and a pick-six led to the Sun Devils taking a 14-0 lead before two minutes had even run off the clock. Against Baylor last week, the UTSA defense allowed Baylor to score on their opening drive. Shortly after, quarterback Cordale Grundy threw an interception on his second pass attempt. The interception led to a field goal, and UTSA found themselves down 10-0 only five minutes into the game.

UTSA have dug themselves into serious holes right out of the gate in both games, and that’s something that needs to change. The Roadrunners can not afford to go down early against Kansas State if they want to have a chance at victory. They cannot give the Wildcats the early momentum at home.

Establish the run game

UTSA’s running game was better last week, but it’s something that still needs to improve. UTSA has only rushed for 100 yards through two games and they are currently ranked as the third worst rushing offense in the nation. Maybe it was due to Jalen Rhodes’ minor injury or maybe not, but for whatever reason we saw B.J Daniels get the bulk of the load at running back against Baylor. Daniels had 16 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown. The young sophomore looked great. Meanwhile, Rhodes only touched the ball twice.

If UTSA wants to have success, they’ll have to pound the rock against a rushing defense that has struggled. Mississippi State ran all over the Kansas State defense last week and they put up a whopping 384 yards on the ground against the Wildcats. If Daniels is going to be the premier back, he needs at least 20 touches against Kansas State.

Stop the run

On the defensive side of the ball, UTSA showed improvement in the Baylor game in their ability to stop the run. After allowing Arizona State to rush for 266 yards in week one, they held Baylor to only 91 yards on the ground in week 2. Kansas State is a team that likes to find their success running the football, as they have average 184.5 rushing yards per game.

The UTSA front seven has to get push against the Wildcat’s offensive line and slow down their rushing attack. The secondary is the weak spot in UTSA’s defense, but even so, their best chance at slowing down the Kansas State offense is to make them throw the football.  

Final score prediction: K-State 23, UTSA 17

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