Kansas State -6.5 1.1% Free Play
There is really only one way to go with this game. Kansas State or nothing. I would have been more comfortable taking this at -2.5 before they announced Josh Rosen out, but I still feel like we have tremendous value here.
First of all I think the Big 12 is better than the PAC 12 this year. They do play similar football, but there have been signs that the Big 12 is a bit better than the PAC 12. First of all we had a 6-6 Texas team go into USC (the best PAC 12 team) and lose by 3 in OT this year. We also had Texas Tech beat Arizona State by 7. Then Big 12 has also gone 4-1 since 2014 in bowl games against the PAC 12.
This is also a mismatch and everything lines up great for Kansas State. The one thing that worries me is their secondary, because the UCLA QB Devon Modster can throw a very nice deep ball. I think he may connect on a few in this game, but then again Bill Snyder should be using that extra time to prepare for that. UCLA has struggled with the running game, but they have capable running backs, but Kansas State's defense gave up 200 yards only 1 time all season which came against Oklahoma. UCLA on the other hand gave up 283 yards rushing per game and they have given up 150+ in every game and 200+ yards in 9 of 12 games. Part of that has been injury, but I don't see how they could prepare for Kansas State's option offense. Kansas State was 4-2 when they rushed for 200+ yards with their loses coming by only 7 to Oklahoma, and 7 to SEC Vanderbilt. Their only game with a negative TO margin.
Kansas State always known as a run first team, and had to go to a freshman down the stretch in Skylar Thompson. He did well passing completing 63.2% of his passes 5TD's and 2 INT's while running for 263 yards and 3 TD's. He was unable to run the ball against Iowa State, but still managed to win 20-19. He also beat a very good Oklahoma State team on the road rushing for 93 yards while throwing 3 TD's. With the extra time to prepare I expect he will have his best game against this team.
The biggest mismatch in this game is special teams. Kansas State ranks #1 while UCLA ranks #95. Kansas State should have a major advantage in field position in this game. They also have had only 1 game where they had a negative TO margin and they lost 7-14 against Vanderbilt on the road. For the season they were +10 compared to UCLA -9. UCLA had 6 games where they lost the TO margin and went 2-4 in those games. UCLA was also the most penalized teams in the PAC12. Kansas State perennially is among the nation's least penalized teams.
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