For the second year in a row, Kansas State and Mississippi State are going one-on-one in an early season contest, this time being played in Starkville. Last year the Bulldogs won by three touchdowns with a final score of 31-10.
The Wildcats have been dynamic on offense so far this season. Granted their competition has been FCS Nicholls State and Bowling Green of the MAC, starting QB Skylar Thompson is completing 74 percent of his passes with 363 yards and three touchdowns. Behind him, James Gilbert and Jordon Brown are averaging 8.4 and 7.5 yards per carry, giving the Cats some options on the ground.
Mississippi State is giving up 387 yards per game, seemingly not as strong as last year's unit which led the nation at 13.2 points allowed per game. Kansas State is a team that could be able to take advantage of the Bulldogs’ young defense if given the opportunity.
Mississippi State's defense has, however, forced at least one turnover in 18 consecutive contests. Through two games the Bulldogs have recovered four fumbles and recorded three interceptions. The Wildcats have only suffered one fumble thus far and have been turnover-free through the air. The turnover battle could be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of Saturday’s showdown.
The big question is whether or not Tommy Stevens will play. The Penn State transfer has been a pleasant surprise for the Bulldog offense. Stevens showed up this past summer having already played in Joe Moorhead's system while at PSU, and through two games he is 29-of-40 for 341 yards and four touchdowns. However, he left the Southern Miss game at the end of the first half due to a shoulder injury.