We’ve seen schools bow to corporations to sell their stadium naming rights, or slap the name of a gracious donor on the site. Sometimes the sacred ground gets the name of a legendary coach, but rarely is that coach still roaming the sidelines. Bill Snyder retired following the 2005 season as the Kansas State Wildcats winningest coach. Four years later he was back running the show, doing it inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Snyder and his Cats get a big test from the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Week 2 of the college football season.
This contest in Week 2 will go down Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 12 p.m. ET at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Watch the game live on ESPN.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Mississippi State Bulldogs -7
Kansas State Wildcats +7
Over/Under (Check Back Later)
It’s rare for Kansas State to be a home underdog, but after last week’s games the Wildcats are getting 7-points on the opening line. With 90 percent of the early action on the visitors this line could go up and if it does it would be worth a wager on the home team. K-State narrowly won last week as a 24-point favorite while MSU covered the 47.5-point line. The total has yet to hit the board.
Player to Watch
After sitting out the season opener due to a suspension and watching his backup go off against an overmatched opponent, Nick Fitzgerald is anxious to get back on the field. One of the top dual-threats in the country, Fitzgerald put up staggering numbers last season throwing for 1,782 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 984 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground for an offense that averaged 32 points and 418 yards per game.
Fitzgerald also missed last season’s bowl game after he sustained a gruesome ankle injury in the regular season finale against Ole Miss. He missed out on a chance to pad his stats against Stephen F. Austin in last week’s opener, instead watching backup Keytaon Thompson throw for 364 yards and five touchdowns while running for 109 yards and two scores.
It’s only one game, but K-State better clean things up or this one won’t have the same outcome. Playing FCS South Dakota last week, the Wildcats turned the ball over four times and committed 13 penalties for 129 yards, yet they were able to pull out the victory despite being outplayed most of the night.
Alex Barnes was the only bright spot on offense rushing for 103 yards on 21 carries, but he’s also the player that gave Snyder more gray hair – if that’s possible. Barnes fumbled the ball three times, turning it over twice to thwart drives. This certainly wasn’t the type of Kansas State team that’s supposed to be a factor in the Big 12 race.
Mississippi State took care of its FCS opponent by blasting SFA with 618 yards and 63 points. And the Bulldogs watched K-State barely get past its FCS foe. So there might be a slight letdown heading into Manhattan for Saturday’s Big 12/SEC showdown. MSU didn’t exert much energy last week, scoring on its first play from scrimmage and building a big halftime lead.
The Bulldogs were expected to win big and they did. The offense couldn’t be stopped with four scoring plays of over 27 yards, and the defense limited the Lumberjacks to 254 total yards while collecting four sacks and an interception. The talent level steps up considerably and the Wildcats will be ticked after their poor effort. If MSU doesn’t think this is going to be a game, the Bulldogs are in for a big surprise.
Free ATS Pick
I certainly expect a better effort from Kansas State, especially with a SEC team coming to town. Sure, there were ball security issues and a bunch of penalties, but Snyder won’t let that happen on Saturday, because if it does the Cats won’t stand a chance. K-State isn’t SFA so the Bulldogs should be prepared for a stiffer contest.
Fitzgerald has already been named the starter and the kid can play. His injury is healed and he’s ready to get his senior year going. MSU has a bunch of talent but they won’t hit the big play. It will take a defensive effort to get the Cats off the field, and the Bulldogs are strong on that side of the ball. K-State doesn’t have enough weapons to keep up on offense and will be worn down as the game progresses. I like the Bulldogs to cover the spread.
College Football Odds: Mississippi State 34, Kansas State 24
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