#22 Kansas State Wildcats (5-2) vs Kansas Jayhawks (3-5)
Kansas State won last year’s game, but KU looks to rebound under Les Miles. KU leads the Sunflower Showdown series 64–47–5.
Coach: Chris Klieman
Kansas State Players to watch
Senior RB James Gilbert (5-9/198)
Gilbert played parts of four seasons for the Ball State Cardinals, including three games in 2017 when he earned a medical hardship. He totaled 2,806 career rushing yards to rank seventh in school history and 30 rushing touchdowns to tie for fifth. Last week, Gilbert gouged Oklahoma for 105 yards on 13 carried (8.1 ypc avg). Look for him to get closer to 20 carries this week.
**Sophomore DE Wyatt Hubert (6-3/254)
The goal to slowing down Kansas QB Carter Stanley will be getting max pressure. Hubert mentioned after the Oklahoma win last week, how well the D-line is playing as a group. The Wildcats defense held the Sooners to their lowest rushing total (102 yards) of the season. “We’re not a big talking team. We just go out there and do our business and do our thing and play hard,” he said. “That’s the main thing that we need to do.” Hubert will need a repeat performance against a more dynamic KU offense.
*Junior QB Skylar Thompson (6-2/212)
HC Chris Klieman on what he likes about QB Thompson: “One, he’s a great competitor. He wants to be great. He wants to be challenged. He’s a football junkie. He loves the nuances, the X’s and O’s and those things. He works extremely hard at his craft, whether that’s mentally or physically, he works extremely hard. I’m glad it paid off for him on Saturday. I know he feels he can continue to get better.”
Senior LT Scott Frantz (6-5/303)
On the Sunflower Showdown: “This game means a lot to me. We try to treat every game the same, but I’d be lying to you if I told you that this game doesn’t mean a little more to me. Being from Lawrence, I have a bunch of buddies on that KU football team. I can’t wait to see them and can’t wait to compete against them. I’m going home for the last time, and it means a lot.”
Frantz, a four year starter in Manhatten, projects to be a top 10 OT in the 2019 NFL Draft. He moves quickly and easily out of his stance. He’s agile in the run game and can reach defenders on down blocks. He’s light on his feet and has good pocket awareness. Shows good initial strength and initial pop.
Coach: Les Miles
Kansas Players to watch:
Senior QB Carter Stanley (6-2/196)
Senior quarterback Carter Stanley has thrived in the past two games under offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon, completing 53-of-84 (63.1%) of his passes for 725 yards and seven touchdowns. Stanley’s 725 passing yards over the two games is the fifth most in the country, while the senior has also moved into fourth in KU history single-season passing touchdowns with 19. Only Jayhawk great Todd Reesing has thrown more touchdowns in a season.
**Sophomore RB Pooka Williams (5-10/170)
Pooka Williams can do so many things in and out of the back field; they hand him jet sweeps and find ways to get him in space while also utilizing him frequently in the passing game – that’s where Williams excels, in space. Last season, that’s exactly what the coaching staff did with Williams. Things have been more difficult this year in coach Les Miles’ offense. Williams has been asked to run more out of the I-formation and also between the tackles, which has often been a more challenging task for the 5-foot-10, 170-pound back.
Williams is still on pace to break 1,000 yards for the second year in a row. And he’s still catching passes out of the backfield, but it’s just taken some time for him to adjust his new role. Look for a big game his week against rival Kansas State.
*Junior WR Stephon Robinson (5-10/175)
Carter has some talented receivers, including Daylon Charlot and Andrew Parchment. But over the last three games, junior wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr., has had the hot hand. In that time, Robinson has hauled in 18 receptions for 384 yards and six touchdowns. Robinson’s six receiving touchdowns over the last three games are the most in the FBS over that span, as Robinson has helped propel the Jayhawk offense to new heights.
Senior LT Hakeem Adeniji (6-5/310)
Adeniji has started every game that he’s suited up for. A product of Garland High School (Texas), and second-generation Nigerian-American, Adeniji was a three-sport athlete (track and basketball), who was a shot put thrower and center on the basketball team. Last year, he was named 1st team Big 12. Adeniji is already off to a fast start this season having already started eight games this season, which extended his consecutive stars streak to 44 straight. It’ll be his job to keep Hubert and Reggie Walker away from Stanley.
Memorial Stadium – Field Turf
Nov. 2 | Lawrence, Kansas