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2013 Opponent Review: Kansas State Wildcats

Going back to check on Michigan's football opponents from 2013, who's coming back for that team, and check to see if they're on the schedule in 2014.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the new season is right around the corner, is it still too early to talk about Kansas State? I will neither confirm nor deny my intoxication during the writing of this post in order to numb the pain of reliving the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Date Opponent Result
8/30 North Dakota State L 24-21
9/7 Louisiana-Lafayette W 48-27
9/14 UMass W 37-7
9/21 @ Texas L 31-21
10/5 @ Oklahoma State L 33-29
10/12 Baylor L 35-25
10/26 West Virginia W 35-12
11/2 Iowa State W 41-7
11/9 @ Texas Tech W 49-26
11/16 TCU W 33-31
11/23 Oklahoma L 41-31
11/30 @ Kansas W 31-10
12/28 Michigan (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
W 31-14

I did a Kansas State schedule recap before the bowl game and made this brilliant assertion: "...this could actually be a very good game..." Hmm, not so much.

Versus Michigan: 420 total yards of offense for Kansas State vs 261 for Michigan. K-State's Jake Waters was en fuego, going 21/27 for 271 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. The three touchdowns went to the amazing Tyler Lockett. The kid was good; Michigan knew KSU was going to him; Michigan failed to stop him.

Ugh. Need I say more? Not really, but this would be very short if I didn't, so what happened...

When Michigan had the ball: remember those two field goals? Yeah, that was "awesome". Oh, I'm sorry, there was a three-yard touchdown run by Fitz Toussaint with just over one minute to go, so woo hoo! Speaking of running, Michigan didn't; unless you consider 65 yards a running game. Of course, the big story on Michigan's side of things was that Devin Gardner was out; in his place, Brady Hoke started freshman Shane Morris. To be honest, Morris didn't play too terribly; 24 of 38 for 196 yards, but he received no help from anyone. Too often during the season, the game was falling on the shoulders of one guy...and they were burned by it once again. And there was this...

Best Win: I'm going to choose a moral victory rather than a true win on the field. Prior to K-State's game against Baylor on October 12, the Bears hadn't scored fewer than 69 points in their first four games. The Wildcats were able to come out and hold that Baylor offense to only 35 points, while the K-State offense finished with only a 10-point loss at the end. Okay, okay, so Baylor didn't really play the best competition at the beginning (Wofford, Buffalo, Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia), but points is points. The Wildcats went toe-to-toe with the Bears and totaled 445 yards to Baylor's 446, and if not for an interception thrown late in the game, they could have walked away with the win.

Worst Loss: North Dakota State. In a way, this selection should be qualified with, "Hey, man, NDSU has a pretty good program up there in Fargo", which is true. We're talking about a team that has a 7-3 record against FBS opponents going back to 2006. Oh, and by the way...they've won the last three FCS Championships. That being said, a Big 12 team shouldn't lose to the Bison. The seven wins against FBS teams have come against teams that are, well, a little lower on the powerhouse ladder: Ball State, Kansas, Central Michigan, and Colorado State. They did beat Minnesota...twice. TWICE! Someone get these guys in the Big Ten right now!

Outlook for 2014

Jake Waters and Daniel Sams will be returning at the quarterback position, but Sams has indicated in the past that he would be willing to change positions if necessary. Of concern for opposing defenses will be the return of Tyler Lockett for his senior season. He was far and away the team's best receiver with 1,262 yards and 11 touchdowns. With Tramaine Thompson finishing his career last year, the door should be open for Curry Sexton to take over as the second receiving option on the roster. In the backfield, the Wildcats will no longer have John Hubert, his 1,000 yards, or his 10 touchdowns. Instead, it will be senior RB DeMarcus Robinson's job for the taking. Overall, I can see the K-State offense picking up where it left off last year and being a force to be reckoned with.

Do they play Michigan in 2014?

Uh, no. Well, not unless they get a rematch in another bowl game. I doubt any of us would really want to relive what we saw in December. Thank you for being in the Big 12, Kansas State.