Two Heisman frontrunners square off as Kansas State visits Morgantown for the first time since 1931.
The quarterback of the winning team in Saturday’s matchup in Morgantown will immediately jump to the top spot in the Heisman race.
By the end of the day, either Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein or Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith will be the undisputed Heisman favorite heading into the stretch run of the season.
Both offenses, led by All-American gunslingers, have been extremely effective this year. Their philosophies have vast differences, however.
The modus operandi of Bill Synder’s Kansas State squad is ball control, while Dana Holgorsen frustrates defense with a deadly quick strike approach.
It is imperative that Kansas State controls the time of possession, keeping the dangerous weapons of West Virginia off of the field.
This bodes well for a Wildcats team that is 10th in the nation in third-down conversion percentage, connecting 52.2 percent of the time. In contrast, West Virginia can’t get off the field on third downs, allowing opponents to convert 50% of third downs, worse than all but 10 teams in the nation. This played out last week, when Texas Tech, with nation’s best third down conversion rate, shredded the West Virginia defense for 49 points and 676 total yards.
Led by dual-threat quarterback Collin Klein, Kansas State should have no trouble putting up big points on the porous Mountaineers defense, which allows an average of 496 yards per game.
Klein has thrown at a 67 percent clip for 1,074 yards with seven touchdowns and only two interceptions. Klein compliments his throwing abilities with legs that have carried him to 10 rushing touchdowns. Klein can add another signature win to his resume, which includes a 24-19 win over a strong Oklahoma team in Norman.
Klein needs this win as he faces strong competition from West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Despite the loss to Texas Tech, Smith’s resume is impeccable. To date, he has thrown at a 75 percent clip for 2,271 yards with 25 touchdowns and no interceptions.
These numbers are actually better when compared to 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III's numbers at this point last season.
No doubt, both quarterbacks will put up big numbers in this game—and the rest of the season, for that matter
It will be the one that comes out with the W that will get called to the podium in New York this winter.
Prediction: Kansas State wins 42-35
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