Making Max Duggan uncomfortable
This all becomes important because Duggan has shown a propensity in past seasons to make mistakes when things start to go against the Horned Frogs and Duggan. This season Duggan has been one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, with a 16/1 touchdown to interception ratio and the 7th-best QBR.
Duggan has also avoided sacks this season, only going down behind the line of scrimmage eight times in six games. If the Wildcats can rattle the TCU quarterback and have him revert back to old tendencies, that gives K-State a leg up.
Silencing Quentin Johnston
Easier said than done is the right cliche for trying to hold Quentin Johnston down. The TCU wide receiver has caught 22 passes for 386 yards in the last two games against Top 25 opponents Kansas and Oklahoma State. In his first four games of the season though, Johnston only caught 12 passes and was held under 50 yards receiving in all of those games.
On the other side of the ball, K-State has two experienced corners Julius Brents and Ekow Boye-Doe who will have the chance to flex their muscle. Last season, Johnston had a four-game stretch where he caught 19 balls for 445 yards and four touchdowns. The third game in that stretch was in Manhattan where he was held to just two grabs for five yards.
Adrian Martinez keeps plays alive
In the first two road victories of the season, Adrian Martinez’s ability to evade defenders long enough to convert a first down on the ground or sneak out of the grasp of a sack against Iowa State to hit Phillip Brooks and Malik Knowles downfield has made the difference.
With the anticipated tight battle this weekend, the Wildcats will have to find a way to maximize every play they have and Martinez will be key in this. His composure this season and not feeling the need to force many plays has been one of the biggest adjustments in his play since being at Nebraska. If the Martinez that played the last three weeks shows up, the Wildcats are going to be in good shape.
Managing Mother Nature
K-State will be thrust back into the heat on Saturday in Fort Worth, after experiencing cold weather for the first time this season at Iowa State two weeks ago. K-State’s first two league games were played in warmer conditions and key players experienced cramping that held them out for extended periods of game time. Finding a way to take care of the bodies on the team in the buildup to a late kickoff will be crucial.
Another key factor in Saturday night’s weather forecast will be the wind. Currently forecast to experience 20-30 mile per hour winds throughout the day in the Metroplex, Chris Tennant might face his greatest kicking challenge yet. This is important to note as the Horned Frogs’ defense forced Oklahoma State to settle for four field goals, which Tanner Brown converted all of them.
This will also have an impact on the ability to throw the football, meaning the game could ultimately come down to which running back and quarterback tandem can run most effectively.