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Red Raiders Week 5 Opponent Preview: Kansas State Wildcats

The Wildcats might be college football's biggest sleeper in 2022.
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Every year, a conference features a sleeper team that ends up competing for a conference title. In the Big 12, keep a close eye on Kansas State in 2022.

The Wildcats haven't missed a beat in the transition from Bill Snyder to Chris Klieman. After what looked to be a promising start in 2019, injuries and a COVID-19 season cost K-State much of its success a year later. In 2021, Klieman was back on track, going 8-5 to close out the year with a Texas Bowl victory over LSU.

The Wildcats have a new quarterback for the first time since 2017 following the departure of Skylar Thompson. Adrian Martinez took over for Thompson under center and has passed for 538 yards this season on 62-of-100 passing and one touchdown.

Defensively, Kansas State seems poised to make a run at their Big 12 opponents. Linebacker Austin Moore leads the team in tackles with 28 while fellow linebacker Daniel Green leads all Wildcats with two interceptions.

Does that hurt Texas Tech's chances of picking up a win on the road?

Make sure to follow along at as we preview every matchup for Texas Tech during the 2022 season.

Kansas State Wildcats

2022 Record: 3-1 (1-0 Big 12)

Head Coach: Chris Klieman

Klieman is in his fourth season with the Wildcats.

Offensive Set: Power I Pro

Defensive Set: 3-3-5


Led by offensive coordinator Collin Klein - who made history for the Wildcats while starting at quarterback in 2012 becoming the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman finalist - the Wildcats have taken on some of his personality. 

That personality and QB style is based on a ground game. Klein was more of a running quarterback than a passing one, and that's where he put his stamp on the Heisman conversation back in the day.

The style of offense hasn't changed much.

K-State's power-run offense often features a fullback in its backfield. And no, the fullback doesn't just provide an extra blocking role for the run game as both fullbacks averaged 4.1 yards per attempt last season. Of course, the bulk of the carries belong to running back Deuce Vaughn who has carried the ball 87 times for 468 yards this season.

Offensive starters:

QB Adrian Martinez

RB Deuce Vaughn

FB Christian Moore

WR Malik Knowles

WR Kade Warner

TE Sammy Wheeler

LT KT Leveston

LG Cooper Beebe

C Hayden Gillum

RG Hadley Panzer

RT Christian Duffie


While the offense struggled to find consistency last season, the defense remained K-State's saving grace. That hasn't changed in 2022, as the Wildcats have allowed 0, 12, 10, and 34 points, respectively this season through four games. The 34 came against then-No. 6 Oklahoma last week in K-State's 41-34 upset victory.

Defensive starters:

DE: Felix Anudike-Uzomah

NT: Eli Huggins

DE: Nate Matlack

MIKE: Daniel Green

WILL: Austin Moore

SAM/EDGE: Khalid Duke

CB: Julius Brents

CB Ekow Boye-Doe

Nickel/JACK: Drake Cheatum

FS Josh Hayes

SS Kobe Savage

Follow Timm Hamm on Twitter at @IndyCarTim

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