- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

Friday

Kansas State (6-7 last season) at No. 8 Stanford (12-2), 9 p.m. (FS1)

Line: Stanford by 15 1/2.

Series Record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Wildcats seek their first true road win over a ranked nonconference opponent in school history. The Cardinal enter the season with high expectations and are trying to avoid falling flat in the opener the way they did a year ago at Northwestern.

KEY MATCHUP

Kansas State front seven vs. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey. The good news for the Wildcats is they bring back nine defensive starters. The bad news is they allowed 4.4 yards per carry last year and will open against one of the most prolific backs in college football history. McCaffrey finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting a year ago after shattering Barry Sanders’ record with 3,496 all-purpose yards.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kansas State: QB Jesse Ertz. Ertz won the starting job for the second straight summer and hopes to hold onto it longer this season. He tore his ACL on his first play last season and stayed in the game for one more play before being sidelined for the rest of the year. Ertz has yet to throw a pass in college and will be thrown into a tough test on the road against a ranked opponent.

Stanford: QB Ryan Burns. Burns won a two-man competition with Keller Chryst to replace four-year starter Kevin Hogan at quarterback. Burns has thrown just one pass in his first three years at Stanford but will have plenty of playmakers available like McCaffrey, WR Michael Rector and TE Dalton Schultz to ease his transition.

FACTS & FIGURES

Kansas State is 22-2 in season openers under coach Bill Snyder. … The Wildcats are 0-12 in true road games against ranked nonconference teams and have not beaten a ranked opponent outside the Big 12 in the regular season since a 27-20 home win over USC in 2002. … Kansas State led the Big 12 last season with just 39.3 yards penalized per game. … The Cardinal have won 15 straight home games vs. nonconference opponents since losing to Notre Dame in 2007. … Stanford has scored at least 30 points in an FBS-best 13 straight games.

___

AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide