TCU vs Kansas State Big 12 Championship prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. Championship Week, Saturday, December 3
TCU vs Kansas State Big 12 Championship Prediction Game Preview
TCU vs Kansas State How To Watch
Date: Saturday, December 3
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
How To Watch: ABC
Record: TCU (12-0), Kansas State (9-3)
- Sign up and live stream college football on ESPN+
Why Kansas State Will Win
Kansas State can absolutely pull this off.
It had a rough game against Texas, and there were quarterback issues in the first meeting with TCU - which turned out okay, but losing Adrian Martinez early changed the plan - but this team has the style and makeup to be terrific in this.
Best of all, there's no real pressure.
Of course there's a little bit - it would be nice to wear the 2022 Big 12 Champion t-shirt - but lose, and it's almost certainly off to the Sugar Bowl. Win, and it's off to the Sugar Bowl while potentially screwing up TCU's shot at the College Football Playoff.
It's been lost with all the big things TCU has done, but Kansas State has been even more dominant at times with six wins by double-digits including the last three games to get here. It's No. 1 in the Big 12 in scoring defense, No. 2 in turnover margin, and No. 2 behind Oklahoma in rushing.
The ground game didn't stop once Will Howard stepped in at quarterback, but the offense as a whole has been stronger.
Deuce Vaughn continues to be a terror, Martinez will step in here and there to add a wrinkle to the mix, and the improved passing game under Howard has made everything more explosive. There's a reason Kansas State is 4-0 when Howard starts.
But it's about the run. As long as the Wildcats are averaging five yards per carry or more, they'll be a problem.
TCU has allowed five yards or more per carry four times. Once was in the blowout over Iowa State last week, two other times were the close calls against Baylor and Kansas, and …
- Bowl Projections | Bowl Bubble: Who's Bowl Eligible?
Why TCU Will Win
Kansas State ran well in the first meeting and still lost.
Keep doubting TCU. Keep thinking that "this is the week" reality finally hits.
The team keep playing with more and more confidence, it found a great offensive mix that can adapt and adjust on the fly, and it helps top have the most dangerous passing combination in college football outside of Knoxville - at least before Hendon Hooker was lost for the year with a knee injury.
Max Duggan is in the Heisman race. America might not know who he is, but depending on what Caleb Williams does or doesn't do in USC's Pac-12 Championship game against Utah on Friday night, at the very least the chance will be there to be a finalist.
All Duggan has done is throw 29 touchdown passes with three picks to go along with five touchdown runs as the leader of this year's out-of-the-blue College Football Playoff team. He hit Kansas State for 280 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting.
Quenton Johnston caught four of those passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. He missed the Iowa State game with an ankle injury, but he's ready to go for one of the most dangerous downfield passing attacks in the country. But just like it is for the other side, it's the ground game that's going to matter.
Kansas State is 1-3 when allowing 160 rushing yards or more and 8-0 when it doesn't. TCU has been just fine in the time of possession battle, and it has the deep threat pop in Duggan-to-Johnston, but it's that running game that averages close to 200 yards per game that should set the tone.
- Championship Week Schedule, Game Previews
What's Going To Happen
Who takes a punch better than TCU? It's going to have to do it again.
It's not like it's more dominant in the fourth quarter - it scored 127 in the first and 127 in the fourth - but time and again the team was able to rally back and come through when needed.
Kansas State will get out to a hot start. The almost perfect balance will shine through with a great first two scoring drives to set the tone, but everything will settle in from there.
Midway through the third, TCU will finally come through with the drive to take over - and will wrap up the College Football Playoff. As long as Kansas State doesn't win by a bajillion, there won't be a whole lot for the Horned Frogs to worry about. Any and all concerns would go away with a win.
Forget the Iowa State game, TCU isn't going to take down a game like this without a little drama. It'll be a fun back-and-forth fight with the Horned Frogs hanging on late.
- Expert Picks College Championship Week | NFL Week 13
TCU vs Kansas State Big 12 Championship Prediction, Line
TCU 34, Kansas State 31
Line: TCU -2.5, o/u: 61.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
TCU vs Kansas State Big 12 Championship Must See Rating (out of 5): 5
Kansas State vs TCU Experts Picks
CFN 1-131 Rankings | Rankings by Conference
Path to the Playoff: 6 teams still in the race
- Bowl Projections | Rankings
Story originally appeared on College Football News