The Miami Hurricanes continue their season opening road trip Saturday with an away date against the 21st-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. Miami fell to K-State in the final seconds of their 2011 meeting at Sun Life Stadium, and will have an uphill climb as they seek their second straight revenge win.
Kansas State won its opening week tune-up against FCS foe Missouri State 51-9. The Canes will be the Wildcats' toughest non-conference opponent (North Texas rounds up the gauntlet), but K-State is regardless the favorite on Saturday.
When the Canes have the ball: Early troubles against Boston College last week yielded to a 41-point explosion on 415 yards of offense. True freshmen Duke Johnson and Malcolm Lewis combined for three touchdowns, giving hope that QB Stephen Morris will have enough weapons around him to form a potent attack.
But that was against Boston College. K-State was not outstanding on defense in 2011 (they gave up the 68th fewest points in FBS), but they will pose a tougher test for the Canes. UM transfer Arthur Brown led the team in tackles last season, and he made Canes fans curse Randy Shannon for not playing him enough in 2009 to prevent his transfer.
The Wildcats gave up 418 yards to Missouri State last week, but did not surrender a touchdown. Miami proved it could finish drives last week against the Eagles, they'll have to repeat that if they want to keep up with K-State's potent offense. Speaking of which...
When the Wildcats have the ball: Kansas State only scored 16 points in the first three quarters against Missouri State, but eventually wore them down with 4 offensive touchdowns in the fourth. Quarterback Collin Klein is a double threat who torched the Canes for 93 yards rushing and 133 yards passing (on just 18 attempts) last season.
RB John Hubert joins Klein in the backfield, rushing for 152 yards on 12 carries last week (only 6 yards behind Duke Johnson's 19 yards per carry). The Canes stopped the run last week, but gave up an incredible 441 yards passing to Chase Rettig.
Klein is not usually asked to do much with his arm, only throwing 21 passes a game in 2011. He is accurate, though, meaning he has the ability to pick apart Miami's suspect pass defense if no pass rush materializes.
Who has the edge? Both offenses are capable of scoring in a hurry, while both defenses are suspect. Expect a barn-burner: whoever scores last, wins.
The Pick: Kansas State 41-Miami 37
Kickoff is at 12:00 on FX.