Cotton Bowl Preview 2012: Arkansas vs Kansas State

This season has provided roller coaster rides for both teams headed to Arlington, Texas. Kansas State was looking for a BCS bid but fell short like Arkansas did by placing 2nd in their conference but jumped by 4th Place Oklahoma. Both teams have been snubbed by BCS rules on their way to arguably the best matchup outside of the National Championship.


Kansas State comes into the bowl season with only 12 TDs through the air and 33 TDs on the ground. Collin Klein does everything for Kansas State short of Special Teams, but we will break Klein down later in this article.

Stats Arkansas Kansas State
PPG 37.4 33.1
Points Given Up 22.8 27.8
Passing 3693 1797
Rushing 1657 2324
Turnovers 19 (7 INT/ 12 Fumble) 13 (5 INT/ 8 Fumble)
Time of Possession (per game) 28:14 33:55


Going through stats, it is safe to say that Kansas State relies heavily on a strong defense and ball control on offense. Not making mistakes is a strength for Kansas State and they rely on this fact to keep them in games.


Kansas State relies solely on one person to push their offense: QB Collin Klein. If he could throw the ball to himself, then the Wildcats would probably do that EVERY down. I can’t stress how important Klein is to Kansas State. There are only SIX, 6, SIX Kansas State TDs that Klein did not run in or pass for.

Klein Statistical Breakdown

Total Yardage % of Team TDs % of Team
Passing 1745  79% 12  100%
Rushing  1099  47% 26  79%

Kansas State also relies on RB John Hubert to move the ball when Klein is unable to do so. Hubert, who is listed at 5’7″ 185 lbs, accounted for 933 yards on 188 attempts (4.97 YPC) for the Wildcats. Hubert is also 2nd on the team in Receptions this season for Kansas State (23 Rec) .

When the Wildcats do throw through the air, Klein’s most favorite target is 6’1″ 225 lb WR Chris Harper. Harper accounts for almost half of the Wildcat TDs through the air and almost a third of their total passing yardage (39 Rec, 536 Yards, 5 TDs)


Kansas State does not seem to have a special defense of any kind. They are smart and make very few mistakes. However, they have given up over 3200 Passing Yards and 24 Passing TDs while also giving up 1800 Rushing Yards and 18 Rushing TDs.

Mistake-free football seems to be a strong factor throughout the Wildcat football team. I was unable to find anything of importance regarding the Kansas State defense.


Kansas State plays strong, mistake-free football while relying on only a few key players to push them along. If Kansas State gets down in the Cotton Bowl early, they will struggle throughout the game to come back.

This game could be a high-scoring game or a complete blowout depending on how Kansas State shows up. I see the Wildcats having massive problems covering the Arkansas offense and the plethora of playmakers at their disposal. At the same time, Arkansas should struggle through the first half as they slowly wear down Kansas State’s lack of offensive depth.

This should be a fun game for a while, but Arkansas SHOULD coast in the end, barring a major catastrophe.


Arkansas 38, Kansas State 28

Article written by

Arkansas born and bred. Season Ticket Holder for 12 Years. I am an Arkansas Alum that received an undergraduate and graduate degree for Information Systems.

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