Kansas State, which finished the regular season 7-5, will have an opportunity to send all of its seniors out together. The Wildcats didn’t have any opt-outs and will be eager to get the sour taste of the two-game losing streak they ended the season on out of their mouths.
LSU, meanwhile, finished tied for last place in the SEC West with Auburn with a 6-6 record during a season that saw coach Ed Orgeron get pushed out of the program.
Texas Bowl: LSU at Kansas State Betting Analysis
On the LSU side
LSU, despite having an internal circus during the regular season, managed to win its final two games to be bowl eligible. The Tigers will have to play without several of their cornerstones on the defensive side; linebacker Damone Clark and defensive tackle Neil Farrell both opted out of the game to focus on the NFL draft. Clark led the team with 15.5 tackles for loss and 135 total tackles.
LSU’s passing attack was led by Max Johnson, who threw for 2,815 yards and 27 touchdowns. Jay Bech was John’s top target, catching 43 passes for 389 yards.
The Tigers lost their most dynamic receiver, Kayshon Boutte, to a season-ending injury earlier this year. Boutte had caught nine touchdown passes in six games.
LSU’s defense wasn’t up to its typical standard. The Tigers rank 60th in total defense, allowing opponents to gain 372.2 yards per game.
On the Wildcats side
Kansas State is looking for its first bowl victory since it beat UCLA 35-17 in the Cactus Bowl in 2017.
The Wildcats have a chance to see the return of starting quarterback Skylar Thompson, who injured his ankle during a Nov. 20 loss to Baylor and was forced to sit out the season finale vs. Texas. Thompson, who appeared in nine games this year, passed for 1,854 yards and threw nine touchdown passes.
Thompson has plenty of support in the backfield with multi-talented running back Deuce Vaughn, who leads the Wildcats with 1,258 rushing yards and 471 receiving yards. Kansas State has been one of the nation’s best teams in closing out its opponents.
The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 98-43 in the fourth quarter this season. Kansas State has accomplished this by ranking seventh in the country in rushing yards per carry, at 4.78 yards per clip, along with ranking third in completion percentage, completing 64.47 percent of their passes.
Tigers at Wildcats Prediction
Top Sportsbooks Odds have Kansas State as a 3.5-point favorite and -167 on the moneyline with the over/under set at 47 points. LSU is +135 on the moneyline.
The Wildcats will be reenergized if Thompson returns close to 100 percent from his injury. Kansas State had won four straight before he was injured.
LSU is in a weird spot. The Tigers are missing two of their key defensive players and will be playing under an interim coach as they await the beginning of the Brian Kelly era.
Kansas State will cover the spread against an LSU squad that may have wished its season ended with the win to send off Oregon.