Kansas State, TCU both rolling into Big 12 title game rematch

What a difference a week makes.

TCU and Kansas State will have a rematch of last season’s Big 12 championship game on Saturday night in Manhattan, Kan., with both teams coming off impressive wins that seemingly reversed both of their fortunes.

TCU (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) trounced BYU 44-11 last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas. The Horned Frogs, who led 31-8 at halftime, snapped a two-game losing streak.

Meanwhile, Kansas State (4-2, 2-1) ran to a 38-21 victory at Texas Tech, extending its winning streak to eight games over the Red Raiders.

Making his first career start, Josh Hoover passed for 439 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions to lead TCU. Hoover’s four TD passes were the most by a Horned Frog in his first career start since Casey Pachall threw four at Baylor in 2011.

The defense was equally impressive, holding BYU to 243 yards of total offense.

“I am really proud of our team,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes said after the win. “We had a really tough last two weeks and I think in a lot of ways that was kind of a gut check for our guys. And for them to come out and play like they did, I think shows a lot about who they are and I am really proud of them.

“(Saturday’s game) wasn’t perfect, but our guys played really hard and tough, and we played better football.”

That last sentence also describes K-State, as the Wildcats rebounded from a dismal 29-21 loss at Oklahoma State the previous week.

The biggest factor was freshman quarterback Avery Johnson. Johnson had seen limited action in two games prior to this past Saturday, but when Texas Tech took away the passing game, KSU coach Chris Klieman switched to Johnson over starter Will Howard.

All Johnson did was rush for five touchdowns, tying a school record. He ran for 90 yards on 13 carries and was also 8-of-9 passing for 77 yards.

Now the question is who will start against the Frogs. Klieman was non-committal at his weekly news conference on Tuesday.

“Do not,” he said, when asked if he knew who was going to start at quarterback. “We have two guys that we can win with. … I don’t know how it’s going to work out on Saturday. It’s Tuesday.

“We’ve seen Will play at a really high level and be successful. And then we saw Avery play at a high level and be successful. So we feel comfortable with both guys leading this football team.”

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