2022 Texas Bowl Over-Under Preview & Pick

The Texas Bowl is the last college football game of the year that isn’t a national championship game or an all-star game. This year’s Texas Bowl will pit the LSU Tigers against the Kansas State Wildcats, and there has already been a lot of line movement. LSU was originally a field goal favorite in this game, but the line has shifted by more than a touchdown as the Tigers will be without dozens of scholarship players according to their most recently released depth chart.

The 2022 Texas Bowl will be the first Texas Bowl in over two years after last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19. This will be Kansas State’s third trip to this bowl game, as the Wildcats lost the inaugural Texas Bowl to Rutgers and beat Texas A&M in 2016. LSU is 1-0 in this bowl game, pasting Texas Tech 56-27 in 2015.

This year’s game will take place on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at the NRG Stadium in Houston Texas, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

College Football Betting Odds

LSU +5

Kansas State -5

Total 47.5

It’s been an up and down season for Kansas State. The Wildcats have alternated winning streaks and losing streaks the entire year. They were unable to beat the top teams in the conference though, losing to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Baylor.

LSU finished in last place in the SEC West this season. It was an extremely disappointing year for the Tigers, but there is hope on the horizon with the hire of Brian Kelly. The Bayou Bengals did beat Mississippi State, Florida, and Texas A&M though, and that last win ensured they would become bowl eligible.

When LSU Has the Ball

There are tons of questions about LSU’s offense coming into this game. The Tigers only have one scholarship quarterback on the roster, and we do not know if he will be under center or not. Garrett Nussmeier is a freshman that has seen some action this season, but he needs a waiver from the NCAA or else LSU would use up a year of Nussmeier’s eligibility if he were to take the field. If he doesn’t play, then walk-on freshman Tavion Faulk is expected to take the field.

LSU will also be without its top running back and two top receivers. That’s part of a bigger problem, as beat writer Shea Dixon notes that the Tigers will be without dozens of scholarship players. This offense is likely to have a very hard time moving the ball.

Kansas State has a top 20 defense per SP+ and two First Team All-Big 12 selections in defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah and safety Russ Yeast. The Wildcats stop the run well, so LSU will probably have to try and move the ball through the air in order to have a functioning offense.

When Kansas State Has the Ball

Skylar Thompson is looking to close out his career at Kansas State with a bang. He isn’t asked to throw much in this offense, but he has been efficient with the ball. Thompson is completing 68.8% of his passes for 1,854 yards (9.0 YPA) with nine touchdowns and four interceptions this year.

The star of this offense is Deuce Vaughn. The Second Team All-Big 12 running back is averaging 5.9 YPC and ran for at least 100 yards in each of his last five games. Vaughn has also run for 15 touchdowns, and he leads the Wildcats with 47 receptions for 471 yards and three touchdowns.

The Tigers have some major worries on defense. LSU will be without a lot of players on this side of the ball, and there are some real concerns in the secondary. That could lead to Thompson having more success than usual in the passing game.

Prediction

Kansas State is probably the right side in this game given the issues with LSU, but the under is the best bet. The Wildcats will be content to run the ball and grind clock on their way to a win.

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