Kansas State vs Iowa State football: Getting to know the Wildcats defense


Kansas State’s defense is about a 50-50 mixture of starting talent coming back and new faces thrown into the mix. The strength will be in pass rush and getting pressure on the opposing quarterback with one of the best defensive ends in the Big 12.

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Starting lineup

  • DE: Ryan Mueller (44, Sr)
  • DT: Valentino Coleman (99, Sr)
  • DT: Travis Britz (95, Jr)
  • DE: Jordan Willis (75, So)
  • LB: Charmeachealle Moore (52, Jr)
  • LB: Will Davis (35, So)
  • LB: Jonathan Truman (21, Sr)
  • NB: Randall Evans (15, Sr)
  • CB: Morgan Burns (33, Jr)
  • SS: Dante Barnett (22, Jr)
  • FS: Dylan Schellenberg (20, Sr)
  • CB: Danzel McDaniel (7, Jr)

The defense will miss linebacker Blake Slaughter, who led the team with 110 total tackles (38 assists), 4 pass deflections (1 interception), and 3 sacks. But they will have their leader in Ryan Mueller, and he will cause havoc on Sam Richardson.

Mueller is multiple college football award lists because he finished the season with an amazing 18.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 6 pass deflections, and 4 forced fumbles. The defensive end didn’t have much production in the season opener against Steven F. Austin, but he already recorded a TFL in his two total tackles.

Jonathan Truman, Dante Barnett, and Randall Evans are the strongest starters coming back from last season. Truman and Evans provide the strength in the middle of the defense. Evans led the team in pass deflections last year (14) and had 2 interceptions. Truman led the team with 4 interceptions.

Iowa State must take advantage of the new faces spotted around the defense, including a couple of JUCO transfers. Having Tom Farniok healthy for the entire game should help anchor the offensive line. They won’t stop Mueller, but they’ll hope to get a running game going or give Richardson enough time to test the secondary.