K-State enters Week 12 ranked third nationally in 3rd down conversion defense (26.7%), 14th in passing efficiency defense (113.56), 18th in defensive TDs (2) and 21st in scoring defense (18.5). K-State’s 18.5 points allowed per game are its fewest since 2003 (16.3), while its 26.7% rate allowed on 3rd downs is its lowest since 1999 (22.3%). The Wildcats also rank 31st nationally and second in the Big 12 by allowing 119.0 rushing yards, which would stand as their best mark since 2017 (117.7). K-State has allowed just seven rushing touchdowns this year, which is tied for 11th in the country.
The Wildcats have held 5 of their 7 Big 12 opponents this year under their season scoring average entering the game against the Wildcats and 15 of the last 17 dating back to last season. Part of the success is due to the Wildcats’ work in the red zone as they rank fourth nationally this season by allowing touchdowns on just 37.04% (10-of-27) of its opponents’ red-zone possessions. The 10 red-zone touchdowns allowed by the Wildcats are tied for third in the nation.
Klanderman was the spearhead for a defensive switch from a 4-2-5 alignment to a 3-3-5 configuration prior to the 2021 season. Since the switch, K-State is allowing 20.6 points per game to tie for 16th in the nation.