The Alabama Crimson Tide will be facing the Kansas State Wildcats in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve at 11 a.m. CT. Bryce Young and Will Anderson may be playing for the Crimson Tide, but that should not make fans count out the Big 12 champions. This Kansas State team is very underrated and took playoff team TCU to the end twice. Here is a scouting report on the players Alabama needs to contain in order to win the Sugar Bowl.

Get our free mobile app

The Quarterbacks- Adrian Martinez and Will Howard

Both photos Courtesy of Getty Images
Both photos Courtesy of Getty Images

Kansas State is a rare team that uses two different quarterbacks depending on who would do best versus its opponent. The first quarterback is a familiar face in the college football landscape Adrian Martinez, the former Nebraska Cornhusker. Martinez was Scott Frost's golden boy and the man who was going to bring Nebraska back. Things did not go as planned and Martinez transferred to Kansas State as a graduate transfer. He started the first six games of the season where he led the Wildcats to a 5-1 record, including a win against the No. 6 team in the nation, the Oklahoma Sooners, in Norman, OK. Kansas State and Martinez were rolling until he got injured against TCU. Because of this, junior quarterback Will Howard took over. Howard looked impressive in the Wildcats loss to TCU in the regular season and ended up beating that same team in the Big 12 title game. We do not know which quarterback will start versus Alabama but both have their strengths and weaknesses. Martinez is the scrambler and a little rawer when it comes to passing just like Jalen Hurts was at Alabama. Howard is a true pocket passer like Tua Tagovalioa was. Either way, Alabama is going to have to study both quarterbacks efficiently to win the Sugar Bowl.

The Defensive Leaders- Autin Moore and Julius Brents

attachment-Untitled design copy

The Big 12 is not known for its defense but Kansas State has a super underrated defense. The group is fast, fly to the ball, and also can turn the ball over. This defense is led by Austin Moore. The junior linebacker from Louisburg KS. leads the team in total tackles with 85 and also has 56 solo tackles. Moore is the signal caller and the Henry To'oto'o of the Kansas State defense. Kansas State is also known for its turnovers. The Wildcats have intercepted their opponents 16 times, the ninth most in all of college football. Four of the 16 interceptions have come from senior cornerback Julius Brents. Just like Martinez, Brents is a graduate transfer (from Iowa Hawkeyes) that decided to join the Kansas State, football team. He lines up against every number-one receiver and is easily the best defensive back on the Wildcats.

The Best Player on the Team- Deuce Vaughn

This is the player that could easily get Pete Goulding fired from his job as Alabama's defensive coordinator. Deuce Vaughn may have a silly first name but is easily one of the best players in college football. Even though Vaughn is only 5-foot-6, he makes up for it with his blazing speed. This year for the Wildcats he has rushed for 1,425 yards including rushing for 130 yards against number three TCU, 158 versus Baylor who was the number nine team in the nation, 170 yards against Texas Tech, and 145 versus an SEC defense in Missouri. Vaughn is also the second-leading receiver on the team with 378 receiving yards. He is compared to another Kansas State legend, College Football Hall of Fame member Darren Sproles. If Alabama wants any chance of winning this game, then they absolutely must contain No. 22.

Alabama Football's Record Against the SEC & Other Major Opponents

The Alabama Crimson Tide is 929-331-43 all-time in college football. See how the records fall against the Tide's SEC rivals and other top programs in the nation.

Crimson Tide Class of 2023 Commits

A look at all Alabama commits from the class of 2023.

More From Tide 100.9