October 29, 2010

Bouncin' Back? KSU looks ahead to OSU

No matter what happens this weekend, one team will walk off the field in Manhattan having rebounded from a loss.

Much like Oklahoma State, Kansas State suffered a tough loss last week as well - a 47-42 contest where the Wildcats scored twice in the fourth quarter but fell just short of coming from behind.

Now the Cats return home for the first time since Oct. 7th, when Nebraska crushed them to the tune of 48-13.

To say the defense has been frustrating this year for Bill Snyder is likely an understatement. KSU ranks 100th in total defense, allowing an average of 428 yards per game. Against the Bears, they allowed 683 yards - 404 through the air.

That doesn't mean he is hanging last week's loss all on the defense.

"I did not have them as well as prepared as they needed to be and that was part of it," Snyder said. "It is still a team game, and when you pull the water out of it and look seriously at it, you realize that even though we gave up points and yardage, we still had opportunities to win and it really was the result of some deficiencies on both sides of the ball and not just our defense. Our offense had five three-and-outs and they were created by our mistakes. Two of them were by penalties, two by turnovers and one by a missed assignment. I think that defensively we did do some good things - it just took a while to slow them down."

Now the purple crew goes up against one of the best offenses in the nation in the Cowboys.

"Leading passer, leading rusher, leading offense, you name it and they have it," Snyder said. "They are pretty proficient at what they do and who they do it with. Their running back and quarterback have been excellent through the course of the year. They have a lot of wide receivers and one has been truly special for them and is a fine player. They do it all well."

That means it is up to quarterback Carson Coffman to keep pace with the Cowboys' high-scoring assault. KSU ranks 60th in total offense (386 ypg) and 30th in scoring offense (33 points per game).

"Yes there is a need to do that, but that is our goal every game - to score every time," he said. "With the kind of points that Oklahoma State has been putting up, we feel a little bit of pressure to put up quite a few points as well."

And even then, the scoring might not be enough. Just like last week against Baylor.

"It is just one of those situations that makes you understand that every play counts, said fullback Braden Wilson. "If we had just one play on one of the drives where we did not score that we could have converted on, there would have been a different outcome in the game. So it really makes you understand how important every snap of every game is."

Because of that, the Wildcats will be looking for a rebound on Saturday. Even though they are similar to OSU in that there wasn't much in the way of pre-season expectations, K-State wants to keep the surprise season going.

"I think we just want to bounce back from this loss just like we did after the Nebraska game," Coffman said. "We need to recover and get back on track. It is kind of tough, though. Tensions were a little high at practice yesterday, but that shows that we care and are angry about losing to Baylor and we want to win."

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