at Folsom Field • Nov. 13 • 12:30 a.m. (MT)
Head Coach: Bill Snyder (16th year)
2004 Record: 4-5/2-4
For Colorado the big question this week about the Kansas State offense centers on the quarterback position. Will they get Dylan Meier or Allen Webb? While Bill Snyder, as is his custom, isn't saying, word out of Manhattan is that former Chatfield High prepster Webb will get the nod Saturday. For one, Meier has been banged up, and, two, Webb played well in the second half of last week's school-record come-from-behind victory at Missouri. After being down 21-0 to Mizzou, KSU won 35-24, in part because of Webb's steady hand.
But both QBs could see time, as they've both shared duties all season. Both stand 6-3 and weight 205, and both can run. However, Meier is thought of as the better passer, Webb, the better at making plays out of nothing, like Ell Roberson had a habit of doing.
The other weapon out of the backfield is senior running back Darren Sproles. While Sproles has not lived up to his pre-season Heisman hopeful hype, he leads the conference in all-purpose yards (191 yards per game). He found his legs last week and burned the Tigers for 160 yards on just 20 carries. Colorado has had trouble tackling the diminutive back in season's past.
WR Yasmon Figurs is averaging 18 yards per catch.
Player to watch: At 6-0, 180, split end Yamon Figurs is not the big receiver that's given the Buffs fits this season. But the Juco transfer (Garden City CC) has emerged as a big-play target. His 18 yards per catch is third in the Big 12.
KEY for COLORADO
Take away the run
While Webb was a solid 6-of-8 for 111 yards passing last week, CU needs to force him to try and beat them through the air. Webb, a third-year sophomore is playing in his first season after sitting out a transfer year (Indiana). He's still green, and the youngster — who is related to former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb — will be playing in front of friends and family at Folsom. Colorado could rattle him with some blitz packages they haven't yet shown.
Kansas State has given up an average of 29 points per game this fall, up from 16 ppg last year. KSU has not given up more than 20 ppg since 1992. The surprising fall off in effectiveness on the defensive side of the ball is a big reason the Wildcats will not post double-digits in wins for only the second time in the past eight years.
Bad news for CU, however, is that K-State may have found itself in the second half of the Missouri game. After spotting the Tigers 21 points, Kansas State held them to a field goal in the second half.
Overall, Kansas State has been susceptible to the run and more than the pass this fall.
Player to watch:Linebacker Marvin Simmons began the year as a reserve, but cracked the starting lineup in Game 3 and has been a consistent presence since then. He leads KSU with 27 solo stops. Simmons has six brothers, all of whom have played linebacker at various levels, including Melvin, a starter on the USC 2003 national title team.
KEY for COLORADO
Grab hold of the line of scrimmage
The Colorado offensive line outplayed its counterparts on the defensive line last week at Kansas. The unit needs to build on that and do the same Saturday. If they can, CU will be able to get its running game untracked.
SPECIAL TEAMS Kansas State is, once again, very good on special teams. Sproles averages 24 yards per kick return. Only CU's Mason Crosby has kicked more field goals (13) than KSU PK Joe Rheem (11).
KSU STATISTICAL LEADERS
Passing: Dylan Meier, 117-202-1,348, 4 INT, 8 TD
Rushing: Darren Sproles, 208-1,149/121 ypg, 9TD
Receiving: Jermaine Moreira, 31-288/9.3, 3 TD
Kickoff returns: Sproles, 19-395/24.7
Punt returns: Yamon Figurs, 10-92/9.2
Punting: Tim Reyer, 29/40.8
Tackles: Brandon Archer, 57
Tackles for loss: Archer, 6.5
Sacks: Scott Edmonds, 4
Interceptions: Archer, 2