at Folsom Field • Nov. 4 • 1:30 p.m. (MT) • FSN
Head Coach: Ron Prince (1st season)
2006 Record: 5-4, 2-3
First-year head coach Ron Prince decided to go with the future of KSU football when he inserted true freshman quarterback Josh Freeman into the starting lineup for the Oct. 7 Oklahoma State game. Freeman threw for 177 yards and led the Wildcats to a 31-27 win over the Cowboys.
But overall Freeman has struggled some this fall. He's thrown nine interceptions and just one touchdown. Along with senior QB Dylan Meier, KSU has given up 14 picks.
Kansas State's running game has featured three backs with differing styles. Leon Patton (5-7, 184) is the first true freshman tailback to play for KSU since Darren Sproles in 2001, and is the quick one. James Johnson earned a starting nod in last week's win over Iowa State, and responded with 115 yards on 22 carries. He's also one of the gunner's on KSU's punt team, so he's got some wheels. Senior Thomas Clayton (5-10, 214) brings a more physical style, but the former starter hasn't played the past two games because of an undisclosed injury.
In general, the Kansas State offense has been up and down. It scored five touchdowns against Florida Atlantic and four against Iowa State, but then failed to get in the end zone in three other games.
Player to Watch: Norwood (6-3, 229), the junior tight end, leads the team in receptions (28).
Defensive end Ian Campbell is undersized at 6-5, 232 pounds, but the former walk-on is having an effective season. The sophomore has 14 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. As a team, Kansas State leads the conference in sacks with 30.
Kansas State junior DB Marcus Watts is out for the season with an injury. KSU is giving up 199 yards a game through the air -- middle of the pack in the Big 12.
Prince preaches finishing strong, and the Wildcats have held opponents to 34 points in the fourth quarter, while scoring 73 in the final frame.
Player to Watch: Archer is a guy who always seems to be around the ball, and he earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors this week. He recovered two fumbles in the Iowa State game.
Kansas State has made big plays in special teams, returning two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns through nine games.
Kansas State 2006 Statistical Leaders
PASSING: Josh Freeman 66-148-887 9 INT, 1 TD
RUSHING: Leon Patton 69-374/5.4 3TD
RECEIVING: Rashaad Norwood 26-238 0 TD
TACKLES: Brandon Archer 73
SACKS: Ian Campbell 9.5
INT: Marcus Watts 3
PUNTING: Tim Reyer 41.0
PR: Yamon Figurs 16/10.6 1 TD
KOR: Yamon Figurs 8/23.2
Prediction: Kansas State 23, Colorado 17