‘Cats will have to match Pokes' offense
Check these numbers out: 65, 41, 65, 38, 54, 34 and 41.
Or, these numbers out: 544, 522, 722, 351, 492, 581 and 495.
How difficult of a task will it be, coach Bill Snyder? "On a scale of 1 to 10, it's a 12."
All the Cowboys have are the league's best rusher in Kendall Hunter (147 yards per game), the league's best passer in 27-year-old junior Brandon Weeden (321 yards per game with 21 touchdowns), the league's best punter in Quinn Sharp (48.2 average), league's best field goal kicker in Dan Bailey (16 of 16) and the league leader in solo tackles in Orie Lemon (8.1 per game).
Oh yes, if not suspended, O-State would also field Justin Blackmon, the nation's leading wide receiver.
"You name it and they've got it," said Snyder of K-State's Homecoming opponent. "It is so easy for a coach to say that the first thing that you have to do is stop the run, but I can remember stopping the run and getting beat by the pass. I think that it is a dual thing. You have to be able to defend against both. If you stop the pass and make them one-sided, they have the capacity to run the ball. For a team that can do both, you have to be able to stop both." O-State is rushing for 180 yards per game and passing for another 350 per outing.
Those numbers lead KSU quarterback Carson Coffman to say, "Yes, there is the feeling that we will need more points to have a chance to win, but we always have the goal to score every time we have the ball."
Fullback Braden Wilson added, "Scoring points is what we strive to do in every game, but sure, there is a little bit of pressure to score a lot of points this week."
In stopping OSU, Snyder said, "You have to do what you do. You hate to say you have to go out and out-score them because that's saying you have no confidence in your defense. Our approach is to prepare and perform as well as we can on defense, and the same with special teams. Nobody knows how it's going to go."
K-State has won 10 of the last 12 games in the series, and Snyder is 9-2 against O-State. The Cowboys last victory in Manhattan was 1988 when OSU coach Mike Gundy was the Pokes' quarterback.
BY THE NUMBER: KSU OSU
Record 5-2 6-1
Scoring 33.9 48.3
Scoring Defense 25.8 30.6
Rushing Offense 205 180
Passing Offense 181 350
Total Offense 386 530
OSU's Kendall Hunter ranks third in the nation and first in the Big 12 with an average of 147 rushing yards per game and 12 touchdowns. KSU's Daniel Thomas ranks eighth in the country and second in the Big 12 with 128 rushing yards per game. He has scored nine TDs.
UPDATING MR. THOMAS:
Daniel Thomas has rushed for 2,160 yards to rank No. 7 in K-State history. Next in line are No. 6 Isaac Jackson with 2,182 yards, No. 5 J.J. Smith with 2,210 yards and No. 4 Mike Lawrence with 2,265 yards.
Thomas is only 105 yards away from his second 1,000-yard rushing season. In K-State history, only Darren Sproles has more than one 1,000-yard season. Sproles had three – 1,465, 1,986 and 1,318.
Thomas rushed for 113 yards last week against Baylor breaking a three-game span when his rushing totals were 76, 63 and 91 yards.
With his average of 34.1 yards per kickoff return, KSU's William Powell is well ahead of the school single-season record of 29.2 yards set by Mack Herron in 1968. Last year, Brandon Banks averaged 28.9 yards per kickoff return. Powell had a 100-yard take-back against Baylor last week.
Kansas State's Josh Cherry has connected on all six of his field goal tries this season with a 48-yarder as his longest. Cherry is a perfect 24-of-24 on extra points.
O-State counters with Dan Bailey, who has hit all 15 of his field goals and 100 percent on extra points in 41 attempts. Bailey's longest field goal is a 52-yarder