DEFENSIVE WOES FOR WILDCATS

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Stinging from a 47-42 loss Baylor, what next awaits Kansas State's defense this week is the No. 2 ranked offense in the nation of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. OSU is averaging 529 yards per game and better than 48 points per game with those figures ranking third and second, respectively, in the nation. Kickoff Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium will be 11:10 a.m.

Runs of 35, 80, 48, 41; passes of 79, 28, 52, 47, 30.

Those are the distances of touchdowns that Nebraska and Baylor have scored on K-State in two of the last three weeks in respective victories of 48-13 for the Cornhuskers and 47-42 for the Bears.

Yes, K-State coach Bill Snyder will agree, giving up 95 points in two games, with nine of the 12 touchdowns covering at least 28 yards, is plenty of reason for concern.

"The talk today is of zone plays where you block right, or block left, and find a crease … that's the way football has evolved," he said. "It just means if you don't stay with your responsibility consistently, there will be a crease and that's where big plays come from."

Snyder said that coaches have to be careful to not ask players do what they can't physically do, or can't mentally do.

"What you ask of them has to be sound, and then coach them to do it that way every single time," he said. "Things happen so quickly, we have to do a better job of processing information on the field."

At Tuesday's weekly press conference, not one defensive player attended. Not one that at least had a small part in giving up those lone-distant TDs.

"It's an unwritten law of defensive football that if you don't have somebody in a certain spot at the snap of the ball, the offense will find a way to get there," said Snyder.

Teams have indeed found "a way to get there" as K-State's rush defense of 231 yards per game ranks 118th in the nation, it's total defense of 428 yards per game ranks 100th, and its scoring defense of 26 points per game ranks 67th.

Still, Snyder backed away from verbally scolding his defenders by saying, "It's easy to say defense, defense, defense, and we did not play well on defense. I did not have them as well prepared as they needed to be, but it's still a team game. 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."

While the Baylor Bears set a school mark last week with its 683 yards of offense, the task this week gets no easier.

In facing the No. 20 ranked and 6-1 Oklahoma State Cowboys, K-State's porous defense will face a team that ranks second in the nation in scoring (48.3), third in total offense (529.6), third in passing (349.7), and, with Kendall Hunter as the third-best rusher in the country averaging 147.3 yards per game.

"Leading passer, leading rusher, leading offense … you name it and they have it. They are pretty proficient at what they do and who they do it with," said Snyder. "They do it all well. For a team that can do both, you have to be able to stop both."

TRAMAINE THOMPSON:

Snyder confirmed that K-State has lost its second wide receiver to injury. The first was Brodrick Smith in the Nebraska game, and now Tramaine Thompson suffered a lower leg injury against Baylor.

Ask if Thompson would play Saturday, Snyder said, "I doubt that."


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