Summarized, as Nigel Malone says, "Fast is fast."
While Kansas State handed first two ultra-fast teams, it was the Bears that handed the Wildcats its lone loss of the year.
As Bill Snyder said of KSU's lone loss (xx-xx) loss of the year, "We found what happens when you stand around and watch."
Malone, the Wildcat senior corner back added, "Everybody has 4.4 and 4.3 guys … we have 4.4 and 4.3 guys, so that's the same on an field" And while Oregon is said to snap plays every 13 or 14 seconds, the Mountaineers and Sooners played nearly that fast.
KSU defensive coordinator said, "We're used to laying teams that play fast." Pausing and smiling, he added, "But they do play fast and they have fast guys to do it with."
WHEN K-STATE HAS THE BALL:
The basics: K-State averages 40.7 points per game and 411 yards per game – 199 rushing and 212 passing. Oregon allows 22.0 points per game and 382 yards per game – 146 rushing and 236 passing.
Key stat: The Ducks for forced 38 turnovers – 24 interceptions and 14 fumbles. Keys to a KSU win: "Secure the ball, try to get a lot of first downs and own the time of possession," said run game coordinator Dana Dimel.
"We can't turn the ball over and we have to win the line of scrimmage. We have to score touchdowns. We can't rely on kicking a lot of field goals," said quarterback Collin Klein. "We need sevens."
"We need to come out and establish the line of scrimmage and run the ball until they stop it," said tight end Travis Tannahill.
"We have to eliminate the three-and-outs," said receiver Chris Harper.
Oregon's take on KSU's offense:
"Klein is good. He's a poised guy and appears to be a very smart player. Mobile quarterbacks can extend football plays, and he's one of those, for sure," Nick Aliotti, offensive coordinator
"They have that tough balance. A team that plays air raid the ball down the field, you expect it," said Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. "With a team that runs it like they do, you forget that they can throw it down field."
"You can't just pin your ears back on third down and go after him," said Michael Clay of Klein. "You have to be fundamentally sound since he runs it so well on a third-and-nine."
Ducks to watch:
• No. 46 linebacker Michael Clay, 1st-team Pac-12
• No. 14 cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, 3rd-team All-American, 1st-team Pac-12
• No. 96 defensive end Dion Jordan, 1st-team All-American, 1st-team Pac 12
• No. 47 linebacker Kiko Alonso, 2nd-team Pac 12
WHEN OREGON HAS THE BALL:
The basics: Oregon averages 50.8 points per game and 550 yards per game – 323 rushing and 227 passing. K-State allows 21.1 points per game and 374 yards per game – 119 rushing and 255 passing.
Key stat: Oregon has 45 "explosion" touchdowns of at least 25 yards with 17 of those going for touchdowns. Twenty-six have been rushes; 19 have been passes.
Keys to a KSU win:
"They've rolled up scores on everyone. We can't allow the big play. They are so steady, steady, steady … and then BOOM … there's that big play," said Tom Hayes, KSU's defensive coordinator.
"Their run game is so explosive and they can rush it with so many different people."
"They can throw the ball around, but we have to stop the run and try to make them one dimensional," said safety Ty Zimmerman. "But we have to start by lining up right in order to contain their outside runs. It's a team you watch and they're ahead 14-7, and you look back 20 minutes later and it's 42-7."
"We can't let them have the momentum early," said end Meshak Williams.
Oregon's take on KSU's defense:
"They really tackle in space. They get off of blocks and then tackle extremely well. They just don't miss many tackles and they are fundamentally sound," said Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
"Their front-seven are very fast and very talented. They're not that complicated, but what they do they do very well," said Hroniss Grasu, Oregon's center.
"They read properly, place active and play accurately," said Kenjon Barner, quarterback of the Ducks. "They're extremely big, very powerful run stoppers."
Ducks to watch:
• No. 24 running back Kenjon Barner, 1st-team All-American, 1st-team Pac 12
• No. 8 quarterback Marcus Mariota, Honorable Mention All-American, 1st-team Pac 12
• No. 55 center Hroniss Grasu, 3rd-team All-American, 1st-team Pac 12
• No. 64 left tackle Tyler Johnstone, Freshman All-American
• KSU is 11-1, champions of the Big 12 Conference. The one loss was to Baylor on Nov. 17, 52-24; Oregon is 11-1, co-champions of the Pac-12 North Division. The one loss was to Stanford on Nov. 17, 17-14.
• Running back:
KSU: John Hubert, 892 yards, 15 TDs, 5.2 yards per carry; Collin Klein, 890 yards, 22 TDs, 4.6 yards per carry
O: Kenjon Barner, 1,624 yards, 21 TDs, 6.5 yards per carry; Marcus Mariota, 690 yards, 4.6 yards per carry; DE ‘Anthony Thomas, 686 yards, 11 TDs, 7.6 yards per carry
KSU: Collin Klein, 2,490 yards, 66 percent completion, 15 TDs, 7 interceptions
O: Marcus Mariota, 2,511 yards, 70 percent completion, 30 TDs, 6 interceptions
• Tight End:
KSU: Travis Tannahill, 22 for 279, 1 TD
O: Colt Lela, 22 for 340, 6 TDs
• TOP DEFENDER:
KSU: Arthur Brown, 91 tackles, 6.0 for negative yards, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery; Adam Davis, 12 tackles for negative yards, 7.5 sacks; Meshak Williams, 13.5 tackles for negative yards and 9.5 sacks
O: Michael Clay, 92 tackles, 8.0 for negative yards, 2 sacks; Kiko Alonso, 75 tackles, 12.0 for negative yards, 4 interceptions; Tylor Hart, 10 tackles for negative yards, 8 sacks
• RETURN MEN:
KSU: Tyler Lockett 33.3 yards, 2 TDs on kickoffs; Tramaine Thompson 23.7 yards, 1 TD on punts
O: De'Anthony Thomas 19.2 yards, 0 TDs on kickoffs; De'Anthony Thomas 17.1 yards, 1 TD on punts
KSU: Anthony Cantele 18-of-21 on field goals, 42 yards for a long; Ryan Doerr 41.7 yard average on punts with 15 fair catches and 14 punts downed inside the 20
O: Bob Beard 4-of-8 on field goals, 41 yards for a long; Jackson Rice 39.6 yards on punts with 19 fair catches and 12 punts downed inside the 20