Five questions following Colorado

What K-State has answered — and might still be answering.

1. Has Kansas State fixed its third down woes?
All indications point toward yes. The Cats had been converting just 31 percent of their third downs, and struggled against Oklahoma State and Texas — just 1-of-12 against the Longhorns. But Kansas State managed to convert 8-of-12 Saturday, largely due to shorter passes underneath the coverage that resulted in shorter third down situations.

2. Who is going to replace Terry Pierce?
This seems a moot question eight weeks into the season, but the constant shuffling at middle linebacker has created little cohesiveness in a unit that was among the nation's best just 10 months ago. Ted Sims and Matt Butler were responsible for just two tackles against Colorado. Highly-touted Marvin Simmons did play on special teams against the Buffs, and Coach Bill Snyder said he's closer to seeing time at linebacker.

3. What's the story at safety?
Rashad Washington has one of the safety spots buckled down, but the other spot appears up in the air. Jesse Tetuan has been sketchy this season while senior James McGill may finally be out of Snyder's doghouse after off-the-field problems in August. McGill had seven tackles against Colorado — fourth on the team — intercepted a pass and returned it 14 yards, and had a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. Tetuan, meanwhile, managed three tackles.

4. Is Ell back?
Roberson, who had thrown five interceptions against Texas and Oklahoma State since returning from a hand injury, had taken the brunt of the media and fan criticism that rained down on Kansas State during its three-game slide. Against Colorado, however, shorter pass plays allowed Roberson to tie a career-high for completions, hooking up on 20-of-28 passes for 242 yards and tieing another personal-best with three touchdown passes.

5. Is Kansas State back?
This question will probably be answered on Nov. 15 in Lincoln, when Kansas State battles Nebraska for what will likely be the Big 12 North championship. Upstart Kansas is a three-touchdown underdog to Kansas State, and Baylor allowed 73 points to Texas A&M just two weeks ago. Iowa State, meanwhile, has struggled in the post-Seneca Wallace era. K-State will be heavily favored in its next three games leading up to the trip north.


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