5 questions that face the Wildcats this week

After a week like last week, there are many questions of concern that face Kansas State. But we picked just five important aspects that should be taken note of, like defensive speed.

(1) Defensive speed

It was desperately lacking last week against Fresno State and there probably won't be a lot of improvement in just one week. But nonetheless, it's something K-State has to be better at the rest of the season and this is a perfect game to start.

(2) Offensive line

Last week Darren Sproles might have lost his chance at the Heisman Trophy, which can partly be blamed on the offensive line. Sproles was forced to break two tackles before even making it back to the line of scrimmage last week. If the offensive line cannot block for Sproles, it will be a very long season—and one without any Heisman Trophy.

(3) Quarterbacks, quarterbacks, quarterbacks, yet again

This has been one of the five questions since week one, and rightfully so too. Dylan Meier performed well against Western Kentucky, but both he and Allen Webb hit the wall last week, both completing fewer than 50 percent of their passes. In their defense, some of that goes back to the offensive line as well, but K-State has to be able to show that it can beat teams with the pass. Opposing defenses know Sproles is the man on offense, but when he is keyed on throughout every game, there has to be other options and that starts with the passing game.

(4) Kicking game

Simple enough: Jesse Martinez was atrocious last week with his punting. In the first half alone, Fresno State's average starting field position was in K-State territory. For the game, the Bulldogs' average field position was nearly midfield, and that doesn't win too many games. This week however, the duties belong to freshman Tim Reyer. A week ago Reyer had one punt for 24 yards.

K-State has to be able to get the ball downfield on punts or the defense will have its back against the wall again. Another outing like last week and it won't be long till K-State is faced with another quarter that it has just two yards and has surrendered 185. If not this week, it could happen against a Texas A&M, Kansas, or Oklahoma if the problem isn't corrected.

(5) The spirit of the team

This is kind of a special key to the game. After a game like last week, where across the board, the play was poor, K-State has to be able to come back a week later and show that it's better than 45-21. K-State teams in the past have failed at doing that, namely the last time the Wildcats had a sophomore quarterback in 2001 and they let one loss beat them four times in a row. Last season it was different. After the early skid, the Wildcats were able to come back and obviously finish strong, capped off by the Big 12 title.

But this season, who knows? The book is still out on this team's heart. Last week, there wasn't much to go around, but now they have the chance to prove people wrong with a strong outing before conference play opens up in two weeks. They need to find that leader to carry this team vocally, not just by example.

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