Team Focus: Finishing Strong

So the last few weeks have left me with a strange feeling of déjà vu. It just seems like the games are ending the same way, and the press conferences are all spent addressing the same issues. Nevertheless, a few new storylines presented themselves this week.

Of utmost importance is the fact that the Wildcats now have to defeat both Nebraska and Missouri to become bowl-eligible. It's no stretch of the imagination by any means, but both Nebraska and Missouri are fighting for bowl eligibility as well. Both opposing schools have five wins, meaning a victory over K-State would clinch their eligibility.

Snyder said he addressed the bowl situation in front of his team, but also alluded to the fact that "they know" the situation at hand. "What our approach needs to be is 'lets go do as well as we can and win this ballgame,'" Snyder said. "Then the bowl possibility looms a little bit brighter."

Many players have mentioned the team goal of 'going 1-0 each week,' at certain points this season. That motto is no longer a goal, but a requirement, if the Cats want to see the postseason.

Another interesting aspect of this week's game is the homecoming of Allan Evridge. The youngster originally committed to the Huskers, but switched his loyalty to Kansas State when former coach Frank Solich was fired by Nebraska. Despite all of the potential storylines involving Evridge in this contest, Snyder said he's not worried about his young QB heading into the "Red Sea."

"I really appreciate Allan's approach," Snyder said. "I think he's a pretty even-keeled guy. I think his focus is not on- you know, he's not totally unaware of going back to Nebraska and playing there- but I think his focus is on what can he do to try to get himself better and to help our football team. I think that's where all his attention lies. If I'm incorrect about that, he's got me fooled."

As the starting quarterback for the Wildcats, Evridge's performance will be key in determining whether K-State walks away from Lincoln one victory closer to the postseason. He has never won a game as a starting quarterback, but a win on Saturday would make a pretty memorable victory for the red-shirt freshman.

Former starter Jesse Tetuan also became a topic of discussion, with the extended playing time he saw against Iowa State. With usual-strong safety Maurice Porter being used primarily as a corner assigned to cover standout receiver Todd Blythe, Tetuan shared time with Kyle Williams at strong safety.

Snyder said Tetuan has practiced well enough to see time on the field, and he "fared OK" on Saturday.

"More chances may present themselves," Snyder said. Throughout his career, Tetuan has seemingly played stronger at the strong safety position, where he can focus more on run support than pass coverage. He's knowledgeable of the system, and a capable backup, if needed.

Snyder said the coaching staff had come "within a heartbeat" of pulling red-shirts on certain players and putting them on the field this season. "There really is a need to do it in a couple situations," Snyder said. "We at a point now where I wouldn't do that."

Snyder did not mention any particular names or positions, but one could probably assume the injury-plagued offensive line was a spot where Brock Unruh or Nick Stringer might have been considered to plug holes.

Snyder also addressed the TV schedule situation, or lack thereof. Neither of K-State's final two games will be televised. Snyder said the lack of televised games this season has not bothered him, and with good reason. "I'd rather people not see us play poorly, or coach poorly," Snyder said.

Purple Pride Top Stories