Key to Victory: Josh Freeman

There are several keys to victory for the Cats this Saturday if they look to up-end the Horns in Austin and make it two W's in a row- none bigger then Josh Freeman on the road.

Quarterback Josh Freeman has 11 career starts at Kansas State. On the turf of Bill Snyder Family Stadium,

Freeman is 5-1 with wins over Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Texas, San Jose State and Missouri State. The lone loss was to Nebraska, 21-3. In the wins, Freeman completed 67, 70, 61, 69 and 67 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and four interceptions.

That leaves five starts off his home grounds where his record is 1-4. The victory was at Colorado; the losses to Missouri, Kansas, Rutgers and Auburn.

In the four losses, Freeman's completion percentages have been 26, 52, 47 and 56, with totals of zero touchdowns and nine interceptions. With the Wildcats facing a trip to Austin, Texas, Saturday where the Longhorns had won 26 straight conference games prior to falling to Texas A&M in the 2006 finale, coach Ron Prince was asked about his message to his quarterback.

"You have good players around you. Do not throw the ball with hesitancy ... throw it. And when you make a decision, live with it," Prince said. "On the road, you have to go take the game. Playing cautious on the road is not going to pay off for you."

Sure, Prince wants "momentum plays" that a quarterback can provide, but he adds of the position, "You don't have to do it all yourself."

The perfect example was last year's 45-42 win over Texas.

Yes, Freeman was 19-of-31 for 269 yards and three touchdowns, but Leon Patton rushed for a score and threw for another, Yamon Figurs caught 123 yards worth of passes with two scores, eight other Wildcats caught at least one pass, and Jeff Snodgrass had what proved to be the winning points with a 51-yard field goal. Zach Diles had 12 tackles and Brandon Archer 10, and the defense forced a pair of fumbles.

Freeman summarized, "We did what we planned on doing all week and came away with a win." Freeman says that win will have nothing to do with Saturday's 2:30 kickoff against the Texas Longhorns, but it will again come down to "... going out and making plays. It's what every game comes down to."

And as with every other game, Freeman says the expectation is a winning one even if the opponent wears the burnt-orange of Texas. Being a two-touchdown underdog, Freeman said, "Nobody in our locker room goes into a game expecting to lose. In our minds, we have just as good of a chance as Texas to win this game."

That's even though Texas is 4-0 and No. 7 in the national polls, and unranked K-State is 2-1.

"Until we can put together a string of wins and get ourselves ranked, we'll always be the underdog," Freeman said. "Obviously, they're favored, but nobody in our locker room looks at those standings."


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