Cats a Touch Moody Heading Into OU Game

How many more will K-State win? Will the 'Cats reach postseason play? What about the future of Ron Prince. Yes, the questions are coming fast and furious around the Vanier Football Complex heading into the homestretch to the 2008 season. This week, it's an 11:30 a.m. kickoff against No. 4 Oklahoma at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Moods are a bit testy in the Wildcatnation. With a three-week stretch coming up against No. 4 Oklahoma Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, followed by road dates at No. 19 Kansas and No. 16 Missouri, Wildcat quarterback Josh Freeman was asked if progress could be made without a victory.

Freeman semi-sternly asked, "You mean you don't' think we're going to win those games?" The chances are that Freeman would take a 1-2 record in those games and report straight to Nov. 15 when the Wildcats host Nebraska.

K-State fans aren't so discouraged with the 4-3 record, as they are the fact the Wildcats have given up at least 500 yards in four of the last five games, and then lost a very winnable game at Colorado, 14-13.

Going into the CU game, Freeman said, "That's how people are. If you win (Texas A&M), you're all of a sudden world-beaters. If you lose, everything has gone to crap. We just try not to really pay attention to what everybody's saying. We just do our thing. We know nothing people say is going to affect how we play."

Senior end Ian Campbell somewhat understands the mood of the fans.

He understands that they remember how K-State closed out the 2007 season by allowing nearly 200 points in the last four games, and, how his club lost at home to Texas Tech, 58-28.

"That might have made an impact on whether some people wanted to throw us under the bus a little early, just because of how last year was," Campbell said. "I had a lot of good friends on last year's team. Believe me, none of those guys wanted last season to end the way it did."

Nor, start like it did this year ... at least on defense.

Seven games into the season, K-State is No. 105 out of 119 NCAA Division I teams in total defense (429), No. 100 in rushing defense (191) and No. 81 in scoring defense (27.6).

"It may not show it, but we're improving," said Campbell. "I know this, this team has not quit.

"People don't know exactly what's going on in here. People speculate a lot. That's the way it goes. It's part of the media's job," Campbell said. "It's part of what fans do. They just want to know what's going on, but they don't (know)."

So, again the question: Can the Wildcats show progress these next three weeks with the potential of not winning games against three Top 20 teams, and two of those games on the road?

"Let me deal with this one this week, and then we'll come back and talk about the other ones," Prince said when asked about the trio of games. "When you start to project out and think ahead, 'OK, you can win this one, you can't win this one,' you do yourself a tremendous disservice."

He then related coaching his sport to a golfer playing his: "They manage the course. The hole they're on is their game. The next tee box becomes a new game."

As for how the Wildcats are perceived across the nation, Prince said, "I know among my peers, they know we're working hard to put the team together."

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