Prince Speaks Out

Kansas State third-year football coach Ron Prince has gone from the "hot seat" to the "boiling seat" after losing to Kansas on Saturday, 52-21. The Wildcats allowed a mediocre Kansas back named Jake Sharp to have a Gale Sayers-type four-touchdown performance, plus gave the Jayhawks five extra possessions via turnovers.

Perhaps Kansas State football coach Ron Prince should be more careful with his postgame wordage.

It was after K-State lost to Kansas Saturday, 52-21, that the Wildcat coach said, "The people of Kansas State deserve better than this."

The Wildcats have now lost to the Jayhawks three straight times in the Prince era by a combined score of 121-65.

But of those three, Prince said of Saturday's loss, "This is as bad of a loss I've ever been associated with. This isn't what we're looking for."

He would add, "We were thoroughly beaten on both sides of the ball by a team needing a win. On the flip side, he added, "It was a very poor one (game) by myself and my coaching staff."

He wasn't through.

"I'm not going to mince words and spin anything," he said. "We were well prepared, but didn't execute. It's my job to get us to do that."

The Wildcats slip to 4-5 with the loss, and Prince's overall coaching record dips to 16-18. Against its cousins from the Big 12 North, Prince-coached teams are just 3-9 in three years.

Asked about Prince's K-State future, athletics director Bob Krause said after the game, "This is just one game. We'll take a look at the whole season and we still have some ball left."

But is there heat on the administration from those deserving fans?

"Oh yes, you always have pressure," Krause said. "But you still take one game at a time, and obviously today we didn't get it done."

But if for nothing else, one must credit Prince for his postgame honesty: "I think his is a significant loss. I'm not going to tell you its not. When you lose it's always an L, but this one counts big for us. We had high expectations and a good week of practice, but we got over here and laid an egg."

For the second week in a row, K-State committed five turnovers in a game, and against Kansas, forced only one.

In the five losses by the Wildcats this season, the one common factor was not winning the turnover battle: Louisville, 3-0; Texas Tech, 2-1; Colorado, 2-2; Oklahoma, 5-1; Kansas, 5-1.

The numbers have to do with turnovers. The first number is how many the Wildcats coughed up; the second number ... the smaller one ... is how many K-State forced.

Get the common theme?

Prince does: "In the games that we've lost, in the games that we've struggled, a lot of those things have recurred - the turnovers." There are 119 teams in NCAA Division I football this season and Kansas State ranks No. 114/115 (with Army) in the nation at a negative-1.22 per game.

For Kansas State, that's 21 turnovers given up - 12 lost fumbles and 9 interceptions - and 10 forced - 5 of each.

The lone teams with a poorer ratio are Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Wyoming and Washington State. Those are four teams with a collective record of 8-28.

K-State's 12 lost fumbles ranks 112th in the nation. By comparison, the Oklahoma Sooners have lost one.

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