Ian Campbell promises this: "I will not have any problem practicing to play for pride. If you really care about what you're doing, working for pride is not a problem."
"No one wants to go out losing a game," said the Wildcat senior. "This team does not lack any fight."
Those words are easy for a senior to say, but the truth is, Campbell, along with kicker Brooks Rossman, center Jordan Bedore, Brandon Balkcom, linebacker Reggie Walker and receiver Ernie Pierce are the lone fulltime senior starters.
As for the rest of the team, they're saying the right words, but one wonders about their "will" entering the game on five losses in a row.
"I want to win every game, but this one we want to win for the seniors," said sophomore Joshua Moore.
"Motivation shouldn't be a concern if you have a love for the game," said junior wide receiver Brandon Banks. "If you love what you're doing, you're going to play hard." Coach Ron Prince, who will be coaching his final game, hopes that, as well.
"We have kids who are very professional and a professional staff," Prince said. "We want to send these seniors out of here with a win. We feel bad for this senior crew, but that's the reality of it."
For certain, the reality of it wasn't even in KSU's thoughts 13 weeks ago when the season started.
"Coming in, we wanted to win the North and go to the Big 12 championship game, and win that one," said Joshua Moore. "We had big hopes, but things didn't happen."
As to why, no one said it better than Banks. Declining to say that the team was divided, Banks did say, "We have some people with their heads on straight, and others that do not."
While the offense has had glimmers of hope throughout the season, that was never the case for the defense that entered play last week ranked No. 109 in rushing defense, No. 110 in total defense and No. 108 in scoring defense.
After giving up 56 points to Nebraska, this defense became the first in KSU history to ever allow at least 50 points in four games during a single season. The ‘Cats gave up 58 to Texas Tech, 58 to Oklahoma, 52 to Kansas and 56 to Nebraska.