Greg Davis Schemes For KSU

When offensive coordinator <B>Greg Davis</b> looks at the fifth-ranked Kansas State defense, he could almost be looking across Frank Denius Field at <B>Carl Reese's</b> bunch. Both the Wildcat and Longhorn units are remarkably similar, and not just in their comparable stats.

"There's a lot of similarities between them and our defense," Davis said. "They press the line of scrimmage, they force the issue and they throw in just enough zone to where you can see a team, over and over again, with a man-to-man play called and they were sitting there in zone. There's just enough of that where you can't game-plan everything thinking that they're going to be man-for-man."

Davis praised CB Terence Newman (5-11, 185), stating that he will probably be a top 15 NFL draft pick.

He has registered 26 tackles and two interceptions this year and is averaging 27.8 yards per kick return.

Newman is also the defending Big 12 100-meter champion at 60 meters and the reigning league champ in 100 meters outdoors.

"When people talk about speed, his is legit," Davis said. "His (time) is not at some camp where he was running down hill for 37 yards. He is fast, and he is really a good cover guy."

It's Newman's speed and athleticism that allows KSU to disguise its zone so well.

"He can take a man, and then they can zone away from him if they want to," Davis said. "He will usually play the single receiver, or sometimes he'll play the designated receiver."

KSU doesn't move around a lot on defense but the Wildcats "pick their spots" when it comes to their blitz package.

"If you look at their number, they don't blitz any more than most folks," Davis said. "But here's the thing you have to be careful of: they have had so many games where the games were decided early where they didn't blitz."

(Indeed, KSU typically pours on the points in the second quarter).

In other words, the tighter the game, the more they come after you. For example, the Wildcats thwarted USC's comeback bid by blitzing more when the game got tighter in the fourth quarter, and preserved a 27-20 win.

LB Bryan Hickman typically leads the charge and had a career-high 10 tackles and two interceptions against OSU.

"They do a great job of what we call ‘pushing the pocket'," Davis said. "They have enough speed outside with Newman and Hickman that those two guys force you to step up enough when the pocket has been pushed back."

Cedric Benson expects the Wildcats simply to be physical.

"They run hard to the ball," Benson said. "They like to stack that box up and prevent the running game. It's gonna be another tough week."

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