Reese: 'I'm on to trying to win the next one'

The Kansas State offense employs an &quot;old-fashioned, two-back, run-the-ball&quot; attack, defensive coordinator <B>Carl Reese </B>said Wednesday, in which QB <B>Ell Roberson </B>will try to surprise opponents by pulling out of the option and throwing deep.

If the Wildcats stay true to form, expect to see the speed option (where the QB simply tries to outrun defenders on the corners) and the dive option in which the fullback is key.

"You don’t see that (dive option) much anymore," Reese said. "We haven’t seen that in five or six years. Their fullback (Travis Wilson, 6-4, 240) runs the dive option and the quarterback will either give it to him or (the QB) comes out on the corner. They’ve had some success with it. Boom! That fullback has broken some long runs."

This year, Texas has shown outstanding closing speed on the corners (not just with CBs Nathan Vasher and Rod Babers but with WLB Derrick Johnson providing run support) but has been surprisingly soft up the middle, particularly on draw plays that Oklahoma and North Carolina sprung against them.

RB Darren Sproles (another one of those 5-7 scatbacks who weighs 170 pounds wet) leads the team in all-purpose yards (128.2 per game). He averages 99 yards on the ground and 11.2 yards on punt returns. He has had back-to-back century-mark games (the first of his career) with 130 yards against OSU and 135 against Colorado.

"He’s a smaller guy, but he’s so quick he’s hard to tackle," head coach Mack Brown said, "so we’re going to have to do a better job of gang-tackling him than we did last week."

The K-State offense will also align sophomore Sproles as a wideout, and run I-formation plays with the quarterback from the shotgun and, in essence, functions as the tailback on power plays and draw plays.

"(The defense) might be there in the scheme but, if you miss him, he’s gone," Reese said.

Of course, containment from defensive ends is critical and Kalen Thornton is as close to healthy (off-season knee surgery) than he has been all year.

"I think he’s coming back to being his full self," Reese said. "We need him. He’s got good instincts, and he’s just got to keep coming."

About nine times per game, Roberson will pull out of the option and throw deep. He has completed 30-of-55 passes for three touchdowns and two interceptions. His passing efficiency ratio leads the nation.

"Roberson has got outstanding ability," Brown said. "He’s transferred himself from being a great athlete to being a great quarterback. He runs the quarterback draw, which we’ve had some problems with. And he’s a much better passer than he was last year. They’ve got tall receivers. They can run the option game, the power game and they can throw deep. So, they’re a hand full."

Reese said his players don’t have an Oklahoma hangover.

"Players get over (a loss) faster than fans," Reese said. "Win, lose, or draw, you correct the mistakes (Sunday) and when they come out today, their heads better be on the rest of them. They still hear it (criticism) and I still hear it. But I don’t care. I’m on to trying to win the next one."

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