KSU Defense: It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

A look at the Kansas State defense:

Kansas State's strength is its defense and the Wildcats' team stats this season have come against a pair of quality offenses (USC, Colorado). Halfway through the regular season, KSU is ranked No. 4 nationally in scoring defense, No. 5 in total defense, and No. 6 in pass efficiency defense.

"Their defense is really, really good," Mack Brown said. "They're shutting down everything."

Brown compares senior CB Terence Newman (5-11, 185) to OU's Andre Woolfolk.

"He's one of the best corners in the country," Brown said.

He can also fly. The Thorpe Award candidate is the defending Big 12 100-meter champion and the reigning league champ in 100 meters outdoors.

So, what can he do with a football? Well, nearly everything.

Through six games, Newman has scored on a 40-yard punt return, a 95-yard kickoff return, a 90-yard defensive two-pointer on a blocked kick and on a 51-yard pass reception on offense. He is averaging 27.8 yards per kick return (on pace to snap the school record 26.2 average set in 1968) and is averaging 22.2 yards every time he gets the ball in his hands. He has registered 26 tackles and two interceptions this year.

LB Josh Buhl leads the team with 66 tackles (35 solo). The 6-0, 210-pound junior racked up 17 tackles against Colorado, the most by a Wildcat this season. LB Bryan Hickman had a career-high 10 tackles and interceptions against OSU.

DE Melvin Williams (19 tackles, 3 sacks) is an NFL prospect, Brown said.

Six of KSU's 39 touchdowns came courtesy of either defensive or special teams play.


Two of the loneliest guys on the KSU squad have got to be FG kickers Joe Rheem and Jared Brite. Each has hit a pair of field goals, and each has missed one. That's it. Neither trotted onto the field for even an attempt in three of six Wildcat games this year. Rheem's longest of the year was from 38-yards out in the home opener against Western Kentucky while Brite's best boot of the year came from 35 yards. Both have missed from the 40-49 yard range. No FG attempts have been made this season from less than 35 yards nor greater than 46 yards.

Of course, the way to look at it is that KSU rarely has to settle for a field goal. In short, red zone defense will be especially critical against the high-scoring ‘Cats.


Here is how the two schools currently rank in key statistical categories


375.0 (61st) Total Offense 415.5 (31ST)

150.8 (60th) Rushing Offense 255.5 (6th)

224.2 (57th) Passing Offense 160.0 (96th)

122.9 (60th) Pass Efficiency 166.0 (1st)

35.0 (22nd) Scoring Offense 46.8 (2nd)

254.2 (2nd) Total Defense 268.3 (5th)

131.2 (42nd) Rushing Defense 100.7 (5th)

123 (2nd) Pass Defense 167.7 (16th)

13.7 (5th) Scoring Defense 13.3 (4th)

Horns Digest Top Stories