Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sunday Rewind: K-State 55, Texas Tech 24


Collin Klein validated himself as a Heisman Trophy favorite, Kansas State strengthened its case as a national championship contender and the Wildcats convincingly beat another ranked team in the Big 12.

This time, K-State destroyed Texas Tech 55-24 and took another step toward winning a conference championship.

How did it happen? A look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Film Room: Texas Tech misdirection

One thing Kansas State’s defense will need to watch for today is misdirection from Texas Tech’s offense.

By sending players in motion and using play action last week against TCU, the Red Raiders were able to draw linebackers away from the middle of the field. That created plenty of space for quarterback Seth Doege to find open receivers. Here’s one example.


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The Royal Sampler: Predictions, links and the Miami Herald’s negative K-State article

PICTURE OF THE DAY

If you haven’t done so yet, go click on the massive photo gallery the Eagle put together of Collin Klein earlier this week. This is my favorite picture of the group — Klein throwing a block for Tyler Lockett. Not something you see very often.

FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS
Texas at Kansas: The Longhorns are obviously going to win this game, but I’ve heard from a lot of people who think the Jayhawks could stay competitive. While it’s true they played Oklahoma State tough, I don’t see the same happening here. Texas has a bad defense, but so does Kansas. The Longhorns will score lots of points and win easy.

TCU at Oklahoma State: This is one of the most intriguing games of the day. TCU has a much stronger defense. But Oklahoma State has a far superior offense. Which is more important? I think Oklahoma State will benefit from a home-field advantage and win. But it will be a close game.

Baylor at Iowa State: The Cyclones need a victory to increase their chances of reaching a bowl game. The Bears need a win, period. So both sides come into this game desperate. But I give Iowa State the edge, because it has a decent defense. Baylor hasn’t stopped anyone this season.

Notre Dame at Oklahoma: The Fighting Irish have been playing well all season, and if they win this game they will win over whatever doubters are still out there. Can they pull off the upset? I don’t see it happening. Oklahoma has been dominant the past few games. I expect the Sooners to win by 14.

Texas Tech at Kansas State: Expect Texas Tech to provide the test West Virginia was supposed to. The Red Raiders have a great quarterback, a strong offense and a quality defense. And this is the Red Raiders’ chance to get back in the Big 12 championship hunt. They will be motivated, and ready to play. K-State will need to play well to win, and I think it will. Behind Collin Klein, I see the Wildcats pulling away in the fourth quarter. My prediction: K-State 33, Texas 24.
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A few minutes with … Daniel Sams

Daniel Sams has only seen action in five games as Kansas State’s backup quarterback this season, but he has made the most of his time on the field.

The 6-foot-4 redshirt freshman from Slidell, La. has rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns, and he has successfully used his speed to help maintain big leads in the fourth quarter. Last week, he finally got to pass for the first time and went 1-for-2 for 10 yards.

Sams is already a fan favorite in Manhattan, and will get the chance to compete for the starting spot next season when Collin Klein runs out of eligibility. Earlier this week, he talked about life as a backup quarterback.

What is your day-to-day routine as you prepare for each game?

It’s just basically preparing like I’m the starter. It’s the same thing Collin does. I watch film, take notes. You never know when an ankle is going to get hurt.

So you go into each game expecting to take the first snap?

If I don’t, I would feel like I wouldn’t be ready if something did happen. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do, prepare like you’re going to be the starter and end up not playing, but I just try to keep focused and prepare as if I’m going to play.

Have you learned a lot from Collin?

Sometimes I sit with him more than I do coach (Del) Miller, our quarterbacks coach. He breaks it down into simpler terms. Coming from high school, where I ran a spread offense, to now, being in a pro-style offense, it takes more time to break it down and he helps me with that.

How have you improved since arriving at K-State?

I’ve always been an athlete. I’ve always made plays, but I feel like I’ve improved more as a leader and being that guy in the huddle who can get people to listen to me. In high school I didn’t even have that. Being around Collin has turned me into more of a leader. I’m more poised now.
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Heisman Watch: Can anyone catch Collin Klein?


Take a look around the Internet and it’s pretty easy to find Collin Klein getting Heisman Trophy love right now.

He is the front-runner in every serious media poll. He leads some by enormous margins.

By throwing for 300-plus yards and scoring seven touchdowns against former front-runner Geno Smith and West Virginia in front of a national TV audience, Klein took command of the race last week.

“Collin Klein has a pretty big lead,” said Fox Sports college football writer Cory McCartney, who served as the Heisman expert at Sports Illustrated until switching to his new gig. “He just dominated in a huge national spotlight game against the guy who had the lead. It is his to lose.”

The only question now is, what will it take for anyone to catch him?

Most experts have tabbed Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o as the current runner-up, with Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege and Smith also being mentioned as candidates.

If K-State loses any of its remaining games, the race will certainly tighten up. But if the Wildcats stay undefeated, everyone else has considerable ground to make up, and over-the-moon stats to produce, if they want to win the award.

“I hate saying it, because there is a lot of football left to play, but it is going to take a lot for someone to catch him,” McCartney said. “I think K-State can suffer at least one loss and he can still win. The only thing that will lose him a little bit of his lead is if they lose and he performs badly.”
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The Royal Sampler: Why no one should blame KSU for not playing Oregon and links

DAILY TAKE
One thing I’ve noticed a lot of national writers jump on lately is the fact that Kansas State and Oregon were originally scheduled to play the second game of a home-and-home series this year, but decided not to go ahead with the games.

With K-State ranked third in the BCS standings and Oregon ranked fourth, plenty of people now wish they would have played. A head-to-head game certainly would put to rest questions about which team is better.

Most have blamed K-State for cancelling the series, stating that Bill Snyder didn’t want to play the game. While it’s true Snyder griped about former football coach Ron Prince scheduling Virginia Tech and Oregon while he was retired, and he didn’t want to play Oregon and Miami in the same month, Snyder didn’t just snap his fingers and make those games disappear.

In the case of K-State/Oregon, the Ducks didn’t want to play the games as originally scheduled, either. They wanted to push it back and make room for a game against LSU in Arlington last year. According to ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel, Oregon asked K-State to reschedule the series. The Wildcats suggested not playing at all. Both teams agreed.

K-State athletic director John Currie also explained it was a mutual agreement to cancel the series on August 3, 2010 in a letter to fans.

“Since we will likely have a nine-game conference schedule in 2011, we have reached a mutual agreement with Oregon to cancel that series without any financial penalty to either school,” Currie wrote.
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The Royal Sampler: Analyzing the national title hunt and links

THE HUNT
A look at the top five teams in the BCS standings:

1. Alabama (7-0)
Up next: Mississippi State. This is a matchup of undefeated teams, but no one is expecting it to be a close game. The Crimson Tide is favored by 23 points.
Remaining schedule: at LSU, Texas A&M, Western Carolina, Auburn.
Analysis: The next three weeks could be interesting. Mississippi State, LSU and Texas A&M are all quality teams. But are they good enough to challenge Alabama? If the Crimson Tide get by those three games, the last two are basically byes. Then comes the SEC championship game.

2. Florida (7-0)
Up next: Georgia. The Bulldogs are one of the SEC’s best teams, and are always ready to play their rivals on a neutral field. The Gators are favored by a touchdown.
Remaining schedule: Missouri, Louisiana-Lafayette, Jacksonville State, at Florida State.
Analysis: Florida only has two remaining stumbling blocks before the SEC championship game, where odds favor a must-see matchup against Alabama. Georgia and Florida State have been impressive at times this season, and should challenge it. The Gators’ other three games will be easy wins.

3. Kansas State (7-0)
Up next: Texas Tech. The Red Raiders only loss came at home to Oklahoma. Seth Doege and crew have looked good in their six other victories.
Remaining schedule: Oklahoma State, at TCU, at Baylor, Texas.
Analysis: The Wildcats can strengthen their lead over Oregon with a win over Texas Tech, but the rest of the schedule won’t impress voters. TCU, because of its defense, seems like the toughest game down the stretch.
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 55, West Virginia 14


Here’s how significant Kansas State’s 55-14 victory over West Virginia was Saturday night: Hardly anyone is talking about the fact that it gave the Wildcats a huge advantage in the Big 12 championship hunt.

Even though they are now a game up on Oklahoma and Texas Tech, and own impressive road wins against the Sooners and Mountaineers, they are now in position to chase bigger dreams. By pummeling West Virginia, K-State boosted its national title hopes. Fans and media alike are already trying to figure out what it will take for it to jump Alabama, Florida or Oregon in the BCS standings.

And Collin Klein became the new Heisman Trophy frontrunner with a marvelous seven-touchdown performance.

How did it happen? A look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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The Royal Sampler: Big 12 football predictions, gameday thoughts and links


FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS
Here’s hoping no one took my predictions to Vegas last week and dropped money on them. I only picked two of the Big 12′s games correctly. But, hey, my K-State pick of 28-23 was dead on. So maybe there’s hope for this week.

Texas Tech at TCU
This is suddenly a very intriguing game. Both teams looked like bottom-feeders two weeks ago, but turned it all around and played like world-beaters seven days ago. The Red Raiders demolished West Virginia and TCU pounded Baylor on the road. Both teams enter with lots of confidence, and strong defenses. But Texas Tech has the better offense, so I’m picking it to win by a narrow margin.

Kansas at Oklahoma
I know the Big 12 had some wild and crazy scores last weekend … but c’mon, we all know who is winning this game.

Iowa State at Oklahoma State
The Cyclones stunned the Cowboys in Ames last year, and will have a good shot at beating them on the road today. But Oklahoma State will be out to prove something after playing so poorly in a narrow win over Kansas last week. I like the Cowboys at home.

Baylor at Texas
The Bears haven’t looked the same since they lost a 70-63 shootout at West Virginia, and the Longhorns need a win in the worst way possible. After a home loss to West Virginia and a blowout loss to Oklahoma, people are questioning whether Mack Brown still has it. If he can’t rally the troops and beat Baylor at home, he might not. But I expect Texas to play well in this situation.

Kansas State at West Virginia
This is the game of the week in the Big 12 and maybe the game of the week, period. Two different teams with contrasting styles will play in a rowdy environment for conference supremacy. There has been a lot of trash talk leading up to this game, and West Virginia officials released a statement yesterday urging fans to behave at the game. That just adds to the intrigue. I think this game will come down to how well K-State’s defense plays. The Wildcats are going to score against the Mountaineers questionable defense. If they can hold West Virginia to around 30 points, I like K-State’s chances. My prediction: K-State 35, West Virginia 30.
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Bruce Weber at Big 12 Media Day

Kansas State basketball coach Bruce Weber just walked off the main stage here at the Sprint Center at Big 12 Media Day. He didn’t have much new to say after speaking at the Wildcats’ media day two days ago in Manhattan, but there are a few tidbits worth passing along.

Here they are:

– Rodney McGruder continues to be one of the team’s top rebounders, even though he has more freedom in Weber’s motion offense.

“He’s so physical. He gets to the basket,” Weber said. “He’s our leading rebounder in practice. He’s very versatile.”

Weber envisions McGruder posting up in games this season, and taking advantage of his size and physicality. I still think he will spend more time on the perimeter, especially with the way he was worked on his outside shot the past few months. But it doesn’t seem like his role will change dramatically.

– K-State’s new practice facility is almost ready for use, and Weber sees it as a big advantage to the program.

“We have something pretty special now to show recruits,” Weber said.

– Weber followed Bill Self at Illinois. Now he is competing with him at Kansas. Weber said K-State athletic director John Currie specifically asked if he was up for that challenge before hiring him. His answer? Of course.

“It should be fun,” Weber said. “He’s done a great job. Hopefully we can compete with them.”