Sunday Rewind: K-State 48, Louisiana 27

It was an up-and-down game for Kansas State. The Wildcats raced to a 34-3 lead early in the second half, but had to hang on in the fourth quarter after Louisiana-Lafayette pulled to within 14.

The result was much better than a week ago, and players think it was a step in the right direction. There was a lot to like. With lowly Massachusetts up next, K-State will almost certainly enter Big 12 play at 2-1.

Question is: can it become a more consistent team by then? K-State played poorly at times on Saturday, so there is plenty of room for improvement. As Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudpseth pointed out afterward: If you take away the three touchdowns that came on special teams and defense, it was a fairly even game. The Wildcats should remain motivated during practice this week.

A look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Football Friday: Opening up the playbook, missing Arthur Brown/Collin Klein, using Daniel Sams, predicting tight ends and running backs not named John Hubert

A loss to North Dakota State in the season-opener raised plenty of questions this week, so I won’t waste much time with a lead-in.

One thing I would like to point out: This is arguably the most important game remaining on Kansas State’s schedule. Coaches and players insist they can still have a special season, and, while that’s true, it is hard to envision a successful year for the Wildcats without a win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

I’m predicting K-State to win 40-28. The Ragin’ Cajuns are gifted on offense, but suspect on defense. The Wildcats should take advantage.

Now onto your questions:

I will be surprised if Bill Snyder holds much back this week. He says he is going to get Daniel Sams on the field more and keep Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense guessing. This is a crucial game for K-State, and its opponent has a suspect defense. Expect the Wildcats to be aggressive throughout with Jake Waters throwing it deep and Sams and John Hubert running for increased yardage behind an angry offensive line. Read More »

The Week Ahead: Kansas State tries to recover from opening loss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

During the Big 12 teleconference on Monday, Bill Snyder was asked about the message he delivered to Kansas State’s football players when they began preparing for their upcoming game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

His response: “I don’t think we strayed too far away from where we normally are. It’s about getting better every day. We have a lot of improvement to make. That is pretty obvious.”

There is always room for improvement following a loss. That fact is magnified following a loss to a FCS opponent. The biggest areas for improvement come on defense and in the running game. The Wildcats mustered 41 rushing yards against North Dakota State, with John Hubert and the offensive line getting outplayed in all areas. They also couldn’t put pressure on the quarterback or get off the field on third downs.

Snyder said all of those areas will be addressed in the coming days of practice. K-State will need to be ready to take on Louisiana-Lafayette, a team that won nine games last season and defeated the Wildcats in 2009.

In the meantime, Snyder is hoping his players adopt a better mental approach.

“We need to be a more inspired football team than what we are,” Snyder said. “It all boils down to caring. We will see how that plays out.

Here is a look at everything else you need to know about the week ahead:
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Kansas State football will benefit from a home-heavy, travel-friendly schedule

If you have access to a car, you can easily attend all 12 of Kansas State’s football games this season.

Perhaps that’s the best way to describe just how travel-friendly the Wildcats’ schedule will be this year.

It features eight home games and only three trips across state lines. And it is one of the main reasons many believe K-State will exceed preseason expectations, which have the Wildcats qualifying for a middle-tier bowl and finishing sixth in the Big 12 standings.

Let’s take a closer look at the schedule perks: K-State will benefit from five conference home games, as opposed to four last year, and play all three of its nonconference games at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

K-State hasn’t played eight home games since 2006, when Ron Prince had his lone winning season and the Wildcats reached the Texas Bowl. The last time it happened during the Snyder era was 2002, when the Wildcats won 11 games and beat Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.

This is the type of schedule Snyder prefers. He has been building toward it since he returned to the sidelines in 2009 and only played six home games in his first two seasons back.
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Postgame: UL-Lafayette 17, K-State 15

LAFAYETTE, La. — I respect the heck out of the little guy. I respect the heck out of the Sun Belt conference. I even respect the heck out of the teeny-tiny crowd of about 16,000 people who braved the moderately wet weather at Cajun Field on Saturday to watch Louisiana-Lafayette beat Kansas State 17-15.

But despite all that, this was a loss the Wildcats could ill afford.

With a surging UCLA team up next, it’s looking like Kansas State will only come out of the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 2-2 record. And only one of those wins will count toward bowl eligibility because Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech belong to the Football Championship Subdivision.

Not that a whole lot of Wildcats fans were thinking about the postseason after this loss, but reaching a bowl game now looks like quite the chore.
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Live Blog: ULL 17, K-State 15

ULL 17, K-State 15; Final
LAFAYETTE, La. — Kansas State couldn’t mount a comeback drive, and the Wildcats fall 17-15 to the Ragin’ Cajuns.

ULL 17, K-State 15
LAFAYETTE, La. — Kick is good. K-State will have 31.1 seconds to answer.

K-State 15, ULL 14
LAFAYETTE, La. — ULL is preparing to kick a 48-yard field goal with 36.6 seconds remaining in the game.
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Gameday Preview: K-State at UL-Lafayette


LAFAYETTE, La. — It’s only the second week of the season, and the opponent is a Sun Belt squad that goes by the nickname Ragin’ Cajuns.

This isn’t your typical time or place for a gut-check game.

This is supposed to be an opportunity for Kansas State fans to watch their beloved Wildcats easily take out a lesser known team and sample some fantastic seafood along the way.

I guess they can still eat whatever they want, but the game will be anything but a holiday stroll. This is no automatic win for K-State. True, it comes in as a touchdown favorite, but many out there are picking Louisiana-Lafayette. In the Star’s weekly college football picks section, ULL was the majority selection.

Using BCS bowl selection criteria, the Ragin’ Cajuns would already be decreed winners.

Not a good sign considering K-State’s bowl hopes may rest on this game.
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In Lafayette, Southern’s marching band is a bigger draw than the Big 12

Cajun Field will see one of the largest crowds in its history when Kansas State takes on Louisiana-Lafayette at 6 p.m tomorrow. But even though the Ragin’ Cajuns are expecting a near sell-out crowd, that doesn’t mean it will be anywhere close to the size of last week’s record-smashing attendance figure of 41,357.

Why would fan interest decrease going from a I-AA team to a Big 12 team, you ask? Well, it is a good question. So good, that I had to call down to ULL to find out.

The answer is three fold. First, Southern is a nearby college and it brought “16,000 fans of its own” to the game. Second, the stadium only holds 31,000, and to go 10,000 over that number for a second straight week would be ridiculous. And third, Southern’s marching band is an incredible attraction down here.

See for yourself in the above video.

This week’s K-State player to watch: Senior running back Keithen Valentine

Keithen Valentine

In his first game of the season, Keithen Valentine broke off a 34-yard run in the first quarter and it held up as the longest rush of the day.

The Kansas State senior running back saw the ball 10 more times, and he took advantage of those touches by scampering around the field for 89 yards.

K-State coach Bill Snyder is hoping Valentine can produce those same impressive numbers this Saturday when the Wildcats take on Louisiana-Lafayette at Cajun Field. With the game taking place in his home state, Valentine will be hoping for a huge performance as well.
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