Postgame: K-State 17, Central Florida 13

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The Kansas State Wildcats struggled throughout most of the game, but when it mattered most they came up with big plays and defeated Central Florida 17-13.

Here’s a look back at everything that transpired Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium — good, bad and interesting:

FIVE THINGS THAT WENT WELL
1. I don’t know if K-State has earned the nickname “Comeback Cats” yet, but it has trailed in the second half of three games this season and won all three.

Saturday’s fourth-quarter rally past Central Florida was easily the most dramatic. The Wildcats’ final drive erased an entire afternoon of struggles, kept their perfect record intact and proved there is no quit on the K-State sideline.
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Gameday Preview: Missouri State at K-State

MissouriState Up this week for Kansas State is a game that just about everyone figures the Wildcats will win.

There are no point spreads when a team from the Football Championship Subdivision (aka Division I-AA) is involved, but here’s guessing the odds makers would make K-State a 30-point favorite if they could.

After out muscling UCLA last week for a hard-fought win, all Bill Snyder’s team truly has to do to beat Missouri State by a wide margin is play that way again.

Missouri State is not a bad FCS team. Some have given them an outside shot at making the playoffs. But as long as the Wildcats treat the Bears with respect, and do not overlook the guests they paid to visit Snyder Family Stadium, they will soon have their second victory.
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Postgame: K-State 31, UCLA 22

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It was a big day for Daniel Thomas and a big win for Kansas State.

After rushing for 234 yards and two touchdowns, Thomas was singled out all over the place. A few writers threw the word “Heisman” around, and ESPN analysts awarded him a helmet sticker on their late night college football show. He deserved the recognition.

Thomas was an absolute workhorse Saturday, and lived up to all the hype he created for himself by leading the Big 12 in rushing a year ago. Only Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter did better on opening day.

And because of Thomas’ efforts, K-State is off to a 1-0 start. With other teams across the Big 12 struggling with opponents they were expected to easily defeat, the Wildcats’ win over UCLA carries some weight.
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Carson Coffman ready to prove himself

For the second straight year, Carson Coffman will start the season as Kansas State’s quarterback.

For the second straight year, he won a multi-player competition during training camp to earn his playing time.

For the second straight year, he will need to prove the doubters wrong.

On the surface, it appears nothing has changed about Coffman in the past 365 days. But he is different.

He has used his past failures as motivation. He has earned the respect of his teammates. He has shown off his funny side. He has a new attitude.

Ask if he is bothered by those who say he will once again lose his starting status midway through the season, and he responds: “They don’t really know what’s going on. To those people out there who are saying that, it gives me motivation to prove them wrong.” Read More »

Position Preview: Offensive Line

When Zach Kendall looks at Manase Foketi, he sees a left tackle that plays a lot like Nick Stringer used to.

Quite the compliment considering Stringer was a four-year starter at Kansas State, and the anchor of the Wildcats’ offensive line as a senior last year.

“He’s got great footwork,” Kendall said. “That’s something Nick had. Even if he was in a bad position he would use his feet to get out of it. Manase is the same way … He’s just a good, solid football player.”

Foketi, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound junior college transfer, joins a veteran group of K-State offensive linemen this year. Wade Weibert, Kenneth Mayfield and Kendall all started last season, and will be some of the Wildcats’ top leaders as seniors in 2010.

Much is expected out of them, but during training camp many wondered who would play alongside them. Read More »

After Daniel Thomas, who is No. 2?

Daniel Thomas is the best player on Kansas State’s football team.

Everyone from Wildcats coach Bill Snyder to superfan Robert Lipson will confirm that statement.

But after K-State’s star running back, who is at the top of the roster? Say you take part in some type of Wildcats fantasy draft and wind up with the No. 2 pick. Who are you taking?

Who do you think is K-State’s second-best player?
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News, notes from Fan Appreciation Day

Another Fan Appreciation Day has come and gone, which means there a few observations to share from the Kansas State football team’s only open practice of the summer.

In no particular order:

The Wildcats are still undecided at quarterback. Carson Coffman, Emmanuel Lamur and Collin Klein have been in a competitive race for the starting spot since the end of last year, and Snyder has said none of the three have yet to stand out.

Though the depth chart has always seemed to be Coffman, Klein then Lamur. Saturday only reinforced that order.

All three quarterbacks were rotated in and out of drills with equal frequency, but Coffman was the top performer. He threw two nice, 35-yard touchdown passes to Tramaine Thompson during seven-on-seven drills, and seemed the most comfortable in front of the crowd.
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Snyder, Kendall talk 2010 schedule

Kansas State’s 2010 football schedule is loaded with games that don’t land in Bill Snyder’s typical comfort zone.

The final game of the season is being played at North Texas after Thanksgiving, the final three games of the season are on the road and two contests are Thursday night kickoffs.

Weird, right?

Snyder voiced no major complaints about the lineup Tuesday, but said he and athletic director John Currie are working toward more traditional schedules in the future.
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Despite poor stats, Snyder likes O-Line

The Kansas State football team was the victim of six sacks against UCLA, but coach Bill Snyder is trying to ignore that number.

At least when discussing the play of his offensive line, anyway.

Even though six sacks looks really bad, and no team can win while consistently being sacked that often, he pointed out today that the Wildcats’ offensive line is improving.
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