It's back to work for Snyder, Wildcats in preparing for Cowboys
By ARNE GREEN
Special to The Telegram
The break is over and it's back to the regular grind this week for the Kansas State Wildcats.
Not that they exactly took their bye week off.
"It wasn't a bad week," K-State coach Bill Snyder said Monday during the weekly Big 12 teleconference. "There was good and not so good.
"We're working toward trying to manage what we do and try to make improvements in areas where we need improvement — try to correct mistakes that were an issue for us in our previous ballgame, or ballgames. It (worked) in many cases and in some cases we still have room to improve."
K-State, 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12 after a 31-21 loss at Texas two weeks ago, now has switched its full attention to this Saturday's 2:30 p.m. game at Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1). The off week gave them time to not only get back to basics but also some time to relax.
The players had meetings but no practice last Monday, regular workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then only meetings on Friday. After practice Saturday morning, they were off until Monday and resumed their game-week routine.
Half the coaching staff spent Friday recruiting and the other half went out Saturday. "They had an opportunity to recruit and still have a day of rest," Snyder said.
Oklahoma State, which was sailing along at 3-0 after a relatively soft non-conference schedule, took a hit in its league opener last week with a 30-21 upset loss at struggling West Virginia.
But OSU coach Mike Gundy said he saw a team Sunday in practice that was determined to bounce back strong against K-State.
"I think they'll respond fine," said Gundy, whose Cowboys fell 10 spots from No. 11 to 21 in the latest Associated Press poll. "They were good at practice (Sunday) night and it was obvious, the mistakes that we made.
"We were poor in the turnover category and in the kicking game, and that pretty much tells the tale in most football games, much less playing on the road. So I think they understand that and the areas we need to work on."
OSU turned the ball over three times, missed two field goals and had two punts of 16 or less yards against the Mountaineers.
Same old Wildcats
Oklahoma State has won three of the last four games against K-State, but the Wildcats prevailed 44-30 last year on the way to a Big 12 championship. The year before, the Cowboys won a shootout in Stillwater, Okla., en route to a league title.
"Their style is similar," Gundy said of this year's K-State team. "They want to spread you out and get the extra guy — in the quarterback run game — and use the running back as an extra blocker and try to get an extra number.
"They've got good returners in the kicking game, they want to be sound, they want to use the clock and minimize the total number of plays."
But unlike the two previous meetings, where Collin Klein was K-State's unquestioned leader at quarterback, the Wildcats have split time this season between starter Jake Waters and backup Daniel Sams.
"I think we've prepared for the junior college transfer (Waters) and the other guy will play," Gundy said. "In my opinion, they have a concept for (Sams) — the wildcat, if that's the term you want to use.
"But their offensive schemes have stayed very similar over the last few years, so we'd expect them to handle the game that way."
More of the same
K-State will have back-to-back mid-afternoon starts with the Big 12 announcing Monday that the Wildcats' Oct. 12 home game against Baylor also will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on Fox.
Kansas will have its third straight 11 a.m. start on Oct. 12 at TCU with the game airing on Fox SportsNet.