MANHATTAN — Dalton Risner has no beef with the oddsmakers who have installed Kansas State as a 24-point underdog this week at Oklahoma.

That would suggest that he cares.

"Like I'm going to be mad at someone who does point spreads? I don't even know who does that," Risner, the Wildcats' senior offensive tackle, said with a laugh. "I have no idea who creates point spreads, so I have no one to be mad at for that."

Neither does he dispute the numbers.

"What have we done to tell anyone we shouldn't lose by 24 points?" Risner asked. "We're 1-3 (in the Big 12) and 3-4 (overall) and they've only lost one game this season.

"So in my mind, shoot, if I was doing point spreads, I'd probably do the same thing."

Some of his K-State teammates see it a bit differently. Despite their record, the Wildcats are coming off an impressive 31-12 victory over Oklahoma State and have had two weeks to prepare for Saturday's 2:30 p.m. game at No. 8-ranked OU (6-1, 3-1 Big 12).

"It's definitely a good challenge," wide receiver Dalton Schoen said of the latest line. "I feel like to us, we kind of take it as a sign of disrespect.

"We want to go out there and show people we're better than that."

For center Adam Holtorf, the point spread just adds some fuel to the fire within.

"We know that we're going in underdogs and everybody thinks we are underdogs in this situation, so that just influences our preparation even more," he said. "Personally, I know it pushes me just a little bit harder to try and improve as best I can and get myself in a position to be ready to go Saturday."

Then there's wide receiver Zach Reuter, who sees it as a positive.

"You don't have pressure," he said. "You're not expected to be the team to win, and so it's definitely an opportunity and not a situation where your back's against the wall.

"(Oklahoma is) a great team, we know that, but we're fully confident in ourselves."

The Wildcats don't have to look back very far for evidence that upsets happen, even on the road in the Big 12. A year ago they were 21-point underdogs at No. 13-ranked Oklahoma State and left with a 45-40 victory.

"That's one of the first things I thought of, how we were 20-some point underdogs there and we went in and played a great game," Schoen said. "So that's obviously something we're going to try to repeat."

Running back Alex Barnes, the Big 12's leading rusher, just sees it as proof that anything is possible.

"Knowing that we've done it before, it definitely does help," he said.

The only thing that really matters, according to Risner, is how the Wildcats perform on Saturday.

"That's what's going to dictate if we lose by 24 points or not," he said. "All my focus is on what Kansas State football does."

K-State coach Bill Snyder would be proud.

"I'm not one to fortify the thoughts that we're a 1,000-point underdog," Snyder said. "As I've tried to share with our players, and I believe in it sincerely, it's not about who we play, it's about us.

"If we prepare well and play as well as we prepare, then it doesn't make any difference who you play. You've always got a chance — a good chance."

That said, Risner doesn't begrudge anyone who gets worked up over the underdog role.

"If point spreads motivates one of my players, use the point spread every single game," he said. "But for me, that's not something that motivates me.

"I get motivated by a lot of other things."

 

Mike McCoy update

K-State sophomore Mike McCoy, who was expected to challenge for playing time this year at running back, has yet to see the field because of an unspecified medical issue.

But Snyder said Tuesday that the 6-foot-2, 236-pound Topeka High product is still involved with the program.

"There's still some opportunities that we're looking into for his future," Snyder said. "He's handling it pretty well.

"We've got him in everything that we do. We've got him helping out, so he's active every day in the program and handling things pretty well."