By Mark Janssen
"Angry" and "hostile" is said to be Kansas State's football mood coming off its 47-42 loss to Baylor, and looking ahead to the potent 20th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
"I think everybody is a little hostile right now," said fullback Braden Wilson. "Everybody is a little upset."
This week, K-State is taking the approach it did following a 48-13 loss to Nebraska three weeks ago, which was followed by a 59-7 blistering of the Kansas Jayhawks.
"We did a decent job of doing that," said coach Bill Snyder on rebounding from the NU game. "Now we have a second chance to prove that wasn't a fluke."
Saying that some coaches like to put such losses behind them, Snyder said, "When you've heavily invested into something, there is pain that goes with a loss like that, and then anger comes from that. Hopefully, that anger will be a motivational factor to getting things corrected and getting on with the next task at hand."
That is Saturday in an 11:10 a.m. Homecoming kickoff against 6-1 Oklahoma State.
After giving up 683 yards to Baylor last week, K-State now faces a 6-1 O-State team that ranks second in the nation in scoring (48.3), third in total offense (529.6), third in passing (349.7), and, has the third-best rusher in the country in Kendall Hunter, averaging 147.3 yards per game.
"Leading passer, leading rusher, leading offense ... you name it and they have it. They are pretty proficient at what they do and who they do it with," said Snyder. "They do it all well. For a team that can do both, you have to be able to stop both."
After giving up six touchdowns to Baylor and another half-dozen to Nebraska, Snyder somewhat sheltered the play of the Wildcat defense.
"It's easy to say defense, defense, defense, and we did not play well on defense. I did not have them as well prepared as they needed to be, but it's still a team game," said the coach. "You realize that even though we gave up points and yardage, we still had opportunities to win, and it really was the result of some deficiencies on both sides of the ball and not just our defense."
Snyder then made reference to five three-and-outs on offense, which included two created by penalties and two by turnovers.
Of the number of big plays K-State has been giving up - five TDs of at least 40 yards to Nebraska and four of at least 28 yards to Baylor - Snyder said he was "very concerned." He added, "It's an unwritten law of defensive football that if you don't have somebody in a certain spot at the snap of the ball, the offense will find a way to get there."
"The talk today is of zone plays where you block right, or block left, and find a crease ... that's the way football has evolved," he said. "It just means if you don't stay with your responsibility consistently, there will be a crease and that's where big plays come from."
Snyder said that coaches have to be careful to not ask players to do what they can't physically do, or can't mentally do.
"What you ask of them has to be sound, and then coach them to do it that way every single time," he said. "Things happen so quickly, we have to do a better job of processing information on the field."
TRAMAINE THOMPSON: Snyder confirmed that K-State has lost its second wide receiver to injury. The first was Brodrick Smith in the Nebraska game, and now Tramaine Thompson, who suffered an injury against Baylor.
Asked if Thompson would play Saturday, Snyder said, "I doubt that."