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Ultra-Talented Cowboys Next - Plus Other Notes

By Mark Janssen
 
K-State quarterback Carson Coffman denies it's been a week of finger pointing, but he does say, "It's been a week of aggression."
 
Angered intensity with a higher level of focus since losing at Baylor last week 47-42.
After giving up 683 yards of offense last week, all the Wildcats face this week is a team that leads the Big 12 Conference, and ranks among the top three in the nation, in scoring (48.3) and offensive yards per game (530).
 
Those numbers lead Coffman to say, "Yes, there is the feeling that we will need more points to have a chance to win, but we always have the goal to score every time we have the ball."
 
Fullback Braden Wilson added, "Scoring points is what we strive to do in every game, but sure, there is a little bit of pressure to score a lot of points this week."
 
K-State will counter O-State's numbers with an offense that puts up 34 points per game on 386 yards, and a defense that allows 26 points and 428 yards per game.
 
RESPECTING YOUR ELDERS: O-State junior quarterback Brandon Weeden turned 27 years of age earlier this month, which is only a plus to the Cowboy program according to coach Mike Gundy.
 
"I think there is an advantage in being older," Gundy said. "We all know we are different at 26 than we are at 18. In order to handle the pressure of being a quarterback and playing at this level, maturity is an advantage."
 
The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Edmond, Okla., native was a second-round draft choice of the New York Yankees out of high school in 2002, when he signed a bonus of $565,000. He was later traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
 
Weeden's top game this season was a 409-yard, six-touchdown performance against Tulsa, plus he fired five TDs in a win over Louisiana.
 
"Mechanically, he's good. He's a picture-perfect thrower and has a good mindset about things," K-State coach Bill Snyder said of Weeden. "He shows great poise that comes through maturity and age. He handles the game-day environment like a 27-year-old probably should."
 
BLACKMON SUSPENDED:  One Cowboy that K-State will not have to face on Saturday will be receiver Justin Blackmon, who leads the nation in receiving yards (159 per game) and touchdowns (14), plus ranks second in catches per game (8.86). Blackmon was charged with a misdemeanor in Dallas, Texas, after he was pulled over by police Tuesday morning. Gundy has suspended Blackmon for one game.
 
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: Former Wildcat running back Thomas Clayton was picked up this week by the Cleveland Browns, but to make room for Clayton, ex-Wildcat Yamon Figurs was released.
 
Clayton played for the Wildcats from 2004-2006, which included leading the team in rushing in 2005 with 637 yards. He was a sixth-round draft choice by the San Francisco 49ers. He has since had two stints each with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.
 
Figurs was a receiver / return specialist and a third-round draft pick by Baltimore in the 2007 draft. He has since played for the Ravens, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Oakland and Cleveland.
 
SIMONEAU A CHIEF: After not playing the last two seasons due to injuries, 11-year veteran linebacker Mark Simoneau was signed this week by the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year Simoneau was on the injured reserve list of the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
 
'CATS NO. 3: Last week K-State men's basketball received a national preseason ranking of No. 3 in the USA Today poll, and now this week the same ranking from the Associated Press voters only behind Duke and Michigan State. It's the highest preseason ranking in K-State history with the previous high coming in 1961-62 and 1964-65 at No. 8. In any poll, it's not been since March 6, 1962, that K-State has been ranked as high as No. 3. The Wildcats have been ranked among the AP's top 10 for the last eight weeks dating back to last year's 29-victory Elite Eight season.

On the K-State schedule this year are No. 7 Kansas, No. 15 Missouri and No. 16 Baylor from the Big 12, plus, No. 9 Florida, No. 12 Gonzaga and No. 21 Virginia Tech in non-conference games.