Cats Close Out Non-Con Slate with Missouri State

GAME PREVIEW
SEPT 24, 6:10 PM

Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Manhattan, KS

RV (FCS)
MISSOURI STATE
BEARS
2-0 (0-0 MVFC)

NR/RV
K-STATE
WILDCATS
1-1 (0-0 Big 12)

K-StateHD.TV
College Sports Live
Sirius 136, XM 199

Following a dominant 63-7 win against Florida Atlantic in the home opener, K-State will look to make it two in a row on Saturday as the Wildcats welcome Missouri State to Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 6:10 p.m., will be aired live across the globe exclusively on K-StateHD.TV. The contest can also be heard across the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst) and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action, as well as Sirius channel 136, XM channel 199. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, while Twitter updates via @ kstate_gameday and @KStateFB will all be a part of the coverage.

A LOOK AT K-STATE
• Guided by 2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Bill Snyder, who is in the midst of his 25th season at the helm of the Wildcats, K-State is looking to build upon a dominant rushing performance in a 63-7 win over FAU.
• K-State tied a school record for rushing touchdowns in a game with seven against FAU, while Winston Dimel recorded four himself, which were tied for the third in a game in school history.
• The 63 points scored against the Owls were the most since scoring 69 against Montana State in 2008 and the most for a Snyder-led team since 2002 against KU (64).
• K-State is a perfect 11-of-11 in red zone scores so far.
• Eleven players on defense have recorded five or more tackles, led by Elijah Lee’s 16 and Duke Shelley’s 12.
• K-State has held each of its first two opponents to an average of 93.5 yards a game on the ground.

A LOOK AT MISSOURI STATE
• Missouri State comes to Manhattan with a 2-0 record following a win at Murray State on Sept. 10 and a bye week.
• The Bears are averaging 247.5 yards a game on the ground led by Calan Crowder’s 131 yards.
• Three players have rushed for 100-plus yards on the season, while quarterback Breck Ruddick has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 424 yards and four scores.
• Defensively, the Bears are giving up just 51.5 yards a game on the ground and 220.5 total per game.

A LOOK AT THE SERIES
• Saturday’s game marks the fourth time K-State and Missouri State will meet on the gridiron with the Cats winning all three previous meetings.
• K-State picked up a 51-9 win in 2012, a 48-24 win in 2010 and a 61-10 win in the teams’ first meeting in 2007. All three games were played in Manhattan.

SNYDER IN SEPTEMBER
• Fast starts have propelled the Wildcats to winning seasons under Bill Snyder. Since 1992 under Snyder, K-State is a combined 63-8 (.887) in September.
• Of the losses, five came on the road, as the Cats are 48-3 in September home games during that stretch.
• Since Snyder’s return to the sidelines in 2009, K-State is 21-5 in the month of September.

NON-CONFERENCE NOTABLES
• Since 1990, K-State has won 73 of its 83 (.880) regular-season non-conference games under Bill Snyder, including 63-of-67 (.940) at home.
• K-State has had perfect regular season non-conference ledgers in 15 of the last 23 years.

TOUGH SLATE
• The 2016 season opener at then-No. 8/7 Stanford represented the beginning of a tough 2016 schedule for the Wildcats.
• Seven opponents on K-State’s schedule are either ranked or receiving votes in this week’s AP or Coaches polls, including five that are road contests.

STARTING STRONG AT HOME
• Kansas State is looking to start its home slate 2-0 for the sixth time since Bill Snyder returned to the sidelines in 2009.
• The Wildcats also started 2-0 at home last year as they are in search of back-to-back 2-0 home starts since doing so four-straight years from 2009-12.

SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS
• Kansas State is in rare company in college football as the Wildcats rank in the top 20 in wins among FBS programs over the last 21-plus seasons.
• Since 1995, K-State has picked up 175 victories, which is tied for 18th in the nation.
• The Cats are only two wins away from 17th and six victories away from the top 15.
• Among current Big 12 teams, only Oklahoma (6th; 197), Texas (10th; 194) and TCU (14th; 181) rank higher.

SNYDER IN ELITE COMPANY
• The architect of the “greatest turnaround in the history of college football,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame last December.
• Snyder is just the fourth person in the history of college football to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as an active coach.
• He is a five-time national coach of the year honoree and seven-time conference coach of the year recipient.
• Snyder has compiled an amazing 194-102-1 record in the midst of his 25th season as the helm of the Wildcat program. He is tied for 28th all-time in victories among FBS coaches and continues to climb the ladder with each win.

CLEAN IT UP
• K-State led the Big 12 and ranked 16th nationally last year with only 39.3 penalty yards per game, while the Cats were second in the league with 4.38 penalties per game.
• Penalties were more frequent early in the year, but the Wildcats cleaned up down the stretch. In the final eight games of the regular season, K-State had just 32 (4.0 per game) penalties to jump back to No. 1 in the Big 12.
• With 11 underclassmen starters in the first two games of 2016, the Wildcats have been flagged more than usual as they are committing 10.0 penalties per game for an average of 74.5 yards.
• K-State has ranked first or second in the conference in fewest penalty yards per game each of the previous five years. The Wildcats led the league in 2014, 2013 and 2011, while they ranked second in 2012 and 2010.

HOME SWEET HOME
• Since 1990, K-State holds a 140-34-1 (.803) record when playing at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
• That record includes a 69-5 (.932) mark in non-conference games and a 71-29-1 (.708) record in league games.
• K-State is looking to bounce back from a 4-3 (.571) home record in 2015, its worst home winning percentage since also going 4-3 in 2008.

RECORD ATTENDANCE
• Attendance at K-State games have been at an all-time high over the last four-plus years as K-State has recorded 28 consecutive sellouts, a number that is expected to reach 33 after the 2016 season.
• For a third-straight year, K-State finished second nationally by filling up its stadium at a 106.20-percent clip, a number that was just 0.52-percent behind Oregon (106.72).
• K-State averaged a school-record 53,100 fans in its 50,000-seat stadium in 2015, a number that has increased each of the last four seasons.
• Twenty-one of the largest 25 crowds in stadium history have come in the last three-plus years, including six of the seven home games in 2015.

YOUTH IS SERVED
• The season-opening depth chart featured 24 combined underclassmen (Fr. or So.; does not count special teams), including 17 on offense. It was the most on the initial depth chart of a year since at least 1988.
• K-State started 11 underclassmen – including four freshmen – in the opener at No. 8/7 Stanford. It was the most for either category since at least 1997.
• The previous high of underclassmen starting during that stretch was nine in 2005.
• The four freshmen starters at Stanford marked the second-straight year the Wildcats started at least three freshmen in a season opener.
• K-State had no more than two freshmen starters in a season opener in any of the previous 18 years, while the Wildcats had started a combined total of eight freshmen in season openers from 1998-2014.

DRAWING FIRST BLOOD
• Since 1990, K-State is 156-29 (.843) when scoring first.
• K-State, 1-0 this year when scoring first, will be looking to bounce back from a 3-2 record in 2015 when getting on the board first, defeating South Dakota, Louisiana Tech and Kansas, but losing to Oklahoma State and Arkansas.
• In 2014, the Cats held a perfect 7-0 record when scoring the game’s first points.

HITTING 60
• For the first time in seven years, Kansas State reached the 60-point mark in its 63-7 victory over FAU last week.
• The last time the Wildcats had at least 60 points was a 62-14 triumph over Texas A&M in 2009.
• It was the Wildcats’ most points since a 69-10 win over Montana State in 2008, and the most by a Bill Snyder-led team since a 64-0 shutout at Kansas in 2002.

OFFENSIVE NOTES
RED ZONE ALERT

• Kansas State has been one of the best red zone teams over the past few years, including a perfect mark over the final seven games of the 2015 season and again so far in 2016 through two games (11-for-11).
• The Wildcats, one of two Big 12 teams to be perfect in the red zone thus far in 2016, led the league last year and ranked second nationally by converting on 94.5-perecent (52-of-55) on their red-zone attempts, which included 35 touchdowns.
• Over the last nine games dating back to 2015, K-State is perfect on 36 red zone attempts with 26 touchdowns.
• In their 45 wins over the last six seasons, the Cats are 207-for-227 (.912) in red zone chances with 151 touchdowns, while four of their non-scoring trips have come via kneel downs to close out victories.

RUNNING MATES
• K-State ran for 336 yards last week against FAU, marking the most yards gained on the ground since the 2012 game against KU.
• It also marked the first time since that game against the Jayhawks with four different players running for 40 or more yards as Dalvin Warmack (90), Alex Barnes (73), Charles Jones (40) and Jesse Ertz (40) did so vs. FAU.
• Alex Delton added 37 yards as a total of six players recorded rushes of 10 yards or more in the game.

RUNNING TO PAYDIRT
• The Wildcats recorded seven rushing touchdowns last week against FAU, tying a school record that had been attained only three other times.
• The feat, which was accomplished by Winston Dimel (4), Jesse Ertz, Alex Delton and Joe Hubener, was the first since the 2002 Kansas game. K-State also had seven rushing touchdowns on two occasions in 2000.

ERTZ GAINING EXPERIENCE
• A year after getting injured on the first offensive play of the 2015 season and missing the rest of the year, quarterback Jesse Ertz has earned his most significant playing time in the first two games of 2016.
• In the season opener, Ertz threw for only 58 yards in the first half but was better in the second 30 minutes, accumulating 149 yards and a touchdown.
• The running game was the theme in the home opener against FAU as he rushed nine times for 40 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown rush, the first of his career.

YOUNG RBs PROVIDE SPARK
• Sophomore Dalvin Warmack and redshirt freshman Alex Barnes were dynamic off the bench against FAU, as the top two rushers in the game combined for 163 yards on 16 attempts (10.3 yds/rush).
• Warmack recorded 90 yards against the Owls, which included a career-long 43-yarder.
• The 43-yard scamper was the longest by a Wildcat running back since John Hubert went 63 yards to paydirt at Texas Tech in 2013.
• Barnes had 73 yards against the Owls, including a 22-yard burst on his first-career carry.

DIMEL GETS IT DONE
• Winston Dimel is a dangerous weapon around the goal line as he has 10 of K-State’s 36 (27.7-percent) rushing scores over the last two years.
• Dimel had four rushing touchdowns last week against FAU – tying for third in school history and tied for second nationally this year – as he enters this week’s contest ranked 11th nationally and tops in the Big 12 in scoring.
• The Manhattan product has also been effective in the passing game by averaging 29.6 yards on nine receptions, the highest average among all players in school history with nine or more catches.

HEATH MAKING HEADWAY
• Receiver Dominique Heath has had a great start to his sophomore season on both offense and special teams.
• Heath leads the team with 105 receiving yards, which includes a 20-yard touchdown reception to start K-State’s 63-point outburst against FAU.
• Heath also returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown against the Owls, becoming the first Wildcat since Tramaine Thompson against Missouri State in 2012 to have a receiving touchdown and punt-return score in the same game. For his effort, Heath was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

DEEP, BUT INEXPERIENCED, AT RECEIVER
• K-State has had six different wide receivers tally a catch through two games, the most for the Wildcats since 2011.
• However, many of those players came in with limited experience as only three had starting experience going into the year in Deante Burton, Dominique Heath and Zach Reuter.
• Four new receivers – sophomore Byron Pringle, redshirt freshman Isaiah Zuber and true freshmen Isaiah Harris and Corey Sutton – have received their first Division I experience this year.
• Last week against FAU, Harris had a team-high six receptions, which was tied for the fifth most by a freshman in school history and the most since Aaron Lockett had six against Nebraska in 1998.
• Zuber hauled in a 15-yard touchdown reception at Stanford, becoming the first freshman to catch a touchdown pass in a season opener since David Allen at Northern Illinois in 1997.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
PICKING THEM APART

• Over the last 36 contests K-State has recorded multiple interceptions in a game, the Wildcats hold a 30-6 record.
• The Wildcats are 10-1 over the last two-plus seasons when recording two or more picks.
• Kansas State has notched at least one interception in 18 of the last 27 games.
• Of the four Wildcat turnovers forced last week against FAU, two came by way of an interception, marking the first time since last year’s TCU game that the Cats had multiple picks in a game.
• With the interceptions being recorded by Kendall Adams and D.J. Reed, it also marked the first multi-interception game by defensive backs since the 2014 KU game. Adams and Reed are tied for third in the Big 12 in interceptions.

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
• The Wildcats, who recorded at least seven tackles for loss per game last year, have hit that mark in four of their last five regular season games, including 8.0 TFLs in the 2016 season opener at Stanford.
• Over half of the TFLs against the Cardinal came from senior safety Dante Barnett and junior defensive end Tanner Wood. Barnett had 2.5 TFLs, just 0.5 shy of his career high, while Wood had a career-best 2.0 TFLs.
• Additionally, redshirt freshman defensive end Reggie Walker recorded his first-career TFL at Stanford.
• K-State’s seven games with seven-plus TFLs last year were the most since recording 10 in the 15-game 2003 season.
• The Cats finished the 2015 season with 72.0 TFLs, their fourth-straight season with 70 or more TFLs.
• The current four-year streak with 70 or more TFLs is the longest by the Wildcats since 1996-2003 (eight years).

SACK MASTERS
• Kansas State had one of its better seasons in terms of sacks in 2015, recording 38 to rank third in the Big 12, tie for ninth in the nation and tie for eighth in school history.
• K-State, which had at least four sacks in each of its final three regular-season games and five times overall, finished in the top-10 nationally in sacks for the first time since 2006.
• Last year’s sack total was the highest since that 2006 squad carded 40 to tie for fifth in school history and sixth nationally.
• K-State started 2016 with a pair of sacks at Stanford, including a sack-strip by defensive end Jordan Willis and the first sack of safety Dante Barnett’s career, and followed up with four against FAU.
• The Wildcats are currently tied for 25th nationally with 3.0 sacks per game.

SECOND HALF RESURGENCE
• The Wildcats have turned in some terrific performances on defense in the second half of games over the last eight regular-season contests, including at No. 8/7 Stanford on opening weekend.
• Over the final six games of 2015 (Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia) and through two games this season, the Cats have given up an average of 164.1 total yards and 8.1 offensive points in the final 30 minutes.
• At Stanford, the Cats allowed just 70 total yards and one touchdown in the second half. Included in those figures are a 41-yard touchdown by Christian McCaffrey as the Wildcats held last year’s Heisman Trophy runner up to just 11 rushing yards and six receiving yards in the second half when taking away his late scamper.
• In last year’s win over Iowa State, K-State gave up 144 yards and zero points, which helped lead to the largest comeback victory in school history (21 points).
• K-State also allowed just 10 second-half points to Baylor last season, which was averaging 61.1 points per game entering the contest.

BARNETT READY TO LEAD DEFENSE AGAIN

• A year after seeing his season end with an injury in the first half of the season opener, safety Dante Barnett came back with a vengeance in this year’s opener at Stanford.
• Barnett, who received a medical hardship for the 2015 season, tallied four tackles, including 2.5 TFLs and his first career sack, which came in his 41st-career game.
• Barnett leads all K-State defenders with 186 career tackles as he is 64 stops away from becoming the 27th player in school history with 250 career tackles.
• The Tulsa, Oklahoma, product is also three interceptions away from moving into the career top-10 list at K-State.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
CATS TOP IN NON-OFFENSIVE TDs

• K-State is the nation’s best in non-offensive touchdowns over the last 15-plus seasons as it has 102 since 1999.
• Since 1990, the Wildcats are 57-17 when scoring on special teams and 19-1 when scoring on special teams and defense, including a 17-0 mark under Bill Snyder.
• The Cats have had at least five non-offensive touchdowns in four of the last five years and in 15 of the 17 seasons since 1999.
• Morgan Burns had all five of the Wildcats’ non-offensive scores in 2015 with four kickoff-return touchdowns, while he also recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a score in a win at Kansas.
• Dominque Heath gave K-State its first non-offensive score of 2016 as he raced 75-yards on a punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter against Florida Atlantic.

SCORING IN THE THIRD PHASE
• Kansas State has been far and away the best team among FBS programs over the last decade when it comes to scoring via a kickoff or punt return.
• The Wildcats have a combined 41 kickoff- and punt-return touchdowns since 2005, 13 more than any other FBS school over the last 11-plus seasons. Oklahoma State is second on the list with 28 combined kickoff- and punt-return touchdowns.
• K-State has been fairly consistent between kickoff and punt returns with 21 and 20 touchdowns, respectively, during the current stretch.

DEFENSE IN THE THIRD PHASE
• On the flip side, K-State has been just as consistent in terms of kickoff and punt coverage.
• The Cats have not allowed a kickoff-return touchdown in the last 39 games as the last time an opponent took a kickoff back for a score was Louisiana on Sept. 7, 2013.
• K-State finished the 2015 season ranked 12th nationally in kickoff return defense, but after FAU averaged 23.5 yards on six returns last week, the Wildcats are currently tied for 51st.
• Similarly, the Wildcats haven’t allowed a punt-return score since the second game of 2014 – Sept. 6 at Iowa State – which is a span of 26 games.

McCRANE CONTINUES TO BE THE NATION’S BEST
• Place kicker Matthew McCrane, a two-time All-Big 12 performer, has been a model of consistency throughout his career as he has made 27-of-29 (93.1-percent) of his career field-goal attempts.
• McCrane currently holds the K-State career record for field goal percentage, while he is first nationally among active kickers.
• McCrane is first by 1-percent over Oregon’s Aidan Schneider in the national category and holds a 13.5-percent advantage over Jamie Rheem (1996-97, 1999-2000) in K-State’s career category.

McCRANE IN THE RECORD BOOK
• Matthew McCrane has also added his name to the K-State record book in both games in 2016. He made his first two field goals in at Stanford, extending a streak to a career-record 16-straight makes.
• His two connections also tied his for 10th in school history in career field goals made with 27.
• Against FAU, McCrane tied a school record with nine PATs made, the first time a Wildcat had nine since Brooks Rossman against Montana State in 2008.

WALSH READY TO TAKE ANOTHER STEP
• Nick Walsh has established himself as one of the top punters in the Big 12 and will use his last two seasons of eligibility trying to prove he is the best in the league.
• As a sophomore, the former walk-on earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 accolades from the league’s coaches after ranking third in the conference with a 41.6-yard average.
• Walsh, who is on the 2016 preseason watch list for the Ray Guy Award, has started his junior year on the right foot, averaging 46.0-yards per punt to rank third in the Big 12.
• His average this season includes a 48.7-yard mark at Stanford, which was the second-highest best of his career.
• The Lyndon, Kansas, product currently ranks sixth in school history with a 41.75-yard average in his career.