Fresh Off Bye Week, K-State Travels to Face Baylor
Fresh Off Bye Week, K-State Travels to Face Baylor
NOV 19, 11 AM CT
5-4 (3-3 Big 12)
6-3 (3-3 Big 12)
Sirius 113, XM 200
Coming off its second bye week of the season that followed a heartbreaking 43-37 defeat at the hands of No. 22 Oklahoma State, K-State hits the road on Saturday for a Big 12 matchup against Baylor in seek of its first win in Waco since the 2002 season. The contest against the Bears will kick off 11 a.m., and be televised to a national audience on ESPN2 and WatchESPN with Dave LaMont (play-by-play), Ray Bentley (analyst) and Dawn Davenport (sidelines) calling the action. The contest can also be heard across the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), Stan Weber (analyst) and Matt Walters (sidelines) on the call, as well as Sirius channel 113, XM channel 200. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, while Twitter updates (@ kstate_gameday, @KStateFB) will all be a part of the coverage.
A LOOK AT K-STATE
• Continuing to rank among the league’s best when it comes to rushing offense and run defense, K-State carded 345 yards on the ground vs. OSU, its most rushing yards in a Big 12 game since going for 346 against KU in 2012.
• The Cats have recorded thee-straight league games with 200 or more rushing yards, their longest streak since 2003.
• Due to its stout rushing attack, K-State has had 29 of its 43 scoring drives this season span seven plays or longer, including 13 that lasted at least 10 plays.
• K-State’s rushing attack is led by quarterback Jesse Ertz, who ranks first in the Big 12 among QBs with 70 yards per game, including two straight 100-yard games.
• Ertz rushed for 106 yards at Iowa State before a 153-yard outburst against OSU to become the first Wildcat with consecutive 100-yard games since John Hubert in 2013.
• K-State continues to highly on defense, leading the Big 12 and ranking 10th nationally in rushing defense (110.9 ypg), while also leading the league in total defense (392.8 ypg).
• Junior Elijah Lee leads the team and is tied for second in the Big 12 with 77 tackles. Jordan Willis leads the league in sacks (9.0) and is second in TFLs (13.5).
A LOOK AT BAYLOR
• Baylor is coming off a 45-24 loss at No. 9 Oklahoma, its third-straight defeat since opening 6-0.
• QB Seth Russell, injured in last week’s game with OU, ranks sixth in the Big 12 in total offense (292.4 ypg) as he has thrown for 2,126 yards and 20 TDs.
• Running backs Terence Williams and Shock Linwood rank fifth and sixth in the Big 12 in rushing, respectively, as they have combined for 1,302 yards and 10 TDs.
• Defensively, Aiavion Edwards leads the team with 70 tackles, while Taylor Young has a team-best 9.0 TFLs and 4.5 sacks.
A LOOK AT THE SERIES
• K-State is looking to snap a four-game Baylor winning streak in the series as the Wildcats’ last victory came in a 36-35 triumph at home in 2011.
• The Wildcats are also looking to break a four-game win streak by the Bears in games played in Waco. K-State’s last win at Baylor came in 2002 (44-10).
• Although Baylor holds a current four-game streak, the average margin of victory in the last three contests has been only 9.3 points, including a seven-point loss last year in Manhattan.
• 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 179 victories, which ranks 19th in the nation.
• Among current Big 12 teams, only Oklahoma (T4th; 204), Texas (T11th; 196) and TCU (15th; 184) rank higher.
THE CENTURY MARK
• Earlier this year, K-State became just the third Big 12 program to reach 100 league wins since the conference began in 1996.
• The Wildcats, who have 102 Big 12 wins, are joined Oklahoma (127) and Texas (118) in the century club.
300 AT ONE
• K-State’s game against Texas Tech was the 300th game under the direction of head coach Bill Snyder.
• Snyder became just the seventh person all-time to coach 300 games on one FBS school. Among the seven, six – Joe Paterno (Penn State), Bobby Bowden (Florida State), LaVell Edwards (BYU), Chris Ault (Nevada), Tom Osborne (Nebraska) and Snyder – are in the College Football Hall of Fame.
SNYDER IN ELITE COMPANY
• Head coach Bill Snyder currently has 198 career victories, 159 more than any other coach in school history.
• Snyder ranks first in the FBS in wins among active coaches at current schools, second in total wins among active coaches overall and tied for 26th in all-time wins.
• He is two wins away from becoming the 26th coach in FBS history with 200 career wins.
• Snyder, who has 115 conference wins, is one of four coaches with 100 Big 8/12 victories (Tom Osborne , Bob Stoops , Barry Switzer ).
• A year after finishing minus-3 in the turnover battle, K-State currently ranks 17th nationally and second in the Big 12 with a plus-7 turnover margin.
• The Wildcats have given up only eight turnovers to rank fifth nationally and tops in the conference.
• In 2015, K-State was minus-6 in the turnover margin through nine games.
• More significantly, K-State has not allowed any points off its eight turnovers, the only team in the league to accomplish the feat. The next closest to the Wildcats is West Virginia, which has allowed 34 points off its turnovers.
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.
• The Wildcats, who have ranked first or second in the conference in fewest penalty yards per game each of the previous five years, are on their way to accomplish that feat again in 2016.
• Although K-State ranked 104th in the nation and sixth in the Big 12 with 74.5 penalty yards per game following its FAU contest on Sept. 17, the Wildcats are now second in the league with a 41.1-yard average.
• Over the last seven games, the Wildcats are averaging only 39.3 penalty yards per game as the younger roster has learned to play efficiently without being flagged as frequently.
YOUTH IS SERVED
• Through the first nine games of 2016, Kansas State has a combined 96 starts from freshmen or sophomores, which ranks as the fourth most under head coach Bill Snyder, and only five away from tying the 1989 squad – Snyder’s first team at K-State – for the most in his tenure.
• A majority of the underclassmen starters are made up of sophomores (68), while 28 starts have come from redshirt freshmen.
• K-State started 11 underclassmen – including four redshirt freshmen – in the opener at Stanford. It was the most for either category since at least 1997 as K-State had no more than two freshmen starters in a season opener in any of the previous 18 years.
DRAWING FIRST BLOOD
• Since 1990, K-State is 159-31 (.837) when scoring first.
• However, K-State is 4-2 this year when scoring first and just 7-4 in that department over the last two seasons.
• In 2014, the Cats held a perfect 7-0 record when scoring the game’s first points.
QUICK OUT OF THE GATE
• Kansas State has started games on the right side of the scoreboard this season, outscoring opponents 79-41 in the opening 15 minutes.
• That mark improves to 188-100 through the first half and 232-134 after three quarters, but opponents have gotten the best of K-State in the final quarter to the tune of 82-48.
LEADING AT THE HALF
• Kansas State had a 49-game game winning streak when leading a halftime snapped last year at Oklahoma State, a streak that was the nation’s longest at the time.
• Since that loss at OSU last year, the Wildcats are 6-3 when leading at halftime but only 4-3 in Big 12 games. This year, K-State is 5-1 when taking a lead into the locker room with its only blemish being a loss at West Virginia.
ROAD SCORING STREAK
• Matthew McCrane’s first-quarter field goal at Iowa State extended K-State’s consecutive road scoring streak to 92 true road games and 114 road/neutral site games.
• The last time the Wildcats have not scored in a road game was in 1996 at Colorado.
• K-State has leaned heavily on its running game this year to move the football, especially in the last three contests.
• The three-game stretch against Big 12 opponents with at least 200 rushing yards is the most since the 2003 squad did so in six-straight games, culminating with 292 rushing yards in a 35-7 victory over No. 1 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship.
• The Cats, who rank second in school history in yards per carry (5.07) and 10th in rushing yards per game (208.9), have hit the 200-yard barrier in each of the last three contests as they ran for 234 yards against Texas, 247 yards at Iowa State and 345 yards against Oklahoma State.
• K-State’s 345 yards on the ground against the Cowboys were the most against a conference opponent since rushing for 346 yards against Kansas in 2012.
70 TIMES 3
• The Wildcats rushing effort against Oklahoma State was led by three players with at least 70 rushing yards in quarterback Jesse Ertz (153) in addition to running backs Alex Barnes (72) and Charles Jones (70).
• It marked the first time since the 2013 UMass game that three players rushed for at least 70 yards and the first time against a Big 12 opponent since 1997 against Iowa State.
GROWTH EVIDENT ON THE LINE
• Despite boasting only 17 combined starts entering the season, K-State’s offensive line has grown throughout the season to rank as one of the best in the Big 12, evidenced by the 275.3-yard rushing average of the last three games.
• The unit, which featured the fewest combined starts entering a season since 1990, has been consistent over the last five games with three first-time starters – left tackle Scott Frantz, left guard Abdul Beecham and center Reid Najvar – learning alongside veteran right guard Terrale Johnson (13 career starts) and right tackle Dalton Risner (22 career/consecutive starts).
• Despite the inexperience, Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line coach Charlie Dickey does have a good track record when it comes to developing offensive lines quickly as the 2012 line had just a collective 26 starts entering the year but ended up placing four linemen on the All-Big 12 team, including three first-time starters.
RED ZONE ALERT
• K-State has been one of the best red zone teams over the past few years as they were one of only four teams – joined by Nevada, Oklahoma State and UCLA – to rank in the top-15 nationally in red zone offense in both 2014 and 2015, but the only one of that group to remain in the top 15 this season.
• The Wildcats rank seventh nationally and tops in the Big 12 by converting on 93.3-percent (42-of-45) of its red zone attempts this season.
• Since the beginning of 2014, K-State has converted on 150-of-162 red zone attempts (.923) with 108 touchdowns. Included in that stretch was a nation-leading scoring streak of 56-straight trips that was snapped earlier this year
• In their 48 wins over the last six seasons, the Cats are 227-for-248 (.915) in red zone chances with 166 touchdowns, while four of their non-scoring trips have come via kneel downs to close out victories.
• In the era of quick-strike offenses in college football, K-State remains a team that likes to possess the ball.
• Of K-State’s 43 scoring drives this season, 29 have been seven plays or longer including 13 of 10-plus plays.
• Fourteen scoring drives have lasted at least five minutes with a 17-play, 8:32 drive at Oklahoma being the longest.
ERTZ ON THE RUN
• Quarterback Jesse Ertz was injured and out for the year following a five-yard rush on the first offensive play of 2015, but he’s not letting that deter him from his rushing abilities through nine starts in 2016.
• Ertz leads the team and ranks ninth in the Big 12 by averaging 70 rushing yards per game. He is the only quarterback on the Big 12’s top-10 list, while he ranks seventh nationally among quarterbacks.
• Ertz’s total has been given a boost over the last two games as he rushed for 106 yards at Iowa State before going for 153 yards against Oklahoma State. By doing so, he became the first Wildcat with consecutive 100-yard games since John Hubert in 2013.
• His 153-yard total against the Cowboys tied for fifth in school history among quarterbacks, while his 30 attempts in that contest tied for third among QBs in K-State history.
• The Mediapolis, Iowa, native has nine rushing scores this year to rank fourth in the Big 12, while his 5.68-yard average per rush this season ranks sixth in the country among signal callers and fourth overall in school history.
JONES CLIMBING THE CHARTS
• In the midst of his third year serving as the primary running back, Charles Jones is using his final season to climb up the school’s career rushing yardage list.
• Jones, who entered the year ranked 21st in school history in career rushing yards, now stands in 13th place with 1,745 yards. He also ranks eighth in K-State history with a career 4.72-yard average per carry.
• In addition to Charles Jones’ career rushing yardage, he has also hauled in 32 career passes for 322 yards.
• Jones’ 322 career receiving yards ranks 14th in school history among running backs/fullbacks.
• Those two categories, in addition to 12 kickoff-return yards, has added up to 2,079 career all-purpose yards as he became the 28th player in school history to reach the 2,000-yard mark in a career earlier this season.
BARNES ADDS NAME TO MIX
• Coming into the season with three running backs that have seen game action, redshirt freshman Alex Barnes has added yet another dimension to the running game.
• Barnes has rushed for 210 yards on 27 attempts – good for a 7.8-yard average – and one score. Most of his work has come over the last two games with a combined 107 yards at Iowa State (37) and against Oklahoma State (70).
• Among players with at least 25 rushing attempts, Barnes leads the Big 12 with a 7.78-yard per rush average and is the only player without a negative rush.
• Additionally, the Pittsburg, Kansas, product just 25 yards shy of tying for fifth in K-State history in rushing yards among freshmen.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOES
• Although it plays in a high-powered offense league, K-State has been one of the best in the nation in keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard as the Wildcats rank second in the Big 12 in scoring defense.
• The Wildcats have held seven of their first nine opponents to a total average difference of 14.4 points per game below their season averages at the time.
• The two most impressive performances this year came against Texas Tech, which was averaging 59.5 points prior to scoring only 38, and West Virginia, which scored 17 points despite its 33.0-point average going in.
• The only two opponents to score more against the Wildcats than its scoring average were Iowa State and Oklahoma State, which were only 2.3 and 2.4 points better, respectively.
PICKING THEM APART
• Kansas State, which has notched at least one interception in 24 of the last 34 games, ranks fourth in the Big 12 with nine interceptions despite three sophomore starters in the secondary.
• Of K-State’s nine picks this year, seven have come from defensive backs after only one in 2015.
• The Wildcats’ nine picks this year are already four more than they secured last year, and they are one away from recording their 10th double-digit interception season in the last 11 years.
• Among the nine picks this year, two have been returned for touchdowns as D.J. Reed had a 35-yard return against Texas Tech and Duke Shelley went 29 yards to paydirt against Oklahoma State.
• The two interception-return touchdowns by the Wildcats this year are tied for seventh in school history and are tied for first in the Big 12 and 12th nationally.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF SACKS
• 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 finished in the top-10 nationally in sacks for the first time since 2006.
• Although the Wildcats are only seventh in the Big 12 with 19 sacks, they have gotten the most out of them as they lead the conference with 8.58 yards per sack, over a yard per sack better than the team in second place.
• The team leader in that department is Kyle Ball, whose two sacks have resulted in an average of 13.0 lost yards. K-State’s starting DEs, Reggie Walker and Jordan Willis, are averaging 9.0 and 7.9 yards per sack, respectively.
FOURTH DOWN STOPS
• Kansas State leads the Big 12 and is tied for 12th nationally by allowing opponents to convert only 33.3-percent (6-of-18) of its fourth-down attempts.
• Among teams that have faced at least 18 fourth downs, the Wildcats are tied for fourth in the nation.
• The Wildcats’ 12 fourth-down stops this year are the second most since head coach Bill Snyder returned for his second tenure in 2009, one shy of last year’s 13 stops on 22 tries.
LEE LEADS THE CHARGE
• Junior linebacker Elijah Lee, a Second Team All-Big 12 pick in 2015 after leading K-State with 80 tackles, is improving his production in 2016 with a team-leading 77 stops to tie for second in the Big 12 with 8.6 tackles per game.
• Lee, who is on pace to end the regular season with 103 tackles, set a new career high with 14 stops at West Virginia en route to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
• A native of Blue Springs, Missouri, Lee has at least seven tackles in 11 of the last 16 games – including every Big 12 contest this year – while he has reached double digits in tackles on four occasions in 2016.
WILLIS LIVES BEHIND THE LINE
• Defensive end Jordan Willis, who has sacks in nine of the last 13 games, is flying up the K-State career chart.
• Willis currently ranks fourth in school history with 23.5 career sacks, while he sits just a half sack shy of tying for 10th in Big 12 history.
• A Midseason Watch List member for the Ted Hendricks Award, Willis has 9.0 sacks this season as he is one the verge of entering K-State’s top-10 list, needing just one more to tie for 10th and 2.5 more to tie the school record.
• Willis was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after the Texas game when he carded seven tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.
• Willis, who leads all active Big 12 players in career sacks, is tops in the Big 12 in sacks and second in tackles for loss (13.5) this year, while he ranks seventh and 12th in the nation, respectively.
• Willis can also set his sights on K-State’s TFL top-10 list. The senior has 36.5 career TFLs, needing 2.5 to tie for 10th in school history.
• K-State’s current top-10 list for TFLs does not include any Wildcats who played in the last 15 seasons.
BARNETT SERVES AS VETERAN PRESENCE
• A year after seeing his season end with an injury in the first half of the 2015 season opener, safety Dante Barnett has been his usual self during his second senior season.
• Barnett, who received a medical hardship for the 2015 season, leads all K-State defenders with 231 career tackles, sitting 19 stops shy of becoming the 27th player in school history with 250 career tackles.
• The Tulsa, Oklahoma, who ranks fifth among active Big 12 players in career tackles, also has 170 career unassisted tackles to rank ninth in school history.
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 105 since 1999.
• Since 1990, the Wildcats are 58-17 when scoring on special teams and 20-1 when scoring on special teams and defense, including an 18-0 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.
• The Wildcats are sitting at four this season with interception returns by D.J. Reed (Texas Tech) and Duke Shelley (Oklahoma State). Dominique Heath gave K-State its first non-offensive score of 2016 on a 75-yard a punt return against Florida Atlantic, while Byron Pringle returned a kickoff 99 yards against Texas Tech.
• Reed’s pick-six and Pringle’s KOR score marked the first time the Wildcats had two non-offensive scores in a Big 12 game since doing so against Oklahoma State in 2012.
NON-OFFENSIVE TDs PART II
• Under head coach Bill Snyder, K-State is 69-21 (.767) when scoring a non-offensive touchdown, and since 1999, the Cats are 50-14 (.781) when scoring a non-offensive touchdowns.
• Since Snyder returned to the sidelines in 2009 K-State is 25-7 (.781) in this same category.
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 42 kickoff- and punt-return touchdowns since 2005, 14 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 22 and 20 touchdowns, respectively, during the current stretch.
• K-State also extended its kickoff-return streak to 12 straight years with a return for a score, which is the longest current streak in the nation.
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 46 games as the last time an opponent took a kickoff back for a score was Louisiana on Sept. 7, 2013.
• 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 33 games.
• Kansas State enters this week’s game ranked 12th nationally by allowing just 3.8 yards per punt return.
KIRBY CAN BLOCK PUNTS
• Junior linebacker Jayd Kirby has blocked a pair of punts this season, doing so against Missouri State and Oklahoma State.
• His two blocked kicks are tied for fourth nationally, while he is the first Wildcat with multiple blocked punts in a season since Courtney Herndon in 2008.
RETURNERS RANK HIGH
• K-State returners have routinely enjoyed success under head coach Bill Snyder, and it appears that 2016 will be no different as both Byron Pringle and Dominique Heath rank highly in the nation in the return categories.
• Pringle is ranked 10th in the nation with a 28.7-yard kickoff-return average – a mark that currently ranks ninth in school history – while his 659 yards this season rank fifth in school history. Heath enters play this week tied for sixth nationally in punt-return touchdowns.
• Both players have earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week accolades this year. Heath was honored after his 75-yard punt return touchdown against FAU, while Pringle earned the honor twice (Missouri State, Texas Tech).
KICKERS IN THE RECORD BOOK
• Juniors Matthew McCrane and Nick Walsh have performed to historic marks as both are etching their names into the K-State record book.
• McCrane, a two-time All-Big 12 place kicker, made his first two field goals at Stanford to extend a streak to a career record 16-straight makes.
• Additionally, he is ranks seventh in school history in both career field goals made (36) and career extra-points made (85), while he has 193 career points scored to sit three shy of entering the school’s top-10 list.
• A 2015 All-Big 12 punter and two-time member of the Ray Guy Award watch list, Walsh has booted to a career 41.83-yard average to rank sixth in K-State history, while he is ninth in career yards (5,941) and 10th in attempts (142).
• Walsh’s career averaged has been aided by two big games this year when he recorded a 48.7-yard average in the season opener at Stanford prior to a career best 50.3-yard mark against Texas Tech.