K-State Hits the Road, Battles UTSA in Alamodome

GAME PREVIEW
SEPT 12, 11:00 AM

Alamodome
San Antonio, TX

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

NR/NR
UTSA
ROADRUNNERS
0-1 (0-0 CUSA)

FOX SPORTS 1
Sirius 108; XM 199

Coming off a 34-0 shutout win over South Dakota in the season opener, Kansas State will hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday as the Wildcats take on UTSA in San Antonio’s Alamodome in a nationally-televised morning matchup.

The game, which kicks off at 11:05 a.m., will be shown across the entire nation on FOX Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Steve Hutchinson (analyst) and Bruce Feldman (sideline) on the call.

The game can also be heard across the K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), Stan Weber (analyst) and Matt Walters (sideline) on the call, while the game will be on Sirius channel 108, XM channel 199. Live stats are available at the new k-statesports.com, while Twitter updates (@kstatesports and @kstate_gameday) will all be part of the coverage.

A LOOK AT K-STATE
• Guided by 2015 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Bill Snyder, K-State opened the season with its first shutout since blanking Texas, 23-0, on October 25, 2014.
• It also marked the third shutout for the Wildcats since Snyder returned in 2009 and also was the first shutout in a season opener since 1999.
• The Cats held the Coyotes to just 61 rushing yards, as it marked the 21st time in the last 53 games they held opponents to less than 100 yards rushing.
• A 100-yard kickoff return from Morgan Burns to open the game sparked the Cats in the opener and was believed to be the first return for a score to open a season.
• Offensively, quarterback Joe Hubener stepped in for an injured Jesse Ertz and threw for 147 yards and a score while also rushing for 38 yards.

A LOOK AT UTSA
• Guided by fifth-year head coach Larry Coker, the Roadrunners opened the season with a tough 42-32 loss to No. 22 Arizona in Tucson last Thursday.
• Redshirt freshman QB Blake Bogenschutz threw for 332 yards and two scores on 25-of-43 passing in the opener.
• UTSA outgained Arizona, 525-392, but two costly turnovers leading to 14 Arizona points proved to be the difference in the game.
• UTSA had nine players make their first career start last week, while 11 freshmen and 22 newcomers saw action.

A LOOK AT THE SERIES
• First meeting between the two programs.

NON-CON ROAD NOTES
• In non-conference regular season road games under Bill Snyder, the Cats have won nine of their last 11, dating back to a 30-25 win at Minnesota in 1993.
• Ironically, the win at Minnesota in 1993 is the last time K-State has won a game inside an enclosed stadium as the Cats have lost their last seven indoor games.
• Overall, K-State is 9-8 in non-conference road games since 1989 and 9-6 during that span under Snyder.
• Those nine wins included at Minnesota (1993), UNLV (1994), Cincinnati (1995), Rice (1996), Northern Illinois (1997), Southern California (2001), Marshall (2005), North Texas (2010) and Miami [Fla.] (2011).

NON-CONFERENCE NOTABLES
• Since 1990, K-State has won 70 of its 79 (.886) regular-season non-conference games under Bill Snyder, including 61-of-65 (.938) at home.
• K-State has had perfect regular season non-conference ledgers in 14 of the last 22 years.

SNYDER IN SEPTEMBER
• Fast starts have propelled the Wildcats to winning seasons under Bill Snyder. Since 1992 under Snyder, K-State is a combined 60-7 (.896) in September.
• Of the losses, four came on the road, as the Cats are 46-3 in September home games during that stretch.
• Since Snyder’s return to the sidelines in 2009, K-State is 18-4 in the month of September.

SNYDER: HALL OF FAMER
• The architect of the “greatest turnaround in the history of college football,” Bill Snyder was elected to the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2015.
• Snyder is just fourth person in the history of college football to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as an active coach.

SNYDER AMONG BEST EVER
• Head coach Bill Snyder currently has 188 career victories, which are 149 more than any other coach in program history.
• Snyder ranks second in the FBS in wins among active coaches at their current schools, fifth in total victories among active coaches and 31st in all-time wins.
• He is one win away from entering the top 30 all-time and 12 from becoming the 25th coach in FBS history with 200 career wins.
• Snyder, who has 109 conference wins, is one of four coaches with 100 Big 8/12 victories, joining Nebraska’s Tom Osborne (153) and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops (104) and Barry Switzer (100).

YOUTH MOVEMENT
• K-State saw a total of eight players make their first-career start against South Dakota, including six who are either freshmen or sophomores.
• Also, a total of 22 freshmen or sophomores saw playing time in the 34-0 win over the Coyotes.
• Three of the highlights for the young Cats were redshirt freshman fullback Winston Dimel, who scored two touchdowns, redshirt freshman Dominique Heath, who was electrifying on punt returns and at wide receiver, while redshirt freshman Dalton Risner starting at center.

BIG 12’S BEST
• K-State currently holds a 27-9 (.750) record in Big 12 play since the start of 2011, which is the most wins and best winning percentage in the league.

COHESION ON THE STAFF

• For a third-straight season, Kansas State will be coached by the same 10 full-time coaches.
• K-State is one of only five schools to bring back all 10 coaches for a third-straight season, joining Arizona, BYU, Northwestern and UTEP.
• The current streak is the longest since 1999-2001.
• Included in the group is Mo Latimore, who is the longest-tenured assistant coach in the Big 12.

REPEAT PERFORMANCES
• K-State has usually been able to string bowl seasons together under Bill Snyder, including a current streak of five-straight years.
• The Wildcats played in 17 bowls prior to 2014 and have followed that with another bowl berth 14 times, all coming under Snyder.
• Kansas State has had losing records following bowl seasons only three times: 1983 (3-8) after the Independence Bowl, 2004 (4-7) after the Fiesta Bowl and 2007 (5-7) after the Texas Bowl.

TOUGH SLATE

• The Wildcats will face seven teams this season that earned bowl berths in 2014, while seven of their opponents are either ranked or receiving votes in the Preseason AP Top 25 and Amway Coaches Poll.
• Two of those teams are ranked in the top 10 as TCU is second in both the AP and Coaches’ top-25, while Baylor checks in at No. 4.

CATS CONTINUE CONSECUTIVE SCORING STREAK
• K-State has tallied points in 230 consecutive games dating back to the 1996 season.
• The streak is the second longest in the Big 12, the ninth longest active streak and the 20th longest all-time.
• The scoring streak has endured 151 conference games, 83 true road games and 20 neutral-site contests.
• In addition, K-State has not been held scoreless in 156 consecutive home games dating back to 1991.

HOME SWEET HOME
• Since 1990, K-State holds a 136-31-1 (.812) record when playing at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
• That record includes a 67-5 (.931) mark in non-conference games and a 69-26-1 (.724) record in league games.

RECORD ATTENDANCE
• Attendance at K-State games have been at an all-time high over the last three years as K-State has recorded 21 consecutive sellouts, a number that is expected to reach 27 after the 2015 season.
• For a second-straight year, K-State finished second nationally by filling up its stadium at a 106.16-percent clip, a number that was just 0.18-percent behind Oregon (106.34).
• K-State averaged 53,081 fans in its 50,000-seat stadium in 2014, a number that increased from the 2013 season (52,887).
• Each of the last seven home openers since Bill Snyder’s return – dubbed the “K-State Family Reunion” – have been sellouts with an average of 51,655 fans in attendance.
• Sixteen of the largest 21 crowds in stadium history have come in the last two-plus years, while every game last season drew at least 52,726 fans.

DRAWING FIRST BLOOD
• Since 1990, K-State is 154-27 (.851) when scoring first.
• Last season, the Cats held a perfect 7-0 record when scoring the game’s first points, while K-State has won 14-straight games when scoring first.
• Dating back to the beginning of 2011, the Wildcats have gone 26-1 when scoring first with their lone blemish being a loss at Oklahoma State in 2013.

HALFWAY HOME
• Since 1990, the Cats have protected a halftime lead in 174 of its 179 (.972) games when leading at the half.
• K-State has won 48 straight games when leading at the half, which is the longest active streak in the country.
• The Wildcats opened 2014 with the third-longest active streak until Oregon saw a 63-game streak end earlier this year and Oklahoma had a 48-game streak end on the final day of the regular season.

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 Cats committed three or fewer penalties six times last season, including zero against No. 5 Auburn.
• K-State has ranked first or second in the conference in fewest penalty yards per game each of the last five years. In addition to last season, the Wildcats led the league in 2013 (45.0) and 2011 (35.8), while they ranked second in 2012 (31.0) and 2010 (43.7).

OFFENSIVE NOTES
THIRD-DOWN SUCCESS

• Kansas State has been efficient on third downs over the last three years as the Cats are one of only four teams nationally to rank in the top 25 in third-down conversions since 2012, joining Alabama, Baylor and Marshall.
• During that span, K-State has converted 243-of-506 (.481) of its third downs.
• K-State ranked 25th nationally and second in the Big 12 last year with a 45.9-percent conversion rate (79-of-172).
• The Cats were especially good in the fourth quarter, converting 24-of-44 (.545) of their attempts – and were 2-of-3 in the fourth quarter last week – while they put themselves in a good position in earlier downs last year as they went 55-of-95 (.579) when needing six or fewer yards.

RED ZONE ALERT
• Kansas State has been one of the best red zone teams over the past few years and 2014 was no exception.
• K-State was successful on 56-of-62 red zone chances in 2014, including a streak of 12 straight to open the year.
• Since the 2011 season, the Wildcats have scored 217 times in 246 trips (.885) to the red zone. Of those 217 scores, 162 have been touchdowns.
• In their 39 wins over the last four-plus seasons, the Cats are 177-for-195 (.909) in red zone chances with 130 touchdowns, while four of their non-scoring trips have come via kneel downs to close out victories.
• K-State was a perfect 37-for-37 on scoring in the red zone in their first seven wins of 2014 and was 4-for-5 in the 2015 season opener.

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT
• Last season, Kansas State finished in the top six in school history in both total offensive yards (4th; 5,481) yards and scoring (6th; 465 points).
• The Wildcats ranked sixth in the Big 12 in yards and fourth in scoring a year ago.
• Much of the production was thanks to the single-season record holder for passing and total offense in Jake Waters, as well as a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton.
• K-State will need to replace those dynamic playmakers, but will be able to rebuild around an experienced line.

OFFENSIVE LINE RETURNS EXPERIENCE
• Kansas State returns a large majority of its offensive line from last season as returning players account for 78.5-percent of the total starts in 2014.
• Three 13-game starters return in left tackle Cody Whitehair, left guard Boston Stiverson and right tackle Matt Kleinsorge in addition to a 12-game starter at right guard in Luke Hayes.
• Although experience litters the line, K-State must replace a four-year all-conference center in B.J. Finney.

QUARTERBACK COMPETITION
• Entering fall camp, four players were vying for the starting quarterback spot. Sophomore Jesse Ertz was the week-one starter against South Dakota, becoming the first underclassman (Fr. or So.) under head coach Bill Snyder to start a season opener since Dylan Meier in 2004 and the first overall since Collin Klein in 2010.
• Junior Joe Hubener ended up playing a majority of the game against USD as he looks to earn his first starting nod at quarterback at any level of football after playing multiple positions, but primarily wide receiver, in high school.
• True freshman Alex Delton also played in the season opener against South Dakota, becoming just the second true freshman to play quarterback under Snyder, while he is trying to become the first true freshman under Snyder to earn a start at quarterback.

DEEP AT WIDE RECEIVER
• Similar to the quarterback position, K-State has multiple players at wide receiver but a few must step up after losing all-time leading receiver Tyler Lockett and another 1,000-yard receiver in Curry Sexton.
• With the departure of Lockett and Sexton, only 18.7-percent of last year’s receiving yards and 2-of-11 touchdowns catches from the position group returned in 2015. First in line to lead the group are senior Kody Cook and junior Deante Burton, who combined for five receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown last Saturday.
• Senior Kyle Klein, who had five catches for 59 yards in 2013, has returned to full strength after missing all of 2014 with an injury and added two catches last Saturday.
• Another player to keep an eye on is redshirt freshman Dominique Heath. Heath shined during the 2015 spring game with 350 return yards, but he led the Wildcats with three receptions for 54 yards against USD.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
SHUTOUT VICTORY

• K-State’s shutout win over South Dakota in the season opener was the third for the Wildcats since Bill Snyder returned to the sidelines in 2009 and also was the first shutout in a season opener since 1999.
• It also marked the 22nd blanking of an opponent for a Snyder-coached team during his tenure, which includes three-straight shutouts in 1995.

OUT OF THE GATE
• K-State was able to get off to a quick start to games last season as it gave up just three touchdowns on its opponents first drive, while the Wildcats scored six touchdowns and two field goals on their first drives of the game.
• In fact, of the 13 game-opening drives, four resulted in three-and-outs for the opposition.
• The Wildcats were equally as impressive to open the second half by allowing just three touchdowns in to open the third quarter, two of which came on the road against top-15 teams Oklahoma and TCU.

TOUGH AGAINST THE RUN

• Dating back to 2011, K-State has yielded 131.0 rushing yards per game (over 53 games), which includes an average of 140.3 yards in 2014 and just 61 last week.
• The Wildcats ranked 33rd nationally in rushing defense last year, while they allowed only 17 rushing scores to tie for 31st nationally.
• Since 2011, K-State has held 21 of its 53 opponents to under 100 yards, including four foes in 2014 – Stephen F. Austin (69 yards), UTEP (59), Texas (90) and KU (58) - and South Dakota in the 2015 opener.

SOLID D RETURNING FROM 2014
• Against high-powered offenses in the Big 12, the K-State defense proved to be one of the best in the league a year ago and look poised for another solid year with six starters – including three in the secondary – returning.
• The Wildcats ranked second in scoring defense (23.2 pts/gm) and third in total defense (369.3 yds/gm) overall, but was even better in conference play by ranking first (21.9 pts/gm) and second (380.1 yds/gm), respectively.
• K-State held No. 5 Auburn to 359 total yards, which included just 128 rushing yards and a 2.8-yard per carry average as the Tigers had averaged more than 300 yards on the ground per game entering the contest.
• The Cats held Texas to just 196 total yards, marking the fewest yards surrendered in a conference game since the 2003 Iowa State matchup (140 yards).
• After surrendering 128 yards to Oklahoma State on the first two drives of the game, K-State held the Cowboys to just 133 total yards the rest of the game (2.4 per play) including a total of 48 in the second half (2.0 per play).
• K-State also surrendered just 14 combined points vs. Texas and Oklahoma State (only one offensive score), marking the fewest points yielded by the Wildcats in Big 12 play in a two-game stretch since shutting out Iowa State and giving up nine to Nebraska in 2003.

EXPERIENCE IN THE BACKFIELD
• The defensive backfield, led by safety Dante Barnett and cornerbacks Morgan Burns and Danzel McDaniel, is the most experienced unit on the team entering 2015.
• Each player made at least 12 starts in 2014 – including 13-game starters in Barnett and McDaniel – and combined for seven picks and 25 total passes defended.
• This year marks the first time since 1999 that three defensive backs return after making at least 12 starts the year prior.
• The 1999 group of Lamar Chapman (13 starts), Jarrod Cooper (13) and Dyshod Carter (12) led a defense that tied the school record for interceptions (21) and set the school record for interception-return touchdowns (5), a mark that was later tied by the 2002 squad.

PICK ME
• Over the last 34 contests K-State has recorded multiple interceptions in a game, the Wildcats hold a 29-5 record.
• The Wildcats are a perfect 9-0 over the last two seasons when recording two or more picks, including a 5-0 mark in 2014 (TTU, OU, OSU, WVU, KU).
• Kansas State has notched at least one interception in 15 of the last 21 games.
• The Wildcats’ top interception man entering 2015 is Dante Barnett with seven in his career as he needs three more to enter the school’s career top-10 list. Morgan Burns recorded three, including two against Texas Tech, in his first year as a starting cornerback.

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
• K-State has recorded three-straight seasons with 70-plus tackles for loss, recording 75 in 2012, 71 in 2013 and 73 in 2014.
• It is the first time since 2005-07 that the Wildcats’ have had three-straight seasons with 70 or more TFLs.
• Ryan Mueller led the team with 11.5 tackles for loss, while the leading returners in that department are defensive end Jordan Willis with 7.5 and defensive back Danzel McDaniel with 5.0.
• K-State recorded four games with seven or more stops behind the line in 2014 with 10 against OSU, nine vs. SFA, eight at WVU and seven at TCU.
• Davis Clark led the Cats with 2.0 TFLs in this year’s opener, while Travis Britz, Marquel Bryant and Tanner Wood each had 1.0.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
CATS TOPS IN NON-OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS

• The Wildcats are the nation’s best in non-offensive touchdowns over the last 15-plus seasons as they have 97 since 1999.
• Since 1990, K-State is 53-16 when scoring on special teams and 19-1 when scoring on special teams and defense, including a 17-0 mark under Bill Snyder.
• Tyler Lockett had a 58-yard punt return for a score against UTEP last season, which was the first non-offensive score for the Cats in 2014 and also Lockett’s first career punt return score.
• Danzel McDaniel added a pick-six at Oklahoma for the Cats’ second non-offensive score of the year, while Morgan Burns returned a kickoff 86 yards vs. Oklahoma State and opened the 2015 season with a 100-yard kick return.

KICK RETURN STREAK
• Kansas State has returned a kickoff for a touchdown in each of the last 11 seasons, which is the longest streak in the nation, following Morgan Burns’ 100-yard return in the season opener.
• Auburn is second on the list by doing so six-straight seasons, while Northern Illinois and Florida are tied for third with five apiece.
• Burns kept the streak alive last year with an 86-yard return score against Oklahoma State.
• Since head coach Bill Snyder’s return in 2009, K-State has returned 13 kickoffs for touchdowns as opposed to only four in his first tenure, which lasted 17 years.