K-State Returns Home for Final Non-Conference Test

GAME PREVIEW
SEPT 12, 2 PM

Bill Snyder Family Stadium
Manhattan, KS

NR
LOUISIANA TECH
BULLDOGS
1-1 (0-1 C-USA)

RV/RV
K-STATE
WILDCATS
2-0 (0-0 Big 12)

Following another stellar performance on defense in a 30-3 win at UTSA, Kansas State returns home on Saturday to wrap up non-conference play as Louisiana Tech visits Bill Snyder Family Stadium in a FOX Sports Net-televised matchup.

The game, which kicks off at 2 p.m., will be shown across the nation on FSN with Brendan Burke (play-by-play), former Wildcat great Ben Leber (analyst) and Christian Steckel (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 118, XM channel 202. 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 has opened the season with two wins and a defense that has yielded a total of just three points.
• The shutout in the opener marked the third for the Wildcats since Snyder returned in 2009 and also was the first shutout in a season opener since 1999.
• Last week, the Cats held UTSA to just 229 total yards, including just 72 in the second half. UTSA was coming off a school-record 525 yards the previous week at No. 22 Arizona.
• The last time K-State held two straight opponents to a total of three points was back in 2002 following a 48-3 win over Western Kentucky to open the season and a 64-0 blanking of ULM the next week.
• A 100-yard kickoff return from Morgan Burns to open the 2015 season sparked the Cats in the opener and was believed to be the first return for a score to open a season.

A LOOK AT LOUISIANA TECH
• The Bulldogs enter the game with a 1-1 record and a very prolific offense, averaging 583.5 yards a game including 215.0 on the ground and 368.5 through the air.
• Running back Kenneth Dixon has rushed for 274 yards and three scores through two games, while QB Jeff Driskel has thrown for 631 yards and six scores.

A LOOK AT THE SERIES
• K-State leads the series, 2-1, following a 40-7 win in 2001, a 54-10 win in 2000 and a 31-28 loss in 1988.
• The 2001 game was originally scheduled to be played on Sept. 15, but it was postponed until Nov. 17 due to the terror attacks that year.

NON-CONFERENCE NOTABLES
• Since 1990, K-State has won 71 of its 80 (.888) 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.

FAST STARTS
• K-State is looking to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2012 on Saturday.
• Under Snyder, the Wildcats have started 3-0 a total of 16 times, including a string of 10 straight years from 1991-2000.

SNYDER IN SEPTEMBER
• Fast starts have propelled the Wildcats to winning seasons under Bill Snyder. Since 1992 under Snyder, K-State is a combined 61-7 (.897) 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 19-4 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 as an active coach.

SNYDER AMONG BEST EVER
• Head coach Bill Snyder currently has 189 career victories, which are 150 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 11 wins away 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 24 freshmen or sophomores have seen playing time in the first two weeks.
• Three of the highlights have been RS FR fullback Winston Dimel, who has scored three touchdowns, RS FR Dominique Heath at wide receiver and punt returns and redshirt freshman Dalton Risner starting at center.

CATS CONTINUE CONSECUTIVE SCORING STREAK
• K-State has tallied points in 231 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, 84 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 175 of its 180 (.972) games when leading at the half.
• K-State has won 49 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 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).
• With a young team in 2015, penalties have been a little more frequent as the Cats have committed 17 through the first two weeks.

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 are 4-of-6 in the fourth quarter this season – 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.
• So far this season the Cats are 10-of-11 in red zone scores but have only scored five touchdowns.
• Since the 2011 season, the Wildcats have scored 223 times in 252 trips (.885) to the red zone. Of those 223 scores, 165 have been touchdowns.
• In their 40 wins over the last four-plus seasons, the Cats are 183-for-201 (.910) in red zone chances with 133 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.

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.

HUBENER TAKES REINS
• Junior Joe Hubener started his first-career game at quarterback last week at UTSA and accounted for 301 yards of total offense, including 243 passing yards on only 12 completions.
• Hubener, who started his first game at quarterback since JV football, averaged 20.25 yards per completion last week, the highest average by a K-State quarterback with less than 14 completions since Jonathan Beasley in 1999 (23.92 at Colorado).
• Completing deep passes is nothing new to Hubener as 12 of his 30 career completions (40.0 percent) have gone for 20 or more yards, including eight of 21 completions (38.1 percent) this season.
• True freshman Alex Delton, the primary backup with Hubener now starting, has played in the first two games of the year as he is just the second true freshman to play quarterback under Snyder. He is trying to become the first true freshman under Snyder to earn a start at quarterback.

DEEP AT WIDE RECEIVER
• 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, while 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.
• 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 leads the team six receptions for 79 yards through the first two games.

DAVIS DIVES RIGHT IN
• Another receiver looking to make an impact is senior Andre Davis, who missed the first game of the year but had a banner day at UTSA.
• Davis led the squad with four receptions for 73 yards and just missed hauling in his first career touchdown.
• Entering play last week, Davis only had two catches in his career for 14 yards.

WHITEHAIR VETERAN LEADER
• Offensive lineman Cody Whitehair entered his senior campaign as a team leader with multiple accolades to boot.
• Whitehair, a captain for the 2015 season, is on the watch lists for the Outland and Lombardi trophies, while he was a Preseason All-Big 12 pick by the league’s media.
• A product of Abilene, Kansas, Whitehair also earned Preseason All-America honors from Athlon, while Lindy’s named him the eighth-best offensive tackle in the nation.
• Whitehair has started 40 of his 41 career games, including a current streak of 29-straight.

DIMEL STARTS CAREER STRONG
• K-State has started each game this year with two fullbacks on the field as redshirt freshman Winston Dimel has started alongside Glenn Gronkowski.
• Dimel has three rushing touchdowns in two games this year to tie for the Big 12 lead and tie for 21st nationally.
• Just like Gronkowski, Dimel is also versatile as he hauled in two receptions for 80 yards – including a 53-yarder – last week at UTSA.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
OFF THE BOARD
• K-State has held its first two opponents to just three total points. The last time this occurred was back in 2002 following a 48-3 win over Western Kentucky to open the season and a 64-0 blanking of ULM the next week.
• The last time a Wildcat team held two straight opponents to less than three points was back in 1995 when the Cats recorded three straight shutouts, while the last time it happened in the first two games of a season was back in 1936.

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.

STOUT ON D
• So far this season, the Wildcats rank No. 1 nationally in scoring defense, eighth in rushing defense, 16th in total defense and tops in red zone defense.
• K-State is one of just two schools in the nation to rank in the top 16 nationally in those four categories (Duke).

TOUGH AGAINST THE RUN
• Dating back to 2011, K-State has yielded 129.0 rushing yards per game (over 54 games), which includes an average of 140.3 yards in 2014 and just 49.0 so far in 2015.
• The Wildcats ranked 33rd nationally in rushing defense in 2014, while they are tied for eighth so far this year.
• Since 2011, K-State has held 22 of its 54 opponents to under 100 yards, including four foes in 2014 – Stephen F. Austin (69 yards), UTEP (59), Texas (90) and KU (58) – and both opponents so far in 2015.
• Through two games, the Cats have given up only 98 yards on the ground, the fewest over two games since 2010 (Texas A&M: minus-13, Colorado: 60).

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 22 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.
• 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.
• Travis Britz has 3.0 TFLs this year to tie for 10th in the Big 12, while Davis Clark has 2.5, including 2.0 in his first-career game against South Dakota.

DAVIS HOLDS DOWN THE MIDDLE
• Perhaps one of the most underrated defenders on the team, Will Davis leads the team in tackles this season thanks to a career-high nine stops last week at UTSA.
• Davis, who has started eight career games – including both to open 2015 – also had a big pass breakup in the second quarter at UTSA when the Roadrunners went for it on 4th-and-goal from the three-yard line as UTSA looked to take the lead.

BRITZ BACK IN THE FOLD
• A two-time Honorable Mention All-Big 12 defensive tackle, Travis Britz is looking to bounce back from an injury that cut his junior season short.
• A career 24-game starter, Britz was on pace to set career highs in tackles for loss and sacks before missing the final three games of the 2014 season.
• In addition, Britz was playing his best right before the injury as he had a career-best seven tackles at TCU after three TFLs and two sacks against Oklahoma State.
• Britz has been able to respond quickly at the beginning of his senior year with eight tackles, including a team-high three tackles for loss and two sacks.
• Britz is tied for fourth in the Big 12 in sacks and tied for 10th in tackles for loss.

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.

BIG SHOES TO FILL
• Senior Morgan Burns had to replace a consensus All-American in Tyler Lockett, but he made quick work by returning the season-opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
• It was believed to be the first time K-State returned the first kickoff of the season for a touchdown and the first to start any game since Justin McKinney went 88 yards against Florida Atlantic in 2006.
• Burns, who returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown last year against Oklahoma State, is now tied for third in school history in kickoff-return touchdowns with two, while it was the fifth 100-yard return in school history.
• With a 30.3-yard average over 20 career returns, Burns ranks second in school history in kickoff-return average.

KICKERS READY WHEN NEEDED
• Place kickers Matthew McCrane and Jack Cantele have been interchangeable the last two seasons. Last year, McCrane took over in the fourth game and went on to make 18-of-19 (.947) field goals to lead the nation in field goal percentage.
• His total included a perfect 11-for-11 mark on kicks from 30 yards or longer, as well as a pair from 50-plus yards.
• A native of Brownwood, Texas, McCrane needs currently ranks first in school history in career field-goal percentage (.952) and ranks 10th in career field goals made with 20.
• When McCrane went down with an injury last week at UTSA, K-State didn’t miss a beat as Cantele made all three field-goal attempts and both extra points.
• Cantele moved into a tie for 10th in school history with 53 career extra points, while he is one field goal shy of tying McCrane for 10th.