Opportunity Awaits K-State

Tonight's game between the Wildcats and the Horned Frogs will be perhaps one of the biggest of the 2014 college football season. Aired nationally on FOX, kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., at TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
The magnitude and the hype surrounding K-State's game tonight is no secret - the buzz is everywhere from the streets of the Little Apple to the sets of nearly every major sports network in the nation.
However, when it comes to head coach Bill Snyder, tonight's game is no different than any other game on his schedule. He puts the hype and the talk aside, and he looks at every game exactly the same. 
"I am just worried about how we are prepared for this upcoming ballgame," said Snyder. "I think we are making progress; I think we are improving. There are a lot of things that we still have to get corrected going into the TCU ballgame. We all know the quality of TCU's football team, players and coaches. How well prepared we are today is what is important to me."
TCU will be returning home after a close 31-30 victory at West Virginia last weekend, while the K-State, coming off of a 48-14 win over Oklahoma State, will play its first road competition since its 31-30 win over Oklahoma on Oct. 18.
"Every road win, especially in the Big 12, it's tough to come by," said senior linebacker Jonathan Truman. "The other two (road wins) that we have had this season were tough to come by, but it gives us a little more experience on the road in a hostile environment. I know TCU will probably be rocking, too. It's going to be a fun environment."
Though Truman fully expects a tough environment, he also knows, environment aside, it is going to be a dogfight on the field. K-State enters the game boasting the Big 12's toughest defense while TCU will step on the field with the league's best offense.
"TCU is a very, very talented offense, and the rest of their team is as well, but obviously, as a defensive player looking at their offense, they're going to throw some good stuff at us," continued Truman. "It's going to be a great challenge for us."
A dynamic offense that posted a school-record 82 points in its 55-point win over Texas Tech just two weeks ago, the Horned Frogs rank second in the nation in scoring offense (averaging 48.0 points per game), and third in the nation in total offense (averaging 550.0 yards per game).
TCU's explosive offense is led by quarterback Trevone Boykin. One of college football's most dynamic players this season, Boykin leads the Big 12 as he enters tonight's game averaging 361.9 yards per game in total offense and has accounted for 26 touchdowns. 
"Boykin is the kind of athlete that will hurt you on his feet as well (as through the air)," said junior defensive lineman Travis Britz. "We're really going to have to contain him, get in his face and force some bad throws. Hopefully that will create some turnovers."
While the TCU offense has proved itself as a talented bunch, the K-State defense poses its own threats.
The Wildcat defense enters tonight's game ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in total defense (No. 16 nationally) holding opponents to an average of just 321.1 total yards per game. In its win over Oklahoma State last week, K-State held the Cowboys to just 48 total yards in the second half. The group has proven itself a tough, gritty unit when it steps on the field, and according to the Wildcats, fans should expect nothing less tonight. 
"As a defense, what we've said all year going into a game is that if we can keep them to zero points, we'll win. It doesn't matter how many points our offense puts up, if we can keep them to zero, we're going to win the game," said sophomore linebacker Will Davis. "We've kind of taken that mindset throughout this season, and come this Saturday against TCU, we know they're an explosive offensive team, we' know they're very talented. So it's going to be a tough challenge, but we'll have the right mindset. We'll be ready."
Along with the defense's solid performance, the K-State offense is led by Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist Jake Waters. Waters is averaging 234.8 yards in the air and 50.5 yards on the ground, has not thrown an interception in five games and leads the Big 12 in pass efficiency (156.2).
In the Wildcats' past two contests, senior wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton have combined for 27 catches, 394 yards and two touchdowns. Sexton hauled in nine receptions for a career-high 159 yards last weekend while the weekend before, Lockett moved to No. 1 in school history in career 100-yard games (12) after totaling 103 yards on eight receptions against Texas. 
On both sides of the ball, K-State will bring weapons to the field tonight. The team has proven it has what it takes; now it has to go out there and do it again. 
This year's disciplined Wildcat team has an opportunity to show the Big 12 and the nation exactly what it is made of.
The opportunity is K-State's for the taking - it's now up to the Wildcats to continue doing what they've proven they can do.
"I think this whole team is accepting the challenge," said junior defensive back Morgan Burns. "I don't think we're nervous about it. Up to this point, I think we've played some really great teams. Texas and Oklahoma State, their record may not be as good as the teams that we're about to play, but those are still great teams who have had a lot of success in the past. I'm excited for this stretch, this challenge and the opportunity we have to do something really special."

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.