K-State and Missouri State Meet Tonight

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After cruising to a 34-14 win over San Jose State in the 2007 home opener, Kansas State will look to keep things rolling as it closes out a brief two-game homestand tonight with Missouri State. Kickoff is set for a 6:05 p.m. inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Kansas State used a balance offensive attack, led by quarterback Josh Freeman and running back James Johnson, to roll past San Jose State last Saturday in the home opener. Freeman continues to put up solid numbers through the air as he connected on 25-of-36 passes for a career-high-tying 272 yards and one touchdown. Johnson became the first Wildcat running back in the last three games, dating back to last season, to eclipse 100 yards as he notched 111 on 15 carries with one score. As an offense, the Wildcats tallied 425 yards of total offense, their most since gaining 439 at Colorado last season, and collected 25 first downs en route to the 20-point win. Deon Murphy provided a spark on special teams and on offense with 188 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, one on a 21-yard scamper and another on a 15-yard reception.

Defensively, the Cats held the visiting Spartans to seven points and 293 total yards until a late fourth-quarter touchdown provided the game’s final scoring. The K-State defense has held each of its first two opponents below 300 yards of total offense and also has recorded eight sacks and 18.5 tackles for losses through the first two weeks. The Cats have gotten strong contributions from a number of guys on defense, including Ian Campbell, Rob Jackson, Marcus Watts, Antwon Moore, Justin Roland and Reggie Walker.

The Series
Kansas State and Missouri State will meet for the first time on Saturday.

The Coaches
Kansas State’s Ron Prince is two games into his second season as head coach of the Wildcats after leading the program back to a winning record (7-6) and a bowl game in his debut campaign in 2006. Just the second Wildcat head coach in school history to win seven games during his inaugural season and the first to take his team to a postseason bowl, Prince became only the sixth Big 12 head coach in conference history to guide his program to a bowl berth in a debut campaign.

Terry Allen is in his second season as the head coach of the Missouri State program. Allen, who coached at Kansas from 1997-2001, enters the weekend with a 4-9 record at Missouri State and a 99-68 mark overall as a head coach. After leaving Kansas in 2001, Allen spent the next four seasons as associate head coach at Iowa State where he helped lead the Cyclones to three bowl game appearances. Allen is 1-5 all-time as a head coach against Kansas State, which included an 0-5 mark while at Kansas, with his lone win coming back in 1989, a 10-8 Northern Iowa triumph in Bill Snyder’s first season.

A Look at the Cats
Josh Freeman’s 272 passing yards, James Johnson’s 111 yards rushing and the quick moves of Deon Murphy on special teams and on offense propelled the Wildcats to a 34-14 win last week against San Jose State. Improving its record to 18-0 in home openers since 1990, Kansas State just missed having a 250-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game last week against the Spartans. The Wildcats continue to show they can be a threat through the air and added the ground attack last week as they rushed for 153 total yards. Freeman has sprayed the ball around to nine different receivers in two games, led by Jordy Nelson and Murphy who have combined for 26 catches and 283 yards. Defensively, Kansas State continues to make noise behind the line of scrimmage with 18 tackles for losses and eight sacks, both ranking among the nation’s best, and has held each of its first two opponents under the 300-yard mark.

A Look at Missouri State
The Missouri State Bears will bring the Football Champion Subdivision’s (formerly Div. 1-AA) top-ranked scoring offense to Manhattan this Saturday. The Bears, a member of the Gateway Conference, have opened the season with two big wins over Missouri-Rolla (62-17) and Tennessee-Martin (51-44) and have done so with a powerful rushing attack and a consistent passing game. Missouri State has averaged 320.5 yards rushing a game through two weeks and has six players who are averaging 5.7 yards a carry or better. Gerald Davis has carried the ball the most and has scored five times through the first two games, while quarterback Matt Krapfl has completed 13-of-22 pass attempts for 340 yards and three touchdowns.