SE: After a Break, It's Kent State Time

Collin Klein

Sept. 17, 2011

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By Mark Janssen

Bill Snyder said last week that there were enough things to work on from the opening 10-7 win over Eastern Kentucky that maybe the early bye week of last week came at a good time.

On defense, Jordan Voelker said of the timing of the early break in the action, “I think there were some much needed changes, so it did come at a good time. You would usually like it to come later in the season when you might have nagging injuries, but I think that it was good to have it now so you can work on things from the first game.”

Voelker went on to say that the focus of the week on defense was better tackling heading into tonight’s 6:10 kickoff against 0-2 Kent State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The game, which is a sell-out, will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

Since the Pinstripe Bowl of last year, Snyder has said that there has been a constant mentality of having to improve on the defensive side of the ball with the players, and added, “I concur with that.” He added, “I appreciate the progress that they have made. They enjoyed playing well in the first ballgame, and I would like to think they have utilized that performance as motivation for the upcoming games.”    

After holding Eastern Kentucky to just seven points, seven first downs, 10 rushing yards and 129 total yards, Snyder said, “It shows that we’re capable of playing fast and capable of being an aggressive defensive football team. Can we continue to improve and get ourselves better? I feel the motivation is there to do that.”

The same is also true on offense where K-State had to rally late to get to 10 fourth quarter points and a total of 303 yards.

To those numbers quarterback Collin Klein said, “It is a game of inches. Across the board we made so many little errors and we were coordinated enough to spread it out over the entire game. One little thing here, one little thing there changed the layout of the ballgame. It is never as good as it seems, and it is never as bad as it seems. We just have to keep building, and keep fighting.”

For the record, Snyder-coached teams are 11-5 in games after a bye week. The most recent such game was last year when K-State lost to Nebraska, 48-13, while the most recent win after a break-week was in 2005 over North Texas, 54-7.

Did You Know?: K-State opened the season with a three-point 10-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky.

During the Bill Snyder era, the Wildcats are 31-33-1 in games decided by seven points or less.

That’s 4-1 in one-point games; 2-6 in two-point games; 5-7 in three-point games; 7-6 in four-point games; 2-3 in five-point games; 4-0 in six-point games; and, 7-5 in seven-point games plus one tie game with Colorado in 1993.

So Far: K-State is 1-0 with its 10-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky. Kent State is 0-2 having lost to Alabama, 48-7, and Louisiana, 20-12.

No. 1 vs. No. 119: Statistics mean little at this point, but K-State’s rush defense of allowing 10 yards per game ranks No. 1 in the nation, while Kent State is No. 119 in the country in rushing the football after games of negative-9 yards on 23 carries at Alabama, and 72 yards on 34 carries against Louisiana. For the season, Kent State is averaging 1.1 yards per rushing attempt and 31.5 yards per game.

Meet Kent State: This is the first meeting between the two schools… the school asks folks to refer to them as “Kent State” or “KSU”, but not “Kent.”… the Golden Flashes are located in Kent, Ohio, and are a member of the East Division of the Mid-America Conference (MAC) … Darrell Hazell is Kent State’s first-year coach… current NFL players and alumni of Kent State include Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers and Josh Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns.

Puetz Gets Start: The well-traveled Nick Puetz will get his first K-State start tonight at left guard. The 6-4, 278-pound junior played his prep ball in Salina, played two seasons at Coffeyville Community College, transferred to Wyoming where he only took part in spring ball in 2010, and then transferred to K-State.

On getting his first start Puetz said, “I’m pretty excited. I have been thinking about this day probably since I was about eight years old. I do not know what to expect. I am a little nervous, but I am sure that is pretty normal. I am looking forward to helping my team in any way I can.”  

Players to Watch
Kansas State:
• No. 33 John Hubert, No. 29 Angelo Pease and No. 8 Bryce Brown will continue to be the rotation at running back.
• No. 39 Jonathan Truman, a freshman, could see extra snaps at outside linebacker with Emmanuel Lamur nicked up with an injury. Lamur, however, is expected to start.
• No. 66 B.J. Finney, No. 77 Colten Freeze and No. 50 Nick Puetz will continue to be under the watchful eyes of the coaches in the middle of the offensive line.

Kent State:
• No. 18 Sam Kirkland has scored TDs four different ways in his Kent State career – by reverse rush, a pass, recovering a blocked punt, and has caught a TD pass.
• No. 55 Chris Anzevino has a streak of 37 consecutive starts at center dating back to his freshman year.
• No. 8 Calvin Tiggle scored 10 tackles in the opener, and added four more this past week from his free safety position.

Next Week: Kansas State travels to Miami to face the Hurricanes. The start time has not been announced.

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