Second-Ranked K-State Travels to TCU for Primetime Battle

Tramaine Thompson

Nov. 5, 2012

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Fresh off a 44-30 win at home over No. 24 Oklahoma State, Kansas State will head back out on the road for consecutive weeks beginning with a primetime matchup at TCU on Saturday. The nationally-televised contest between the 9-0 Wildcats and the 6-3 Horned Frogs is slated for a 6 p.m., kickoff as FOX College Football’s Game of the Week with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Julie Alexandria (sidelines) on the call. Wyatt Thompson will call the action for the K-State Sports Network with Stan Weber providing color analysis and Matt Walters on the sidelines.

The Wildcats are 9-0 overall and 6-0 in Big 12 play for just the third time under Bill Snyder and the first time since 1999. K-State checked in at No. 2 again in this week’s BCS standings, the highest BCS ranking in school history. The Cats are averaging 225 yards per game on the ground on offense, are second nationally in passing efficiency and currently lead the nation in turnover margin at plus-20. K-State is also holding steady as the nation’s least-penalized unit with 31 this year, a figure that ranks tops nationally. Last week against No. 24 Oklahoma State, K-State’s defense forced five turnovers that led to 21 points as the Wildcats held on for a 14-point win. In fact, K-State has scored 111 points off turnovers this year while not yielding a single point to opponents via turnovers. Quarterback Collin Klein turned in yet another terrific game, throwing for 245 yards on 16-of-22 aim and rushing for 64 yards and a score in three quarters. Klein, the current NCAA leader in passing efficiency, continues to lead the team to victory as he is 20-4 in his career as the starting quarterback, including a 14-3 mark in Big 12 play. Helping Klein lead the charge offensively is John Hubert, who has scored 12 touchdowns in nine games after three as the full-time starter a year ago. Hubert ranks second in the Big 12 at 84.4 yards per game, while Klein is third at 77.6 yards per game. The Wildcat defense has been tough all year, giving up just over 18 points per game to rank 21st nationally, while K-State’s rush defense is ninth in the NCAA, yielding just 99.2 yards per game. Senior linebacker Arthur Brown continues to put up All-America numbers as he leads the team with 67 tackles and has two interceptions, including one he returned 37 yards for his first career touchdown against Texas Tech.

K-State will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday to take on a 6-3 TCU team that is coming off a big double-overtime win at No. 23 West Virginia. Led by head coach and K-State graduate Gary Patterson, the Horned Frogs possess one of the nation’s top defenses, while quarterback Trevone Boykin’s dual threat capabilities provide a stiff challenge to opponents. Boykin has thrown for 1,376 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games while also rushing for 280 and two scores. His favorite targets have been receivers Josh Boyce (50 catches for 687 yards and seven touchdowns) and Brandon Carter (30 catches for 471 yards and four scores). On defense, the Horned Frogs rank eighth nationally in rush defense and 25th in total defense heading into Saturday’s game. Joel Hasley leads the squad with 68 tackles, while Devonte Fields has a team-best 8.0 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. Jason Verrett leads the secondary with five interceptions and 12 pass breakups.

K-State fans have a national reputation of travelling in support of their Wildcats, whether it be in the regular season or for bowl games. With the Dallas-Fort Worth area housing one of the largest out-of-state alumni groups in the country, Wildcat Nation will be in full force this weekend. A K-State contingent of 5,000-6,000 is expected to be inside Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday, while thousands of others will be cheering on the Cats outside the stadium and around the city. The K-State Alumni Association is hosting a pregame event prior to Saturday’s primetime game near the stadium beginning at 3 p.m. For more information, visit

Following Kansas State’s 44-30 victory over No. 24 Oklahoma State, the Wildcats will look to start the season 10-0 for just the second time under head coach Bill Snyder. The 1998 squad went 11-0 before falling to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship game. Currently at 9-0, K-State and Alabama are the only two teams to win at least its first seven games over the past two seasons. Under Snyder, K-State has had a total of eight 10-win seasons, including last year’s 10-3 campaign.

K-State has had a terrific start to the 2012 season, currently sitting at 9-0 overall and 6-0 in Big 12 play, but work remains to be done as all three of the Cats’ remaining opponents are either currently ranked or have been ranked at some point this season. Also, K-State’s No. 2 BCS ranking is the highest in school history, while the Cats have joined only Alabama as FBS schools who started both 2011 and 2012 with at least a 7-0 record. In regards to the Big 12 race, K-State holds a one-game lead on second-place Oklahoma but also holds the tiebreaker with the Sooners following the Cats’ win in Norman earlier this season.

The Wildcats are looking to have a November to remember, and under head coach Bill Snyder, the Cats have a track record of successful stretch runs. Since 1991 under Snyder, K-State is 46-16 in the month of November, which includes a stretch of 14 seasons of winning records in the month (1991-2003, 2011) and six seasons with an undefeated final month.

Head coach Bill Snyder picked up the 150th victory of his career in last year’s season opener, joining Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech), Steve Spurrier (South Carolina), Mack Brown (Texas) and Gary Pinkel (Missouri) as active coaches with 150 wins at BCS schools. After guiding K-State from 1989 to 2005, and again over the last three-plus seasons, Snyder is also one of the longest-tenured active coaches in the FBS, ranking fourth among behind Nevada’s Chris Ault (28th), Beamer (26th) and Troy’s Larry Blakeney (22nd). Even more impressive is that Snyder is the lone BCS coach who has served at the same school for at least 20 years and has never held the same position at another school. Snyder currently ranks fourth among all active FBS coaches with 167 wins since 1990, while he is currently ranked ninth in overall wins.

Kansas State’s defense has done a masterful job of keeping its opponent out of the endzone through the first nine weeks of the season. The Wildcats had a string of seven straight quarters of not allowing a touchdown until Miami scored late in K-State’s 52-13 win. In fact, Miami’s touchdown came with 3:51 left in the game on a 17-yard drive and was setup by a 77-yard kickoff return. The last time that a Wildcat defense opened a season with at least seven straight quarters of not allowing a touchdown was back in 2002. The 2002 squad opened the year with eight straight quarters of no touchdowns. Also, in its win over Oklahoma, K-State held the Sooners to just 19 points which were the third-fewest points scored by a Stoops-led team, while the defense held in-state rival KU out of the endzone for the final 43 minutes. So far this season, K-State’s defense has not allowed an offensive score in 18 of 36 quarters, while it has held eight of nine opponents to 24 points or less. In fact, of this week’s top 15 scoring defenses, only K-State, Alabama, Florida, LSU and Notre Dame have held each opponent this year to 30 points or less.

K-State has shown the ability to force turnovers at a high clip in 2012, which was evidenced by the five turnovers the Wildcat defense forced in last week’s win against Oklahoma State. In fact, K-State is currently +20 in turnover margin, which leads the nation, with 24 turnovers forced and just four surrendered this year. To take that nugget a step further, the Wildcats have turned those 24 turnovers into 111 points, while no K-State opponent has scored following a Wildcat turnover this season.

Following a slow start offensively in the season opener against Missouri State, K-State has picked up the pace considerable. Since the fourth quarter of the season opener, K-State has scored 383 points and has outscored its opponents, 383-158, over that period. K-State has reached the 50-point barrier on four occasions, including three times in conference play. The five total 50-points games are the most since 2000, while the Wildcats have not hit the 50-point mark three times in league action since 1998. The Cats have also shown the ability to come out of the locker room on fire as they have outscored their opponents, 229-80, in the second half, including a 105-28 mark in the third quarter. Additionally, K-State has yielded no more than one touchdown in the final 15 minutes of each game this year.

K-State broke open a 16-9 contest with Missouri State by erupting for a school-record 35 fourth-quarter points. While the fourth-quarter point total may have been something new for the Cats, the ability to finish strong is something Bill Snyder teams have done consistently. In K-State’s last 22 games, the Cats have outscored their opponents, 213-134, in the final 15 minutes and also 254-157 closing out the first half of games. In K-State’s last 19 wins, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 199-99, in the final quarter.

Kansas State was on the positive side of the ledger in terms of time of possession in 2011, leading the Big 12 and finishing fourth nationally in that department. The Wildcats held the ball for an average of 33:55 per game. K-State is 17-3 dating back to last season when controlling the clock and possessing the ball more than its opponent, including doing so in seven of nine games so far this season. Ironically, North Texas held the ball for 37:04 in a 35-21 K-State win, marking the first time since 2002 that the Wildcats won a game when their opponent possessed the ball more than 37 minutes. Eastern Illinois had 37:45 of possession back in 2002 in a game that K-State won, 63-13. The Cats got the time of possession back in their favor in the 24-19 win at Oklahoma by controlling the ball for 34:47. At Iowa State, K-State held the ball for 40:54, the most in a game by a Wildcat team since holding the ball for 41:17 in the 1997 Texas A&M game, while it edged Texas Tech in time of possession by holding the ball for 30:34.

Not only has Kansas State been able to possess the ball and sustain long drives over the course of the last two seasons, but the offense has managed to make the most of those opportunities once it has reached the red zone. Of K-State’s last 112 trips inside its opponent’s 20-yard line, the Wildcats have scored on 101 of those trips, with 77 of those being touchdowns. Over the course of the last 19 regular season games, the Wildcats are 93-of-101 in the red zone with 71 touchdowns. Additionally, the Cats are 57-for-63 in red zone chances with 44 touchdowns in their last 12 wins dating back to last season with three of those non-scoring trips coming via a kneel down in the final minutes of a game.

K-State opened the season with 324 yards rushing in its 51-9 win over Missouri State which included 152 by junior running back John Hubert. The 324 rushing yards were the most by a Wildcat team since gaining 373 against North Texas in 2010 and marked the third time since Bill Snyder’s return in 2009 that K-State eclipsed 300 yards on the ground in a game. Through nine games, K-State ranks 18th nationally in rushing, averaging 225 yards per game, while its 33 rushing touchdowns are tied for third nationally. In fact, the Wildcats are out-rushing their opponents by over 1,100 yards and have 27 more rushing scores.

K-State’s biggest improvement on defense over the course of the last two years has come against the run. Dating back to last year, K-State has yielded just 118.2 yards per game on the ground, which includes giving up less than 100 yards to five teams this year - Missouri State (95), Miami (40), Oklahoma (87), West Virginia (88) and Oklahoma State (87). The Cats are currently ranked ninth nationally in rush defense at 99.2 yards per game.

K-State has made tremendous strides at the line of scrimmage in the last eight games. After not collecting a sack and just two tackles for loss in the 2012 season opener, the Wildcats have turned things around and head into this weekend’s game leading the Big 12 with 21 sacks. Against Miami, K-State had five sacks and 10 tackles for loss and then followed that up with three more sacks and 10 tackles for loss against North Texas. The last time a K-State team had back-to-back games with 10.0 or more tackles for loss was back in 2006 against Illinois State (10.0) and Florida Atlantic (12.0). At Oklahoma, K-State recorded two sacks and five tackles for loss, before adding 10 more tackles for loss in the win over KU. After adding four sacks at West Virginia and two vs. Texas Tech, the Cats also lead the Big 12 with 13 in league play.

K-State extended one of the nation’s longest scoring streaks against Oklahoma State as the Wildcats have now tallied points in 199 consecutive games. The 199-game stretch is the eighth-longest in the nation and the longest in the Big 12. The Wildcats have not been kept off the scoreboard since Colorado shut out K-State, 12-0, on Nov. 16, 1996. The streak includes 130 conference games, 72 true road games and 17 neutral-site contests.

A big part of K-State’s success over the past two seasons has been attributed to the discipline and fundamentals that head coach Bill Snyder and his coaching staff have instilled in the program. During the Cats’ 10-3 season, K-State managed to limit penalties (led the Big 12), possess the ball (ranked fourth nationally), limit turnovers (led the Big 12 in fewest turnovers lost with 15), create turnovers (ranked second in the Big 12 in turnover margin) and make the most of their possessions (30 scoring drives of 60-plus yards and led the nation during the regular season converting touchdowns on first and goal-to-go). In 2012, K-State currently leads the Big 12 and is second nationally in fewest penalties (31 total), ranks first in the league and in the NCAA in turnover margin (+20) and also ranks highly in time of possession (32:30).

The rise of K-State football over the last two decades has much to do with the emphasis on special teams. Since 1990, Kansas State is 49-15 when scoring on special teams and 18-1 when scoring on special teams and on defense, including a 16-0 mark under Bill Snyder. And, in non-offensive touchdowns, the Cats have ranked among the nation’s best over the past 14 seasons. Since 1999, the Wildcats lead the nation in non-offensive touchdowns at 87. K-State had five non-offensive touchdowns last season and has six already in 2012. In the 2012 season opener, Tramaine Thompson took a punt and raced 89 yards to the house for a fourth-quarter score before Tyler Lockett’s 96-yard kickoff return against North Texas. Against OU, Jarell Childs scooped up a fumble following a Justin Tuggle sack and fell into the endzone for the Wildcats’ first defensive score this season, while Arthur Brown took a tipped ball to the house for a 37-yard pick-six against Texas Tech. Lockett then took another kickoff 100 yards for a score against Oklahoma State and Allen Chapman recorded his second career pick-six last week.

Along with capacity crowds for the home opener against Missouri State and games against North Texas, KU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, K-State has announced a sellout for the December 1 regular season finale with Texas. The six sellouts announced tie the 1999 season for the most in school history, while K-State will have 14 sellouts since the beginning of Bill Snyder’s second tenure in 2009. K-State had a season-high crowd of 50,766 for the game against the Red Raiders.

Kansas State has been the Big 12 leader in all-sports graduation rate in four of the past five years, and the same holds true specifically for football as the program has also led the conference in graduation rate over the same time frame. Individually, a total of 10 Wildcat players on the 2012 roster have already earned their degrees from K-State. Those 10 players include four community-college transfers and two four-year transfers, while nine the 10 have earned starting roles this season for the Cats. The 10 graduates are Javonta Boyd, Anthony Cantele, Ryan Doerr, Roman Fields, Chris Harper, Collin Klein, Zach McFall, Jarard Milo, Justin Tuggle and Braden Wilson.

Although football is the ultimate team sport, there is a lot to be said about the leadership of a starting quarterback coinciding with team victories. Some of the great K-State teams of the past have had great leadership at signal caller, and this year’s squad is no different. Collin Klein has the fourth-most wins as a starting quarterback under head coach Bill Snyder despite just 24 starts under center, while he is third in winning percentage among the top five wins leaders. Even more impressive is the list of quarterbacks he joins in 1998 Heisman Trophy runner-up Michael Bishop and multi- all-conference honorees Ell Roberson, Jonathan Beasley and Chad May.

Collin Klein, the FBS quarterback record holder for rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons, has accounted for 19 touchdowns over the last five games, including at least two rushing scores in four of those contests. Included in that stretch was at No. 13 West Virginia when he accounted for seven touchdowns (four rushes) to break the school record for single-game touchdown responsibility. In the process, Klein also broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns, which now stands at 50 after two rushing scores against 14th-ranked Texas Tech and No. 24 Oklahoma State. Klein, who is tops among quarterbacks and second nationally among all active players in rushing touchdowns, is tied for fourth in Big 12 history and is second among quarterbacks in career rushing scores.

With his stellar 2011 campaign, Collin Klein can lay claim to a feat that had only been accomplished by former Heisman Trophy winners. The Wildcat signal caller is one of just four players from all BCS AQ schools in the BCS era to record 20 rushing touchdowns and 10 passing scores the same season. The other three were Cam Newton (Auburn, 2010), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007) and Eric Crouch (Nebraska, 2000). Klein could do something that none of the above could do as he needs three more rushing touchdowns to accomplish the feat twice in a career.

Kansas State has shown a penchant for opening up the passing game more in 2012 compared to last year and that has resulted in more big plays for the Wildcats. Klein has already tossed 35 passes for 20 or more yards in nine games (3.9 per game) after just 26 over the 13-game slate last season (2.0 per game).  In addition, the Wildcats did not complete a pass play for 35 yards or greater until week six last year, while they already have 12 this year, including a season-long 58-yarder against Miami in week two.

Thanks to a 71.1-percent completion percentage and 174.39 passing efficiency this season, teams must be on the lookout for Collin Klein in the passing game. Klein currently ranks seventh in school history with 306 career completions, but the Wildcat signal caller is tops among the group in completion percentage. Klein’s pass efficiency rating this season leads the nation and is 14.8 points better than the K-State record of 159.95 (Michael Bishop, 1998), while his career total of 145.44 is currently third in school history.

After missing out on a 1,000-yard season by 30 yards last season, John Hubert has taken it upon himself to make sure he doesn’t miss out in 2012. The junior has 760 yards in nine games to rank second in the Big 12. His top rushing game this season was 152 yards in the season opener against Missouri State. That contest featured a 95-yard scamper, which was the second-longest in school history, the longest in Bill Snyder Family Stadium history and the longest in the Big 12 this season. In addition to his yards, Hubert has 12 rushing touchdowns this season to rank third in the Big 12 after three in 13 games as a starter last season.

Tyler Lockett may have taken teams by surprise last season with his kickoff-return abilities, but the speedy sophomore continues to excel as he ranks third nationally with a 34.5-yard average this year. Even more impressive is that he currently holds the Big 12 career average return record at 34.9 yards, a mark that is top nationally among active players. If he keeps on his current pace, he will end the season holding the Big 12 record, a mark currently held by former Wildcat Brandon Banks (28.5 yards). Lockett notched his fourth career kickoff-return score against Oklahoma State, the second of 100 yards in his career. The Tulsa, Okla., product is now tied for second nationally among active players and in Big 12 history with his four touchdowns, while he is one away from the school and Big 12 mark held by Banks.

Senior defensive back Allen Chapman turned in the best game of his career against Oklahoma State as he came away with three interceptions. He became the sixth player in school history with at least three picks in a game, while he was the first since Chris Canty against Akron in 1995. Additionally, he is one of just six players nationally, and the only one from the Big 12, with three interceptions in a single game. His first interception was returned 29 yards for a touchdown, which was the second pick-six of his career - both coming against the Cowboys. Chapman, who also made five tackles and batted away two passes, earned Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors and was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

Arthur Brown led the Wildcats in tackles last season with 101 and is tops again this year with 67, but the Wichita, Kan., product might have more significance in his interceptions despite the fact that his career total equals three. Last year, Brown became the first player to intercept eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, breaking a streak of 110 attempts without a pick and setting up the game-winning field goal. Ironically, Brown, who is nicknamed “The Judge” by his teammates, became the first player to pick off West Virginia’s Geno Smith after a NCAA record of 273 attempts without an interception this year. He put his interception streak at two games by taking a tipped pass 37 yards for a touchdown vs. Texas Tech.

One of the main reasons K-State leads the Big 12 in sacks has to do with the continued improvement of Meshak Williams and Adam Davis as the duo ranks third (6.5) and fourth (5.0) in the conference, respectively. Williams has 13.5 in his career to put him within a half sack of moving into K-State’s career top 10. He totaled 2.5 sacks at No. 13 West Virginia, the top mark in the Big 12 this year. Davis and Williams also rank highly in the league in TFLs at fourth (9.5) and seventh (7.5), respectively.

When the K-State defensive line is able to apply pressure, defensive back Ty Zimmerman has usually been the benefactor as he had interceptions in a four-game stretch. Zimmerman, who ranks third in the Big 12, became the first Wildcat since at least 1989 to record interceptions in four-straight games, capped by a pick in the West Virginia game. Zimmerman also sits highly in the national rankings as he is tied for 12th this season, while his nine career interceptions are 17th nationally among active players.