Tuesdays in Vanier | Big 12 Play Resumes

Just like every Tuesday, head coach Bill Snyder and select players addressed the media yesterday afternoon about this weekend's upcoming game and reflected back on last weekend's 58-28 win over UTEP. Though he was pleased with his team's effort against the Miners, Snyder said there are still many things the Wildcats have to improve and work on before Texas Tech comes to town.
Here is a glance at a few of this week's highlights.
Every Game Matters
This year, the Big 12's mantra is "One True Champion." It is the only league that does not have a championship game to determine the winner; instead everybody plays everybody, thus making every game of league play equally important. 
However, Big 12 Conference game or not, Snyder said his preparation remains the same.
"Nothing changes for us," Snyder said when asked about preparing for Big 12 Conference play. "We take it a day at a time, a snap at a time, a game at a time. All of them (from here on out) are conference games, so they'll all mean a significant amount, but as I've said before, this will be the most important game that we will play."
Until next week, that is. Then, according to Snyder's philosophy, that will be the most important game the Wildcats play. A week at a time, a day at a time, and day-in-and-day-out his philosophy remains the same.
"But does preparing for conference play add extra excitement?" he was asked again.
"We're already one game in; we've already played one," Snyder replied, hinting to K-State's 32-28 win over Iowa State three weekends ago. "I don't think it changes or becomes any more intense. I don't change how I coach. (Every game) is important; I try to treat them that way so you don't have the ups and downs."
Looking ahead at Texas Tech, unlike the Wildcats' last two opponents (No. 5 Auburn and UTEP) who were dominant in the run game, the Red Raiders' offense is one that poses its greatest threat through the air. Led by two talented veteran wide receivers, Texas Tech is paced by Jakeem Grant, who ranks fourth in the Big 12 with an average of 95.8 receiving yards per game, and Bradley Marquez, who is tied for second in the nation with six receiving touchdowns.
"They present a problem for anybody," Snyder said of the Red Raiders' talented wide receiving duo. "They're talented, talented young guys. They had a wealth of receptions last year, and this year, they can run. They can do a lot of things. They're just very, very fine receivers. Any time there's someone really good, it's a matchup issue no matter how good the other guy is."
Dating back to 2000, the Red Raiders lead the nation in receiving as its receivers have caught 548 passes for a total of 69,060 passing yards. While those stats are not to be taken lightly, Snyder said this year he believes Texas Tech could pose a threat in the running game as well. 
"Their emphasis is a little bit more broad-based, but I think anybody would tell you that you still have to defend against the run," Snyder said. "You can't put all your eggs in one basket. Texas Tech runs the ball more than people would lead you to believe. They're 60-40, pass to run; that's a pretty decent balance when you look at it that way."
Jones Impresses with Eight Rushing Touchdowns
K-State sophomore running back Charles Jones has been an explosive addition to the K-State offense so far this season.
This season marks Jones' first year seeing playing time and, so far, he has proven himself a force to be reckoned with. 
"Every time he gets it we all believe he can make a play because he's shown it, especially down on the goal line. He has a knack to get in there," said quarterback Jake Waters. "That's what we need. We were struggling to get in there for a couple weeks, but he got a bunch of red zone opportunities and he's finished them. We have all the confidence in the world in Charles."
Jones currently leads the Big 12 and is fourth in the nation in rushing touchdowns with a total of eight in K-State's first four games. Though he has split possessions each game with senior running back DeMarcus Robinson, Jones is often called into the game during red zone possessions or when K-State operates from the Wildcat formation.
"I take a lot of pride in it," said Jones on his ability to enter the game when K-State needs a score. "Last week we put a lot of emphasis on touchdowns, and I think that will be our emphasis throughout the year. So I take a lot of pride in that. I like to score for the team to help win the games."
Jones' first career touchdown came in K-State's 55-16 win over Stephen F. Austin. It was monumental for the young running back, however, he explained that excited feeling just never goes away - even eight touchdowns later.
"I get really excited," Jones said with a laugh when describing his emotions upon crossing the goal line. "I'm really excited for my team and I want to celebrate with them. To put seven points on the board, that's exciting. My first touchdown, I was really elated, I had a lot of emotions on the field, and I feel like every time I cross the goal line those same emotions come out. I'm really happy every time."
So far this season, Jones has recorded a total of 228 rushing yards on 44 carries (5.2 yards per carry). Though Jones credits the consistency of the offensive line to his success and says they "make my job easier," moving forward, the offensive line has a lot of confidence in Jones as well.
"Charles is a great running back," said offensive lineman Boston Stiverson. "He's young, and he's done a great job for us so far. Charles and (Robinson), they're both great running backs, and when they put (Jones) in the Wildcat, we want to score the first carry he gets. He definitely has done a good job carrying the ball for us."
Former Wildcats Jordy Nelson and Darren Sproles shined this week in the NFL. For more on their success during week four of the NFL season and more on the 11 other Wildcats playing professionally in the NFL, click here.
Just like every week, K-State fans can visit www.kstatesports.com/gameday for game notes, ticket information, weather forecasts and more on K-State's upcoming game.
For his efforts in the return game against UTEP last weekend, K-State wide receiver Tyler Lockett was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week. For more on Lockett and the weekly award, click here.

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