Big 12 preview: Kansas State still has plenty to prove

Posted Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A
Three storylines

1. Top players return. Quarterback Collin Klein (3,059 total yards, 40 touchdowns in 2011) and all-Big 12 LB Arthur Brown (101 tackles) are back.

2. Where's the biggest hole? The Wildcats are replacing three offensive linemen for the second consecutive year.

3. What can the Wildcats do to improve offensively? Last season, Klein ran the ball (317 carries) more than he threw it (281 pass attempts). The team ranked last in the Big 12 in passing offense, so becoming more balanced might be an area of focus.

Tarrant spotlight

LB Will Davis (Southlake Carroll) Davis, a freshman, had 176 tackles, including 115 solos, for the state champion Dragons in 2011. He was selected the Defensive MVP of the state title game.

Schedule

Date

Opponent

Sept. 1

vs. Missouri State

Sept. 8

vs. Miami

Sept. 15

vs. North Texas

Sept. 22

at Oklahoma

Oct. 6

vs. Kansas

Oct. 13

at Iowa State

Oct. 20

at West Virginia

Oct. 27

vs. Texas Tech

Nov. 3

vs. Oklahoma St.

Nov. 10

at TCU

Nov. 17

at Baylor

Dec. 1

vs. Texas

The Star-Telegram is spotlighting the Big 12 teams according to their preseason ranking.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Kansas State has seen this adversity before.

It was just a year ago that the Wildcats were picked to finish eighth in the Big 12. The season played out quite differently, as KSU rattled off 10 wins and a second-place finish in the conference.

This year, they are in a similar position, picked to finish sixth despite the success of 2011. They will again have to prove they belong among the league's top teams.

"I think you look back at last season and we moved up maybe six slots," coach Bill Snyder said. "I just hope that we can do something similar to that. But for us that's, I don't think, really significant."

With Snyder, the main focus is internally, with the demeanor of his team. He wants to make sure it has the best opportunity to win, and it starts with All-Big 12 senior quarterback Collin Klein.

Klein broke onto the college football scene last season, passing for 1,918 yards and 13 touchdowns with only six interceptions. However, the bulk of his impact was made in the running game, as he carried 317 times for 1,141 yards and a conference-leading 27 touchdowns.

"Collin is a wonderful young person," Snyder said. "He has made tremendous improvement during his time in the program, and it's happened because of the quality of person that Collin is. He's one of those young guys truly committed not just lip service to it, he's truly committed to becoming better every single day of his life in all facets of his life."

Klein, who ranked fifth in the Big 12 in rushing yards in 2011, said he was a pro-style quarterback in high school, and that running the ball so many times last season was different for him. However, he said his main focus is winning games, and if that means carrying the ball 20-plus times, that's what he'll do.

"Last season took on a little bit of a shape of its own to where I'll do whatever we have to do to win," he said. "I ended up running the ball a lot, but it's whatever the team needs at that time, then we'll do it."

Klein said the most important aspect of playing quarterback is leadership, a quality that he learned from his upbringing and has continued to work on in Manhattan. He said the accountability of the veteran players would help drive the Wildcats toward success in 2012.

"If there was one set formula for leadership, someone would be making a ton of money," he said. "Leadership is something that's not quantifiable, it's not physically measurable, other than in the results you see. For me, I think my biggest thing is I truly wanted my teammates to know that I cared."

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
Chicago «109Final | Box
Boston102
Golden State 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-BA, SPSO
New Orleans 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-NO, SPSO
Milwaukee 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: FSN-WI, FSN-DET
Dallas 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: FSN-SW, TSN2
LA Clippers 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Houston TV: NBA TV, FSN-PT, ROOT-SW
Orlando 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Indiana TV: FSN-FL, FSN-IN
New York 11/28 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: MSG, FSN-OK
Sacramento 11/28 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: CSN-CA, FSN-SW
Phoenix 11/28 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: FSN-AZ, Altitude
Memphis 11/28 10:00 PM ET
Portland TV: SPSO, CSN-NW
Minnesota 11/28 10:30 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: FSN-N, TWC SN
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago17Final | Box
Detroit «34Gridiron Replay
Philadelphia «33Final | Box
Dallas10Gridiron Replay
Seattle «19Final | Box
San Francisco3Gridiron Replay
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 28Full Scoreboard
NY Rangers «3Final | Box
Philadelphia0
Chicago32nd Prd 9:00 | Box
Anaheim1TV: NHLN, SN, WGN, FSN-PT
NY Islanders01st Prd 15:09 | Box
Washington0TV: MSG, CSN-DC
Winnipeg 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: TVA Sports 2, TSN3, NESN
Montreal 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: RDS, MSG-BUF
Detroit 11/28 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: FSN-DET, MSG+
Carolina 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: NHLN, FSN-CAR, ROOT-PIT
Vancouver 11/28 7:00 PM ET
Columbus TV: SN-PAC, FSN-OH
Ottawa 11/28 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: RDS2, TSN5, FSN-FL
Edmonton 11/28 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: SN-W, FSN-MW
Minnesota 11/28 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FSN-N+, FSN-SW+
Full Scoreboard