College Sports

K-State’s Snyder hopes his players ignore rankings, but he knows better

Don’t count Kansas State among those who believe the Wildcats are slightly under-appreciated heading into a showdown of top-10 teams with TCU this week.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder is hoping his team has no idea what the opinion is of the various voting committees. But he also knows better.

“It would be uneventful for me to tell them don’t pay attention,” said Snyder, during Monday’s Big 12 coaches conference call. “They virtually have access to everything through social media.

“My advice is to use it in the appropriate way. Those [polls] have no bearing on the outcome of the season. I’m proud of what they’ve achieved up to this time, but that’s all in the past.”

Kansas State, ranked ninth in the College Football Playoff’s initial rankings last week, and TCU, ranked No. 7, meet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The experienced Wildcats are coming off a 48-14 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Snyder praised his team as “committed to the discipline and focus it takes to play on the road.”

The Wildcats are atop the Big 12 with a 5-0 record. They’ve lost only once this season, to No. 3 Auburn in a close game.

“This is a very mature team,” Oklahoma coach Mike Gundy said of Kansas State. “They’re a really good football team. In my opinion, on a neutral site they could play with anybody in the country.”

This week, Gundy said, “is a coin toss.”

Untested Testaverde

Texas Tech was forced to turn to the son of Vinny Testaverde, the former Heisman Trophy winner and 21-year NFL pro, at quarterback in a loss to Texas on Saturday.

Untested walk-on freshman Vincent Testaverde of Tampa, Fla., was forced into action when true freshman Pat Mahomes — playing for the injured Davis Webb — was knocked out with an injury.

Taking his first snaps of his college career, Testaverde was 15-of-26 for 116 yards and an interception.

“I was proud of the way he handled himself,” said Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, who played with the elder Testaverde at New England in 2006. “To come out here and take care of the football for the most part, he handled himself well. And he’ll continue to get better.”

Kingsbury, whose team is off this week, remained coy about Webb’s status, declining to even define the injury, saying it was “some sort of lower leg injury.” Mahomes left the Texas game after being hit hard in the second quarter.

Testaverde certainly shares physical characteristics of his father, though he is four inches shorter than dad’s 6-foot-5 frame.

Good Knight

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said to lay off criticism of quarterback Trevor Knight, this week’s Big 12 offensive player of the week after demonstrating his dual-threat capabilities with 376 total offense and six touchdowns in the Sooners’ victory over Iowa State on Saturday.

The sophomore from San Antonio has been criticized for inconsistency while taking his share of blame for the Sooners’ up-and-down season.

Stoops said it wasn’t fair to single out Knight, while pointing to other problem areas, such as receivers’ route running and holes in his protection.

“Too much of the time everybody talks about him,” Stoops said. “His accuracy on third down has been better the last couple of weeks. He’s still young and I think he’s going to continue to improve.”

Said Baylor’s Art Briles, whose team faces Oklahoma on Saturday: “He’s tremendously athletic. It starts with that. He’s a multi-talented guy. He can throw it extremely well and run it well.”


Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram