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Wildcats host Colorado for Homecoming


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

2005 Kansas State Football

 

Game No. 8

Colorado at Kansas State

Saturday, Oct. 29, 2005 1:10 p.m. (CT)

Manhattan, Kan. KSU Stadium (50,000) FieldTurf

 

On the Air

Radio K-State Sports Network

Wyatt Thompson, play-by-play

Stan Weber, color

Matt Walters, sidelines

 

Television None

 

Cats Host BUFFS For Homecoming

Kansas State closes out its brief two-game home stand Saturday at 1:10 p.m., when the Wildcats host Big 12 North Division co-leader Colorado at KSU Stadium.

 

The meeting with the Buffaloes is the first of a four-game season-ending stretch run against the Big 12 North for Kansas State. The game will serve as the centerpiece of K-State’s annual Homecoming festivities as alumni from around the globe return to Manhattan.

 

The Wildcats will be out to snap a two-game losing streak after their valiant come-back bid vs. Texas A&M came up just short in a 30-28 loss to the Aggies last week at KSU Stadium. Colorado, on the other hand, has won three of its last four games, and is coming off a 44-13 home victory over Kansas.

 

For the second straight week, there will be no live television for K-State’s game. The Kansas State Sports Information Office will provide a satellite uplink package of highlights from the contest. The coordinates and time of the uplink will be released Monday.

 

The game will air live on radio across the 32-station K-State Sports Network. Wyatt Thompson (PBP) and former Wildcat quarterback Stan Weber (analyst) will call the action, with Matt Walters providing updates from the sidelines.

 

A Quick Look at the Wildcats

After suffering its first home loss of the season, Kansas State will be out to get things back on track this week as the Wildcats enter a crucial stretch of games vs. the Big 12 North. K-State picked up its lone conference victory of the year in its home division with a 12-3 win over Kansas on Oct. 8. Since then, the Wildcats have suffered back-to-back setbacks against the South, including a two-point heartbreaker last week vs. Texas A&M.

 

But despite the losses, Kansas State appears to have found itself a starting quarterback in Allan Evridge. The redshirt freshman south paw has thrown for 549 yards on 37-for-69 passing with five touchdowns in his first two career starts at Texas Tech and at home against Texas A&M. Versus the Aggies, Evridge total 357 yards through the air for the most passing yards by a K-State quarterback since Michael Bishop threw for 441 vs. Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 26, 1998.

 

On defense, the Wildcats are yielding 26.0 points per game to rank just 63rd nationally. But the unit, which has faced a number of short-field assignments, has actually performed much better than that. Of the 182 points the Wildcats have given up this year, 59 (8.4 per game) are a direct result of seven turnovers inside the K-State 35-yard line, a safety and three blocked punts.

 

Welcome Back, Alumni

Under head coach Bill Snyder, homecoming games have traditionally been winning affairs for the Wildcats. In the past 16 seasons, K-State is a sparkling 14-2 in homecoming games, including a run of 14-straight wins between 1990-2003. Texas Tech put a dent in the Cats’ streak last year, knocking off K-State 35-25. It was the first homecoming loss for the Wildcats since Snyder’s first season at Kansas State in 1989. Since K-State’s first homecoming game in 1915, the Wildcats are 27-57-5 with the alumni back on campus. But to give you an indication as to how far the program has come under Snyder, Kansas State was a dismal 5-37-2 in homecoming games from the end of World War II until his arrival in 1989. For information regarding Kansas State Homecoming week activities and events, please visit the K-State Alumni Association website at www.k-state.com.

 

Cats, Buffs left off the tube

Either Kansas State or Colorado has won the Big 12 North Division every year since 2000, with the Wildcats playing the league’s title game in 2000 and 2003 and the Buffaloes representing the North in 2001, 2002 and 2004. However, for the third straight year there will be no live television annual Wildcats and Buffs match-up. Prior to the 2003 season, the Kansas State-Colorado series had been one of the most frequently televised in recent years, airing either regionally or nationally for nine consecutive seasons between 1994 and 2002. Saturday’s game will mark the second straight week the Wildcats will not appear on television. Overall, four of K-State’s seven games this season have been played in front of the cameras, with the Cats appearing on three different networks (ESPN, FSN and ABC).

 

Home Run

Kansas State is 3-1 on the season at home this year and will be out to get back on the winning track this week. Under head coach Bill Snyder, Kansas State has boasted one of the nation’s best home records. In all games since the start of the 1990 season (Snyder’s second in Manhattan), Kansas State is an amazing 86-15-1 (.848) when playing on Wagner Field, including a 43-10-1 (.806) mark in league games (combined Big 8/Big 12). During that stretch, the Wildcats have lost more than once at home in just two seasons - 2001, when K-State went 4-2, and 2004, when the Cats were 3-4. During the Snyder era, K-State has hit the six win mark at home eight times in the last 12 seasons. Kansas State set the school record for home victories in a season with seven four times, doing so as recently as 2003.

 

A definite no-no

Coming off a 30-28 loss to Texas A&M last week, Kansas State finds itself in an unusual position. In the past 15 seasons, the Wildcats have never dropped back-to-back home games on successive weekends in KSU Stadium. K-State has not lost consecutive home games since the 1989 campaign, when the Cats were upended by Missouri (10/20/89) and Kansas (10/28/89) on back-to-back weekends. Ironically, the Kansas game served as K-State’s homecoming game for the 1989 season. Since then, the Wildcats have lost just 15 games at home. However, none of those losses occurred on consecutive weekends.

 

Bouncing-back

Kansas State has made a habit of bouncing back from losses under head coach Bill Snyder. Since the start of the 1995 season, K-State is 19-10 (.655) when coming off a loss - including K-State’s 12-3 win over Kansas earlier this year. Three of those eight setbacks occurred during the 2001 season, with two coming during the 2003 campaign. Last year, the Wildcats were 3-3 in the games following a loss, with bounce-back wins vs. UL-Lafayette, Nebraska and Missouri. This year the Wildcats are 1-1 when coming off a loss.

 

Still in the hunt

With a 4-3 record, Kansas State is nowhere near out of the 2005 bowl hunt. In fact, K-State doesn’t even need to win a road game to be eligible. With two of its final four games at home and needing just two wins to reach the magic six-win mark necessary to qualify for a bowl berth, the Wildcats can get halfway there with a victory over Colorado Saturday. Kansas State wraps up its 2005 regular season at home on Nov. 19 against Missouri.

 

K-State Among the Big 12’s Best

As the Big 12 begins closing the books on the league’s first decade, few teams can claim to have fared better in conference play than Kansas State. With four North Division titles, three championship game appearances, a league title and 52 wins, the Wildcats have plenty to be proud of. In terms of overall success, only Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska have laid claim to more conference victories than K-State, which has won nearly 70 percent of its league games since joining the Big 12.

 

A big part of the Wildcats’s success has been K-State’s ability to win on the road. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas State is tied with Texas for the most Big 12 road victories (not including neutral site games), winning over 60 percent of its games in enemy stadiums. In nine-plus years, the Wildcats are 23-15 when playing on the Big 12 road, winning at least one Big 12 road game each season.

 

Kings of the north

No Big 12 North team has won more inter-division games in the leagues North Division than Kansas State. Heading into Saturday’s game with Big 12 North co-leader Colorado, the Wildcats are 35-11 (.761) vs. division opponents since 1996. Three times K-State has run the table vs. its northern brethren, posting perfect 5-0 marks in 1998, 2000 and 2003. Three other seasons the Cats have won at least four games. The only season Kansas State has had a losing record occurred during last year’s 2-3 run vs. the North. This season, the Wildcats are 1-0 against the North with a 12-3 win over Kansas.

 

More Cats, Buffs Series Stuff

Kansas State and Colorado will be meeting for the 61st time Saturday, when the Wildcats and Buffaloes square off in Manhattan.

The K-State-CU series dates to Nov. 16, 1912, a 14-6 Wildcat victory in the Little Apple.

The Buffaloes lead the all-time series, 42-17-1, however, the two teams have split their last 10 encounters.

The home team has won seven of the last 10 meetings, including three in a row.

Since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, Kansas State has won 5-of-9 games, including three of the four played in KSU Stadium.

Kansas State won the last meeting between the two squads in Manhattan, 49-20, in 2003. The Wildcats’ 49 points were K-State’s most ever against the Buffaloes.

Five of the last seven meetings between K-State and CU have been decided by 10 points or less. The exceptions were a 44-21 victory by the Wildcats in Boulder in 2000 and K-State’s 49-20 win in Manhattan in 2003.

Prior to Bill Snyder’s arrival at K-State, the Buffaloes dominated the series, with the Wildcats winning just 12 of 44 meetings. CU leads the series 10-5-1 since.

 

Getting Connected

Two members of CU’s speed-strength and conditioning program have ties to K-State. Director of speed-strength and conditioning, Greg Finnegan, received his master's in exercise physiology from Kansas State in 1994 and was twice a member of the Dean’s List.  Assistant speed-strength and conditioning coach Sarah Ramey began working on her master’s in kinesiology while a graduate assistant Kansas State.

Kansas State sophomore wide receiver Yamon Figurs and Colorado cornerback Gerett Burl played junior college ball at Garden City Community College in Kansas.

 

Numbers not far off

Kansas State and Colorado may look like two teams heading in different directions on the surface, but a closer look at the numbers shows that the disparity between the Wildcats and Buffaloes is not that far off. On offense, Kansas State ranks 68th nationally in total offense compared to CU’s No. 54 ranking. Defensively, Kansas State ranks 38th in total defense, while Colorado checks in at No. 30. Moreover, rushing yards may be at a premium this week, especially with both teams struggling to move the ball consistently on the ground. K-State enters the game ranked No. 28 in rushing defense, while CU’s unit is one of the best in the nation at No. 5. On offense, both teams are ranked above No. 60 nationally in rushing offense.

 

Last year was a thriller

Though it did not turn out the way may dressed in purple would have liked, last year’s 38-31 thriller in Boulder was certainly one for the ages. With a possible Big 12 North title on the line, Kansas State scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to rally from deficits of 24-10 and 31-24 to tie the game at 31 with just 36 seconds to play. Colorado appeared content to settle for overtime in the waning seconds, but after converting a 3rd-and-long, Joel Klatt hit Ron Monteilh on a 64-yard hail mary with five seconds to play to give the Buffaloes a 38-31 win. The CU victory marked the third time the Buffs had defeated K-State by 10 points or less since 2001.

 

Cats Tough on the Home Turf

Kansas State has clearly played its best in the friendly confines of KSU Stadium so far this season. Through four games, the Wildcats are 3-1 at home this year, including last week’s two-point loss to Texas A&M. In those four games, K-State has outscored the opposition 129-61 (that’s 32 to 15 on average) and held two of its four opponents to single-digit points. On offense, K-State is averaging 407.8 yards per game at KSU Stadium - while allowing just 251.2 to its four opponents - and completing over 60 percent of its pass attempts. The Wildcats have also rushed for over 200 yards in two of their four home games this season.

 

Sunshine Cats

Following Kansas State game this week vs. Colorado, the Wildcats will have played seven of their eight games during the daytime. The Wildcats’ lone night game this season was a 6:10 p.m. start at Oklahoma for a Fox Sports Net national telecast. Heading into the CU game, K-State is 4-2 when playing in the daytime, including a 3-1 ledger at home.

 

October-feast

Kansas State’s prowess in August - 6-0 all time - and September - 42-3 since 1992 - are well documented. However, the Wildcats have also been a solid team in October under head coach Bill Snyder. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, K-State is 24-18 (.571) in October.

 

Scoring Streak

Kansas State extended its consecutive games scoring streak to 111 vs. Texas A&M. The 111-game stretch is a school record and the 12th longest in the nation as the Wildcats have not been kept off the scoreboard since Colorado blanked K-State, 12-0, in 1996. The previous longest streak in school history of 60 games also took place during the Bill Snyder era at Kansas State and occurred between 1991 and 1996. In the Big 12, only Colorado (203 games - sixth longest in the country) and Nebraska (118 games) own longer streaks than the Wildcats.

 

K-State Passing Game Beginning to Heat Up

Kansas State has begun to turn up the heat in the passing game over the past five weeks behind quarterbacks Allan Evridge and Allen Webb. Heading into the North Texas game, the Wildcats ranked 103rd in the nation in passing. Since then, Evridge and Webb have combined to complete 81 of 144 attempts for 1,275 yards and nine scores, for an average of 255.0 yards per game. Kansas State averaged just 143.5 yards per game through the air in its first two outings of the season.

 

Cat QBs Tossing TDs

Kansas State may not be Texas Tech when it comes to the passing game, but the Wildcats have certainly received improved play from the quarterback spot this season. In addition to connecting at an improved percentage, K-State’s quarterbacks are also averaging more yards per completion. Heading into Saturday’s game vs. Colorado, Wildcat quarterbacks have already tossed 13 touchdowns on the season, one more that they did in 11 games last season. The 2005 Wildcats will also move into K-State’s single-season top 10 for touchdown passes with their next TD strike. At its current pace, Kansas State would end the season with 20 touchdown passes, good for the fifth-best mark in school history. The K-State team record for touchdown passes in a season is 27 and was set during the 1995 campaign.

 

One And Done

Kansas State posted its second one-play, 80-yard drive of the season at Texas Tech when Allan Evridge connected with Jordy Nelson on a deep post pattern to put the Wildcats up 13-10 with 2:27 to play in the second quarter. In its season opener vs. Florida International, the Wildcats opened the second half with a one-play, 80-yard drive as Thomas Clayton ripped through the middle then out-ran the Golden Panthers’ secondary for a touchdown. K-State has also unveiled some one-play magic on special teams this year, with three sudden-change touchdowns on special teams.

 

Putting the Special Back in Special Teams

After not scoring a special teams touchdown all of last season, the Wildcats have already hit pay dirt three times on special teams in 2005. Jermaine Moreira got the ball rolling with a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. North Texas. Yamon Figurs was the next Wildcat to get into the act, scooting 98 yards for a TD with a third-quarter kickoff return at Texas Tech. It marked the first time since the 2002 season that the Cats had scored on a kickoff return. Last week, K-State notched its third special teams score when Jordy Nelson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown vs. Texas A&M. Since 1998, K-State has now scored 27 special teams touchdowns, including seven during 2002 alone. That figure stands as the high-water mark over the last eight seasons.

 

 

Record Production

Kansas State rolled up 658 yards vs. North Texas to set the school record for total offensive yards in a game. It marked the first time K-State had been over the 500-yard mark since grinding out 502 in last year’s season opener. The last time K-State totaled over 600 yards occurred during the 1998 campaign, when the Wildcats totaled 607 vs. NE Louisiana (now Louisiana-Monroe). The previous school record for total offense was set on Sept. 27, 1997, when Kansas State amassed 638 yards in a 58-0 win over Bowling Green.

 

WildCat D Better Than Scoring Numbers Indicate

Kansas State’s scoring defense average of 26.0 points per game may not appear overly impressive, but the unit has actually played better than the numbers would indicate. Of the 192 points the Wildcats have given up this year, 59 (8.4 per game) are a direct result of seven turnovers inside the K-State 35-yard line, a safety and a trio of blocked punts, meaning that opponents have needed to drive a grand total of 137 yards to score one third of their points. Overall, 15-of-31 opponent scoring drives this season have traveled less than 50 yards, with three others requiring no drive at all.

 

Long drives not Easy

Kansas State’s defense has been difficult to drive against so far this season. Of the 88 drives opponents have started on their own side of the 50, the Wildcats have yielded points on just 15 of them (17 percent). The 15 scoring drives include 11 touchdowns and four field goals for a total of 89 of the 182 points (48.9 percent) K-State has given up this season.

 

Run Stuff

Kansas State’s run defense enters Saturday’s game ranked No. 28 in the country and is holding opponents to 119.3 rushing yards per game. The Wildcats, who allowed just 100-yard rusher this year (Texas A&M QB Reggie McNeal), have already held 4-of-7 opponents below 100 total yards on the ground this season.

 

Turned Away

In addition to playing with improved spirit, Kansas State’s defense has shown some moxie with its back against the wall. Against Florida International, the Wildcats’ defense thwarted three scoring chances, coming up with a fumble, an interception and a stop on downs inside their own 30-yard line. At Marshall, the K-State defense was even more impressive, forcing two fumbles, an interception, blocking a field goal and forcing two other attempts for a total of just six points on six drives that ended inside the Wildcat 30. Versus Kansas, K-State’s may have been its most impressive. For the game, the Jayhawks penetrated the Wildcat 40-yard line eight times, including five trips inside the 30. However, KU was able to manage just three points for the game as it turned the ball over on downs three times, fumbled twice, had a field goal blocked and was force to punt two other times. At Texas Tech, the Wildcats produced three stops on penetrations inside its 40, forcing a Red Raider punt and fumble as well as picking off a pass in the end zone. Last week against Texas A&M, the Cats had three more stops from the 40 in, thwarting a faked field goal, forcing a missed field goal and forcing a punt.

 

Third-Down Success

Kansas State continues to be and efficient team on third downs on both sides of the ball. K-State ranks fourth in the Big 12 in both third down offensive and defensive conversions. The Wildcats offense is converting at a 44-percent clip, including third-and-goal situations. On defense, K-State has allowed its opponents to convert on just 33 percent of their third down. A big reason for the defensive success has been K-State’s ability to force third-and-long situations. Through seven games, opponents have needed to travel at least seven yards on 65 of 107 third downs (61 percent).

 

Third Down Go-To-Guys

Kansas State has converted 48 of its 109 (44 percent) third downs this season and has gone to numerous offensive weapons for the conversions. Jordy Nelson and Thomas Clayton have each converted seven third downs to lead the team. Allan Evridge had called his own number six times and ranks third on the team followed by Allen Webb, Parrish Fisher and Jermaine Moreira with five third-down conversions each.

 

Super FrEsh

Redshirt freshman quarterback Allan Evridge, the first freshman quarterback since Paul Watson in 1988 to start for a Wildcat team, has taken over the Wildcat offense and has quickly become one of Kansas State’s most prolific freshman quarterbacks of all time. Evridge, with his 831 passing yards this season, needs just 65 yards to pass Darrell Dickey for K-State’s freshman single-season passing record. Dickey threw for 895 back in 1979.

 

Evridge Hits 350 Mark Against Aggies

Quarterback Allan Evridge, in his second career start, threw for 357 yards on 22-of-44 passing against Texas A&M. The freshman also tossed three touchdown passes on the afternoon. All categories were career-highs for Evridge, while his 357 yards were the second-most ever by a Wildcat freshman quarterback and the ninth-most in school history. The last time a Wildcat quarterback threw for 350-plus yards was Michael Bishop, who torched Louisiana-Monroe for 441 yards back in 1998. The yardage was also the most in a conference game since Chad May’s 379 yards against Kansas in 1994. Also, his 22 completions and his 44 attempts were the most ever by a Wildcat freshman quarterback.

 

Good for a Jordy Nelson, Touchdown

Sophomore Jordy Nelson has quickly established himself as the Wildcats’ top scoring threat offensively this season. Through seven games, Nelson has hauled in a team-high 26 receptions for 426 yards, eighth-most in the Big 12 (60.9 ypg), and a team-best seven touchdowns. Nelson, a big and fast target at 6-3 and 210 pounds, has caught a touchdown reception in each of the first seven games this season, marking the first receiver in school history to do so. His touchdown-scoring streak is currently the third-longest among active players nationally and his eight touchdowns on the season, one of which came on a blocked punt recovery, ranks sixth in the Big 12, and tops among conference receivers.

 

Jordy Climbing Receiving Charts

Sophomore Jordy Nelson, with his 26 catches for 426 yards and seven touchdowns, is rapidly approaching the record books at Kansas State. He needs 370 more yards to move into the Top 10 in single-season receiving yards and just 11 more catches to move into fourth place among sophomore receivers in single-season catches. His seven touchdown receptions are tied for the seventh-most in school history and needs just two more to move into fourth place.

 

Nelson, Moreira Duo Gettin’ it Done

Jordy Nelson and Jermaine Moreira have developed into the two main go-to receivers when Kansas State goes to the air in 2005. Through seven games, the two are just one reception apart, with Nelson leading the way with 26 catches, while Moreira has 25. In all, K-State has completed 110 passes this season with 51 of those (46-percent) going to Moreira and Nelson. Also, eight of those completions, five to Nelson, have gone for 20-plus yards and seven touchdowns.

 

Moreira Tops 1,000 Receiving Yards

Jermaine Moreira led the Wildcat receivers against Texas A&M with four catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in the 30-28 loss, giving him 100 or more receiving yards in a game for the first time this season and the second time in his career. Also, the 101 yards pushed him to 1,013 career receiving yards as he became the 19th player ever to record at least 1,000 yards for his career. The last to do it for the Wildcats was James Terry (2002-2003), who totalled 1,793 yards in just two seasons.

 

High Rate of Returns

Coming off an impressive stretch run in 2004, junior Jermaine Moreira has ignited the Kansas State special teams unit with his returns in 2005. Through seven games, Moreira ranks 26th nationally and third in the Big 12 in punt returns with his 11.6 average. After producing a 67-yard punt return vs. Florida International, Moreira put his kick return abilities on display at Marshall, with three for 92 yards, including a 42-yarder that nearly went the distance. He then took one to the house against North Texas, a 62-yarder in which he dodged several defenders before breaking loose down the sidelines.

 

Fisher Creeping Towards Freshman Rushing mark

Redshirt freshman tailback Parrish Fisher, who has averaged a team-­best 6.3 yards a carry in six games, made his first career against North Texas and became the first freshman tailback to start for the Wildcats in the Bill Snyder era. Fisher carried 21 times for 169 yards against the Mean Green, becoming the first freshman ever at K-State to rush for over 100 yards in a game. Fisher also set a freshman record with 21 carries and is currently second all-time in single-season rushing by a freshman with 282 yards. Fisher needs just 23 yards to become K-State’s all-time freshman rushing leader as Roosevelt Duncan currently is tops with 304 yards back in 1976.

 

Clary Anchors Young O-Line

Senior offensive lineman Jeromey Clary is the anchor to a very young K-State offensive line in 2005. The All-Big 12 candidate has made 33 consecutive starts on the line for the Wildcats, the first 26 at right tackle before moving to left tackle this season. Clary has anchored a line that is very talented but also very young and inexperienced. Of the seven different offensive linemen that have made starts this season, six did so for the first time in 2005. John Hafferty, Caleb Handy, Chris Wofford, Jacob Voegeli, Jordan Bedore and Matt Boss have all made their first career starts this season and K-State has used a different line combination in four of seven games.

 

Archer on Target

Junior captain Brandon Archer heads into the Colorado game leading the Wildcat defense with 47 total tackles, including a team-high 8.5 for a loss of 35 yards. He opened the season with a team-best five tackles, including one for a loss of a yard, in the season opener against Florida International then continued his steady play at Marshall with eight stops and a fumble recovery. Through the Texas A&M game, Archer has recorded five or more tackles in 13 of his last 14 games dating back to last season. In those 13 games, Archer led the Wildcat defense in tackles four times and has also collected 10 or more stops on three occasions.

 

Diling In

Junior Zach Diles has made the most of his opportunities in his first season as a Wildcat, especially of late. Over the last four games, Diles has recorded 21 tackles and most recently turned in a solid effort against Texas A&M, finishing with six tackles, two for a loss and a sack, and also forced one fumble. Diles is currently fifth on the team in tackles with 28, third among linebackers, despite not yet starting a single game.

 

Watts, Mack making Solid Transitions

Sophomore safety Marcus Watts and junior linebacker Maurice Mack have established themselves as two of K-State’s top tacklers in 2005 as Watts enters the Colorado game second on the squad with 46 tackles, while Mack is third with 35. Not bad for two guys who spent the spring and fall workouts learning new positions. Watts moved from wide receiver and has become one of the Wildcats’ hardest hitters, while Mack has added speed to the linebacking position after moving from safety. After seven games, one of the two has led the team in tackles in all but two games and one or both have been in the top three in tackles in all but just the North Texas game. Also, Watts has been K-State’s leading tackler in Big 12 play as he has recorded 32 total tackles, 25 solo, during the four conference games.