Kansas State quarterback Daniel Sams wants to do something that hasn't been done in nearly two decades this coming Saturday. He wants to lead the Kansas State Wildcats to a win, at home, over Oklahoma for the first time since 1996. You can bet that he's not the only one jumping with excitement at the opportunity either. A win over the Sooners would accomplish something that hasn't been done in Manhattan since most of the seniors were in kindergarten, but it will also help position the Wildcats for a better draw when it comes to bowl selection.
"I cannot wait. We have not won a game against Oklahoma in our stadium in 17 years. It feels good to have the possibility to break that streak in front of our fans." - KSU Quarterback Daniel Sams
The Wildcats have won four consecutive games and would like nothing more than to close the season with wins over Oklahoma and Kansas to get their season total to eight wins. With the Sooners standing in the way on the Wildcats' Senior Day, Sams is going to do everything within his power to ensure victory. The question remains as to if they can keep up the 39.5 points per game pace they've achieved during the last month and if the defense can hold the Oklahoma offense in check?
The later seemed to be the focus this week at the KSU press conference where stopping Oklahoma's rushing attack was mentioned multiple times. Here's a quick sampling...
"They have three tremendous running backs and you have to add the quarterback to that. They are all very fine athletes. The defining factor in addition to that is they have five returning offensive line starters that are all big, physical, athletic guys. They do a nice job up front to make some of those things happen. Probably what goes somewhat unnoticed is that against Iowa State, in the second half of that ballgame, they had three snaps for 204 yards. To go the long distances with the big plays certainly speaks volumes about their offensive line, but it tells you they also have wide receivers that can block downfield to give those backs a chance downfield as well. They are all invested in it. They have 11 guys heavily invested in that phase of their game, the running game. That does not mean they cannot throw it though because they can." - Bill Snyder
Snyder went on to suggest that his main concern with Oklahoma's quarterbacks was their ability to run the ball.
"We have always known Bell to be a guy that can run the football. They put in the youngster last week, and he ran the football so very well. He had one of those long-yardage plays for a touchdown. They are all good. I do not think there is a significant difference in regards to them throwing the football. I do not know, maybe we see the third one, and I do not know all of his capabilities other than the fact that I know he can run the football." - Bill Snyder
Taking on the mentality of their coach, a couple of the defensive players kept to the theme of focusing on Oklahoma's rushing attack.
"Oklahoma is skilled on offense. Offensively, they have a great offensive line that blocks great for their running backs, and their running backs run great." - Linebacker Jonathan Truman
"The running backs they have are very athletic and good, so their play action pass is very good. So you cannot be too aggressive on the run since they have very good play action and good receivers that can make plays too." - Defensive back Dante Barnett
With Oklahoma's recent struggles in the passing game making them one dimensional hasn't been very hard. Texas and Baylor proved that if you can stop the Oklahoma rushing attack then you pretty much put the brakes on the Sooner offense. Kansas has the ability to do just that with their defense which puts all the more pressure on Sooner quarterback Trevor Knight who will be making the first road start of his career.