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Kansas State Q&A With BOTC

In our effort to bring you the very best preview of the Oklahoma/Kansas State game that we possibly can we’ve contacted our friends over at Bring on the Cats. If you aren’t familiar with their work then you are missing out on some great creative writing. This piece on the Big 12 schools getting group therapy is classic!

TB was kind enough to answer a few of my questions directly using the same candor that makes his writing so much fun to read. Thanks for jumping aboard the Machine with us, TB.

CC Machine: Ron Prince - How high is the frustration among the fans for him and will we see him on the KSU sidelines next season?

TB: The frustration level is very high, and it's not just the play on the field.  For sure, the level of play we're seeing right now is consistent only in its awfulness, but it goes beyond that.  After every game, it seems like we hear the team and coaches talk about how they were right there, so close, just one or two plays from victory.  While that may be true in some cases, for example the Colorado game last weekend, it doesn't stand up under closer scrutiny.  First of all, we are not "almost there" in terms of defensive play right now; the defense is ranked 105th in total defense right now.  And while we did get a good defensive effort in a very close game with Colorado, that really doesn't mean much.  Colorado had the worst offense in the Big 12 and was coming off three straight losses.  The Buffs of this year are a team that should be defeated by a reasonably competent Big 12 unit.

What's frustrating about this season is that we really have no way of knowing whether Prince will, or should, be around next year until after the last game of the season.  Right now, it looks bad (OK, really bad), but we've seen this team "pull a Prince" before.  If we were to somehow knock off OU, KU or Mizzou in the next three weeks, and get a win against Nebraska or Iowa State to end the season, we would go to a bowl and Prince would be back next year.  And yes, crazier things have happened.

CC Machine: Kansas State is near the bottom of the conference in points allowed (27.6) and is facing an Oklahoma team that is second in scoring (46.9). How good is the Wildcat secondary and can the defensive line put pressure on Sam Bradford?

TB: The Wildcat secondary actually isn't awful.  At least, it's not nearly as awful as the rest of our defensive unit.  We have a few good players back there, including our cornerbacks, Joshua Moore and Blair Irvin.  Tysyn Hartman is a converted backup quarterback at safety, and he is a bit lost out there in coverage, but is a decent tackler.  Chris Carney and Courtney Herndon will also see time at safety, and while they're not great players, they're not awful, either.

 As for our defensive line, no, they won't get any pressure on Sam Bradford.  Bradford has the luxury of playing behind one of the better offensive lines I've seen recently, and our defensive line is subpar.  Ian Campbell just hasn't been himself for reasons that are anybody's guess.  I'm starting to seriously wonder if he isn't hurt.  We have a couple promising guys along the line, such as Brandon Harold and Daniel Calvin, but they're not quite there yet.

CC Machine: We gave Josh Freeman a hard time earlier in the season for his self-proclamation of being the best quarterback in the conference. This week he goes up against a Sooner defense that has been hampered by injuries. Does he have the supporting cast to get into a shootout with Oklahoma?

TB: No, for a couple reasons.  First of all, even a banged up OU defense is pretty good, and our offense has had a tendency to disappear, first against Texas Tech and then again last week at Colorado.  The Cats have some pretty decent receiving weapons, but we've also had the dropsies on occasion.  Further, there really is no running game of which to speak.  Freeman has actually been pretty good on designed runs, but then we inexplicably stopped calling such plays last week against CU.  So not only do we not have the personnel to match up with OU, but our coaches have a tendency to come up with really bad offensive game plans.  In the Colorado game, I was unable to discern exactly what we were trying to accomplish.  We averaged 4.9 yards per rush...but we only ran the ball 23 times.  But because Freeman was so good throwing the ball, going 20 for 41 for 237 yards and no touchdowns, we decided to throw the ball almost twice as often as we ran it.  That was sarcasm, in case anyone missed it.

CC Machine: Starting with Oklahoma the Wildcats play three consecutive nationally ranked teams. Can KSU survive that stretch?

TB: To put it simply, I highly doubt it.  Everyone pretty much expects that OU is, and always will be, a very tough game on the schedule.  But we don't have much chance against KU or Mizzou, either, and that is really going to hurt this team.  Losses in these games would represent three straight losses to both schools, and that would be a very painful blow to this team's morale.  I guess the flipside of that is that a win in any of these three games would be a huge boost to the team's morale, and would open the possibility of defeating either Nebraska or Iowa State at home to get to a bowl game.  But let's just say that I highly doubt that scenario will come to fruition.

CC Machine: Who are the one or two players that you can almost be certain will have a big game against OU on Saturday?

TB: The only thing you can expect from K-State this season is inconsistency.  Until the Texas Tech and Colorado games, I would have said that you could count on Josh Freeman to have a solid game, but he simply wasn't very good in either of those games.  Brandon Banks, our tiny wide receiver, has been the most consistent performer.  He catches everything that comes his way and makes nice moves in the open field.  Defensively, the only thing that's certain is that someone in our secondary will have a lot of tackles.

Did we not cover one of the questions you had about KSU? You can ask the writers of BOTC a direct question here.