Kickoff: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Stillwater, Okla.
Stadium: Boone Pickens Stadium (56,790)
Series: Oklahoma State leads, 39-24
Anish Shroff (Play-by-Play)
Ahmad Brooks (Analyst)
Roddy Jones (Field Analyst)
Radio: K-State Sports Network; k-statesports.com
Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play)
Stan Weber (Analyst)
Matt Walters (Sidelines)
Sirius Satellite Radio Ch. 113, XM Satellite Radio Ch. 200
Twitter Updates: @kstatesports, @kstate_gameday, @KStateFB
K-STATE FACES ROAD TEST AT NO. 10 OKLAHOMA STATE
Coming off a close defeat last weekend, Kansas State will look to regroup and obtain bowl eligibility on Saturday as the Wildcats head to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to face No. 10 Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium. The contest, which kicks at 2:30 p.m., will be shown nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff (play-by-play), Ahmad Brooks (analyst) and Roddy Jones (Field Analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard across the 40-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst) and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action. Coverage will also be available on Sirius channel 113, XM channel 200 in addition to the TuneIn app. Live stats are available at kstatesports.com, while Twitter updates (@ kstate_gameday, @KStateFB) will all be a part of the coverage.
A LOOK AT K-STATE
- Guided by Hall of Famer Bill Snyder, who is in his 26th year at the helm, the Wildcats are looking to become bowl eligible for the eighth-straight season with their next win.
- K-State trailed 35-24, in the fourth quarter at Texas Tech and came back to win. It was the largest fourth-quarter deficit overcome since being down 35-21 to Iowa State back in 2015 and winning, 38-35.
- It was the largest fourth-quarter deficit overcome in a road game in program history.
- The Wildcats have rushed for 788 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground over the last three weeks against No. 9 Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
- K-State, which has reached 200 rushing yards five times this season, enter the week third in the Big 12 in rushing at 191.4 yards per game, second in yards per carry (4.9) and third in rushing touchdowns (22).
- K-State is led on the ground by sophomore Alex Barnes with 593 yards and five touchdowns. He has 1,035 career rushing yards to become just the third player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career yards prior to the end of his sophomore season.
- Redshirt freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson, who became the first freshman quarterback to start under Snyder since 2005, led a second-half comeback against Tech, finishing 5-of-8 for 96 yards and a score, while he added a rushing score prior to the game-tying 2-point conversion.
- The K-State defense is led by a pair of linebackers in Trent Tanking (81 tackles) and Jayd Kirby (73 tackles), both of whom rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in tackles.
- Kirby has 31 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and four pass breakups in his last four games.
- Cornerback Duke Shelley is third in the Big 12 with 11 passes defended, including a pick-six at Texas Tech en route to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
- Cornerback D.J. Reed is coming off a game against WVU with five tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception. He leads the Big 12 with 13 passes defended.
A LOOK AT THE SERIES
- Oklahoma State leads the all-time series, 39-24.
- Since 1990, K-State is 12-7 against the Cowboys.
- K-State is 8-21 all-time in games played in Stillwater, and the last road win was back in 1999.
- The last five games played in Stillwater have seen the Cowboys win by a slim average margin of 3.8 points.
NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
- Under Bill Snyder, K-State is 60-28-1 in the month of November, including a 19-12 mark in his second tenure.
- Since 2009, K-State has had five winning records in the month.
- With one more win, K-State will qualify for its eighth-straight bowl game and 19th under Bill Snyder.
- The Cats went to 11 straight from 1993-2003 and have gone each year since 2010 in his second tenure.
- K-State is one of 21 teams nationally to hold a current bowl streak of a least seven years.
- K-State is one of only three teams in the Big 12 to notch at least 100 league wins.
- Oklahoma tops the list with 135 Big 12 wins over the last 22 years, while the Wildcats are third with 108.
- Additionally, K-State ranks third in the conference in winning percentage since the start of 2011 at .639 (39-22), trailing only Oklahoma (.803; 49-12) and Oklahoma State (.705; 43-18).
- During that stretch, the Wildcats are 21-10 (.677) at home in Big 12 play and 18-12 (.600) on the road.
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
- Goal No. 10 in the Wildcats’ 16 Goals for Success is “Never Give Up,” which is exactly what K-State did at Texas Tech.
- Trailing 35-27 with less than 10 minutes left, the Wildcats scored 11 points, scored a touchdown in overtime and held Texas Tech on their possession for the victory.
- It was the largest fourth-quarter deficit overcome for a win since trailing by 14 points (35-21) to Iowa State at home in 2015, while it was the largest in a road game in school history.
- Kansas State has gone to overtime twice this season, falling 40-34 in two overtimes at Texas before pulling out a 42-35 overtime victory at Texas Tech.
- K-State, now 3-2 all-time in overtimes, recorded its first overtime victory against the Red Raiders.
- The Wildcats’ first overtime game was a loss to Texas A&M in the 1998 Big 12 Championship before defeating the Aggies at home in four overtimes in 2011. K-State’s last overtime game prior to this season was a 39-33 triple-overtime win against Louisiana Tech in 2015.
THE HALL OF FAMER
- The architect of the “greatest turnaround in the history of college football,” Bill Snyder was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
- Snyder is just the fourth person in the history of college football to be inducted as an active coach.
- Snyder has compiled a 207-110-1 (.656) record in 26 seasons at K-State as he is one of just six coaches to reach the 200-win mark and coach at only one school.
- Holding 168 more victories than any other coach in K-State history, Snyder ranks first in the FBS in wins among coaches at their current schools and second in total wins among active coaches.
- Additionally, Snyder has 121 conference wins to stand as one of four coaches with 100 Big 8/12 victories (Tom Osborne , Bob Stoops , Barry Switzer ).
- A year after finishing minus-3 in the turnover battle, K-State tied for fourth in the nation with a plus-13 turnover margin in 2016.
- It was the Wildcats’ best national finish in turnover margin since ranking third in 2012, while it marked an 84-spot jump from a tie for 88th the year prior.
- K-State enters this week 12th nationally in turnover margin at plus-9.
- The Wildcats have gained 20 turnovers – 10 fumbles and 10 interceptions – while committing 11 – seven interceptions and four fumbles.
DRAWING FIRST BLOOD
- Since 1990, K-State is 164-34 (.830) when scoring first.
- K-State finished the 2016 season with a 5-2 mark when scoring first and is 19-5 in that department over the last four seasons.
- Under Bill Snyder, K-State is 151-27 (.851) when scoring first, including a 4-3 mark this season.
QUICK OUT OF THE GATE
- K-State started games on the right side of the scoreboard in 2016, outscoring opponents 95-54 in the first quarter.
- That mark improved to 248-137 through the first half and 336-184 after three quarters.
- Through 10 games in 2017, K-State has outscored opponents 191-125 in the first half, including a 120-68 margin in the second quarter alone.
LEADING AT THE HALF
- K-State earned an 8-1 record in 2016 when taking a lead into halftime.
- Under Bill Snyder, the Wildcats are 177-11 (.941) when leading at halftime, including a 58-4 (.935) mark in Snyder’s second tenure, which began in 2009.
- The Wildcats are 5-1 this season when leading at halftime and had a nine-game winning streak when leading at the half snapped against Oklahoma.
CATS TOPS IN NON-OFFENSIVE TDs
- K-State is the nation’s best in non-offensive touchdowns over the last 19 seasons as it has 111 since 1999. • This year, D.J. Reed has returned a punt and kickoff for touchdowns, Kendall Adams had both a pick-six and a fumble-return touchdown against Charlotte, and Duke Shelley also returned a pick for a score at Texas Tech.
- K-State’s three total defensive touchdowns this season are tied for 10th in the nation.
- Since 1990, the Wildcats are 61-17 when scoring on special teams and 20-1 when scoring on special teams and defense, including an 18-0 mark under Bill Snyder.
- The Cats have now had at least five non-offensive touchdowns in six of the last seven years and in 17 of the 19 seasons since 1999.
NON-OFFENSIVE TD RECORDS
- Under head coach Bill Snyder, K-State is 74-21 (.779) when scoring a non-offensive touchdown, while the Cats are 55-14 (.797) since 1999 in that department.
- Since Snyder returned to the sideline in 2009, K-State is 30-7 (.811) in this same category.
- K-State leaned heavily on its running game throughout 2016, particularly during the second half of the year.
- The Cats broke the school record in yards per carry (5.27) and ranked third in rushing yards per game (231.8).
- Dating back to last season, K-State has hit the 200-yard mark on the ground in 13 of its last 19 games, including each of the final seven contests of 2016.
- K-State also had four 300-yard games in 2016, the most by the Wildcats since 2003.
- This year, K-State has recorded five games with at least 200 rushing yards, the latest being a 268-yard output against No. 9 Oklahoma and 202 in a win over Kansas.
- The Wildcats have also combined for 10 rushing touchdowns over the last four contests.
- K-State enters the weekend ranked third in the conference in rushing offense at 191.4 yards per game, while they are second in yards per carry (4.9) and third in rushing touchdowns (22).
- While the Cats are known to have a powerful rushing attack, the 2017 squad has some weapons through the air as the unit works to achieve balance.
- In the 2017 opener, Jesse Ertz threw for a career-high 333 yards and tied the school record with four passing touchdowns against UCA.
- His passer rating of 319.8 was a new school record and the highest in the nation in week one, while he also became the first player under Bill Snyder to throw three 50-plus yard touchdown passes in the same game.
- K-State enters this week ranked ninth nationally in yards per completion (15.18).
PROECTING THE FOOTBALL
• Kansas State tied for fifth in the country last season in turnovers lost (12), while the Wildcats only threw five interceptions to rank fifth in the country.
- A year after tossing 13 picks, K-State’s minus-8 interception differential from 2015 to 2016 ranked third nationally among Power 5 teams behind Maryland (minus-21) and Nebraska (minus-12).
- The Wildcats have lost 11 turnovers this year, one of which came on a punt return, which is tied for 19th nationally and ranks second in the Big 12.
• In the era of quick-strike offenses in college football, K-State remains a team that likes to possess the ball.
- Of K-State’s 64 scoring drives in 2016, 39 were seven plays or longer, including 19 of 10 or more plays, while 19 scoring drives a year ago lasted at least five minutes.
- The Wildcats have been more of a quick-strike offense this year as 14 of their 32 touchdown drives have been four plays or less.
RED ZONE EFFICIENCY
• K-State is the only team to finish in the top-15 nationally in red zone offense in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
- The Cats finished the 2016 campaign 10th in the nation by converting on 91.9-percent (57-of-62) of red zone trips.
- Since the beginning of 2014, K-State has converted on 201-of-222 red zone attempts (.919) with 146 touchdowns. Included in that stretch was a nation-leading scoring streak of 56-straight trips that was snapped in 2016.
- In their last 58 wins since 2011, the Cats are 266-for-291 (.914) in red zone chances with 196 touchdowns, while four of their non-scoring trips have come via kneel downs to close out victories.
• Redshirt freshman Skylar Thompson earned his first-career start under center against West Virginia after playing a majority of the second halves against Kansas and Texas Tech.
- Against the Red Raiders, he helped the Wildcats record their largest fourth-quarter road comeback victory in school history.
- His start against the Mountaineers made him just the second freshman to start under center for Bill Snyder, joining Allan Evridge, who started the final six games of the 2005 season.
- Thompson’s start also marked the third time ever under Snyder that three different quarterbacks have started in a season (1989 and 2015), while it was just the second time three quarterbacks started in one regular season (1989).
1,000 ON THE GROUND
• Sophomore running back Alex Barnes became the 29th player in school history with 1,000 career rushing yards, a mark he eclipsed during the Texas Tech game.
- In doing so, he is just the fourth player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard barrier prior to the end of his sophomore season, while he was the second fastest player to reach 1,000 career yards in terms of carries.
- Junior Justin Silmon is closing in on joining the 1,000-yard club as he just sits at 965 career rushing yards.
1,000 THROUGH THE AIR
• Byron Pringle became the 31st player in K-State history to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a career, a bar he reached during the Kansas game.
- He joins a list of six other former community-college receivers to hit the 1,000-yard mark for a career at K-State. The last to accomplish the feat was Brandon Banks, who had 1,754 yards between 2008 and 2009.
- Now ranking 23rd in school history in career receiving yards, Pringle has made the most of his catches this year as his 22.5-yard average ranks fourth in the nation and third in school history.
- Junior Dominique Heath is not far from the mark with 866 career receiving yards in his three years of action.
HE’S SCHOEN WHAT HE CAN DO
• A third-year member of the program who came to K-State as a walk-on, sophomore Dalton Schoen has been the Wildcats’ most consistent receiver this year.
- The Overland Park, Kansas, native is second on the squad with 470 yards and is tied for the team lead with three touchdowns.
- Of his 23 receptions, six have gone for at least 23 yards, including touchdown catches of 70 and 82 yards.
- His 70-yard touchdown came on his first-career catch against Central Arkansas, the longest by a Wildcat on their first-career catch since 2001.
- His best game thus far was at Texas when he caught five passes for 128 yards and two scores, featured by the 82-yard strike, the ninth-longest pass play in school history.
- Schoen recorded his second 100-yard game at Texas Tech, which featured a 54-yarder to set up a late touchdown prior to catching the game-tying two-point conversion en route to a K-State win.
• Left tackle Scott Frantz has started all 23 career games beginning with his redshirt freshman season of 2016.
- Frantz’s 23 starts are the most by a Wildcat underclassman (Fr. or So.) left tackle since 1989, 11 more than Barrett Brooks (1992-93).
- Of the 355 total starts at left tackle since 1989, only 61 have been made by underclassmen (17.2-percent), but 37.7-percent of those are represented by Frantz.
STOUT SCORING DEFENSE
• Kansas State enters the week allowing only 25.1 points per game to rank fourth in the Big 12.
- The Wildcats held each of their first four opponents under 21 points, marking the first time they accomplished the featin 15 yearsand just the sixth time since 1990 (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002).
- Kansas State has forced six of its seven Big 12 opponents thus far to score right at or less than their season averages entering the game. The latest was West Virginia, which was averaging 42.8 points per game and scored only 28.
- The only Big 12 foe that scored more than its season average entering the game was Texas, which was averaging 34.5 points and needed two overtimes to top that mark.
TOUGH AGAINST THE RUN
• Kansas State ranked 11th nationally in 2016 and led the Big 12 by allowing only 115.0 yards per game, doing so by limiting opponents to less than 125 yards on eight occasions, including five times in Big 12 play.
- The Wildcats have surrendered less than 125 rushing yards in seven games this season, including 98 yards to a TCU team that was averaging 200-plus rushing yards per game entering the contest.
- The 98 yards by TCU were the fewest the Wildcats surrendered to a ranked opponent since No. 20 Oklahoma State could only muster 49 yards in 2015.
- K-State has held four opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground as they also limited Vanderbilt to just 65 rushing yards, Baylor to 84 yards and Kansas to 64 yards.
PICKING THEM APART
• After recording only five interceptions in 2015, K-State reversed the trend last year with a Big 12-leading 16 picks, a mark that tied for 14th in the nation.
- K-State’s plus-11 up-tick in interceptions from 2015 to 2016 was the highest turnaround among Power 5 teams.
- The Wildcats have notched at least one interception in 36 of the last 47 games and have totaled 10 this year.
- K-State also had three pick-sixes last year, including ones by current Wildcats D.J. Reed (Texas Tech) and Duke Shelley (Oklahoma State), and two this year by Kendall Adams (Charlotte) in addition to one by Shelley (Texas Tech).
- Reed snagged the team’s first interception of 2017 against Central Arkansas and had one on the first play at Texas and one on the final play at KU. He became the first Wildcat with an interception on the first play of the game since Ty Zimmerman did so against Missouri in 2011.
LBs STEPPING UP
• Although it is a group that is deep with players that shined on special teams in their careers, K-State did not return any starts at linebacker in 2016.
- The Wildcats were one of three teams in the nation – but the only one from a Power 5 school – to not return a single start at linebacker this year. The next closest among Power 5 schools was Florida, which returned 12 total starts.
- Although lacking experience, great leadership resides in the unit and is paced by Trent Tanking, who leads the Wildcats with 81 tackles to rank seventh in the Big 12.
- The former walk-on from Holton, Kansas, is also averaging 5.9 solo stops per game to rank 11th in the nation.
- Tanking is a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy – often referred to as the “Academic Heisman” – and the Burlsworth Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.
KIRBY CAME TO PLAY
• Fellow linebacker Jayd Kirby, who ranks second on the team and ninth in the Big 12 in tackles, had a game to remember against Kansas.
- All the Blooming Grove, Texas, native did was record five tackles, including 4.0 for loss, a sack, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
- Kirby’s 4.0 TFLs were the most by a Wildcat since Charmeachealle Moore also had 4.0 vs. West Virginia in 2015.
- His three forced fumbles were the most by Wildcat since Darren Howard also had three against Nebraska in 1999 and are the most by a Big 12 player since at least 2009.
- Kirby is in the midst of a four-game span in which he has totaled 13 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and four passes defended.
BATTING IT AWAY
• K-State has two of the top three players in the Big 12 and two of the top 30 nationally in terms of passes defended in D.J. Reed (13) and Duke Shelley (11).
- It is a continuation of what they have been doing throughout their careers as Reed has 32 career passes defended to rank 12th in school history, while Shelley’s 25 are tied for 22nd in school history.
- Reed leads the team and is tied for second in the Big 12 with four interceptions, while Shelley’s first of the season was a big one as he returned in 25 yards for a score in K-State’s overtime win at Texas Tech.
GEARY LEADS THE LINE
• A former in-state walk-on, Will Geary has recorded a team-best 40 career starts, which includes 35 of the last 36 games.
- The Topeka, Kansas, native held a four-game streak earlier this year with at least one tackle for loss, including a season-best 3.0 TFLs against Baylor.
- Geary, who ranks second on the team in career tackles with 153, ranks 13th in program history in career tackles among interior defensive linemen.
- Additionally, Geary has 23.5 career tackles for loss, which ranks fifth in school history among interior defensive linemen.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
SCORING IN THE THIRD PHASE
• Kansas State has been far and away the best team among FBS programs over the last decade when it comes to scoring via a kickoff or punt return.
• The Wildcats have a combined 44 kickoff- and punt-return touchdowns since 2005, 15 more than any other FBS school over the last 13 seasons.
DEFENSE IN THE THIRD PHASE
• On the flip side, K-State has been just as consistent in terms of kickoff and punt coverage.
• The Cats have not allowed a kickoff-return touchdown in the last 60 games as the last was against Louisiana on Sept. 7, 2013. During that stretch, K-State has defended against 238 kickoff returns.
• The Wildcats have also not allowed a punt-return score in the last 47 games, the last being at Iowa State on Sept. 6, 2014. The Wildcats have successfully defended against 63 punt returns during that stretch.
• Kansas State is currently riding a pair of streaks in terms of kickoff returns as the Wildcats have returned a kick for a touchdown in each of the last 13 seasons – the longest streak in the nation by five years.
• D.J. Reed extended the streak against Kansas when he returned a first-quarter kickoff 99 yards to paydirt.
• Since head coach Bill Snyder’s return in 2009, K-State has returned 18 kickoffs for touchdowns as opposed to only four in his first tenure, which lasted 17 years.
• Reed is trying to become an All-Big 12 kick returner, which would mark the 12th-straight year a Wildcats received all-conference honors for the discipline.
REED RANKS HIGH
• Junior D.J. Reed is making his case for being the next great K-State returner as he ranks in the top 10 nationally in kickoff-return average (2nd; 35.3), punt-return average (3rd; 17.1), combined return yards (4th; 747) and punt-return touchdowns (9th; 1).
• He had 189 combined return yards at Kansas and 181 against Central Arkansas, the top two marks in the Big 12 this season, while the former is tied for the 10th most in the nation.
• The first Wildcat with a kickoff-return touchdown and a non-blocked punt-return touchdown in the same season since Terence Newman in 2002, Reed is trying to etch his name into the K-State record book.
• The Bakersfield, California, product ranks first in K-State history for single-season kickoff-return average, while he is currently second for a career.
• He also currently holds the top mark in Big 12 history for single season kickoff-return average (35.3) and ranks eighth in punt-return average (18.1).
• An impressive returner in his own right, who became the school’s 31st career 1,000-yard receiver during the Kansas game, Byron Pringle recorded his second career milestone in as many games at Texas Tech.
• Pringle topped 2,000 career all-purpose yards during the game against the Red Raiders, a game in which he recorded 199 all-purpose yards en route to being named to the Paul Hornung Award weekly honor roll.
• The Tampa, Florida, native has 2,167 all-purpose yards as he is just the seventh former community-college player to reach the 2,000-yard barrier and the first since Daniel Thomas had 3,303 all-purpose yards from 2009-10.
McCRANE STANDS ALONE
• Matthew McCrane became the school’s all-time leader in career field goals made during the West Virginia game.
• McCrane made three field goals in the game to push his career total to 56, passing Martin Gramatica, who had 54 in his career and held the record for 19 years.
• A product of Brownwood, Texas, McCrane will finish his career highly on many other career kicking lists.
• McCrane current ranks first in school history and second in Big 12 history by making 86.2-percent (56-of-65) of his career field goals.
• The two-time All-Big 12 place kicker ranks first in school history in career extra-point percentage (99.2-percent) and is fourth in career extra points made (120).
• McCrane also ranks fifth overall in school history but third among kickers with 288 career points scored.
• In terms of just his senior season, McCrane has made 20 field goals to rank third in school history.
CONNECTING FROM DEEP
• In addition to his consistency, Matthew McCrane has also been one of the best in K-State history in long-distance field goals.
• By connecting from 51 yards against TCU, McCrane made his fifth-career field goal of 50 or more yards to tie with Jeff Snodgrass (2005-06) and Martin Gramatica (1994-95, 1997-98) for the school record.
• Additionally, it was McCrane’s third 50-yard field goal this season to tie both Snodgrass (2006) and Gramatica (1997) for first in K-State history.
• Against Texas, McCrane drilled a career-long 54-yarder, which was tied for the eighth-longest field goal in school history, was the longest in the Big 12 this year and tied for the seventh-longest in the nation this season.