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K-State Wildcats





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Posted on Sat, Oct. 23, 2004

NU-KSU NOTES


THE GAMES WITHIN TODAY'S GAME

BUMPS, BRUISES

All eyes will be on Kansas State's quarterback situation, but there are numerous injuries that could affect the game's outcome.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove spent part of his week comparing K-State starting quarterback Dylan Meier to his backup, Allen Webb. Meier could not finish last week's loss to Oklahoma, his focus blurred after a series of big hits.

"I think they are two different types of quarterbacks," Cosgrove said. "Dylan's a very good thrower. He's completing 60 percent of his passes right now. The other quarterback, he's a good thrower, but he's a bigger threat, I think, at running the football a little bit. They seem to run the same offense whichever quarterback is in there."

K-State, on the other hand, must prepare for two running backs. Nebraska's Cory Ross has started each game, but he missed Wednesday's practice with turf toe.

Freshman Brandon Jackson had a good game last week against Baylor, running for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. At 6-foot, 220 pounds, he's a bruising runner much different than the 5-6, 195-pound Ross.

On defense, K-State is still dealing with questions at linebacker. Neither Ted Sims or Matt Butler played against Oklahoma. Sims is expected back after getting knocked unconscious two weeks ago, but Butler, suffering from an undisclosed injury, might not return.

Also, starting defensive end Scott Edmonds injured his left ankle or foot against Oklahoma and is not expected to play.

For the Huskers, safety Josh Bullocks injured his shoulder in Tuesday's practice. He is expected to play, which is important because he has 11 interceptions in the last 19 games.

THINGS GET WORSE

The good news for K-State is it moved up from being dead last nationally in punting net average. The Wildcats' 30.9-yard average is up five spots to 112th.

The bad news is punter Jesse Martinez flat dropped a good snap at midfield against Oklahoma, helping the Sooners maintain a big edge in field position.

For the third straight game, starter Tim Reyer and Martinez shared punting duties.

"It was just a drop," Martinez said. "Other than that, I don't know what to say. In practice, everything is going good for Tim and me. We're hitting it great. In the game, it's hard. I don't know what's wrong."

HERE THEY COME

On Monday night, the first thing K-State practiced was blocking a variety of blitz packages.

It was something Oklahoma had success with as last week's game wore on and something Nebraska utilizes often.

"I think we really got some things ironed out," right tackle Jeromey Clary said.

The Wildcats gave the Huskers something to think about, though, by emptying the backfield and spreading out four and five receivers. Though it's something K-State has always used under Snyder, they have not used it that much in at least five years.

"I think we'll see a mix of formations from them," Cosgrove said. "I don't know exactly, but you do have to anticipate they will be in some empty because they did have some success. But they're going to do what they do. They run the option and power, and the quarterback is involved big in their one-back running game."

WORTH NOTING

K-State is looking for its first three-game winning streak against Nebraska.

The Wildcats have outrushed the Huskers the last two years. Prior to that, Nebraska had outrushed K-State in 33 straight games.

Today is the annual Harley Day at KSU Stadium. Before the game, scores of motorcycles will surround the field. K-State coach Bill Snyder said his wife, Sharon, was looking forward to riding in the event. "I might have to peek my head out for a look," Snyder said.

The last time Nebraska and K-State played without one of the teams being ranked was 1968, a 12-0 KSU win.

Of the 22 players who started for K-State last year in Lincoln, only seven are projected to start today.


Jeffrey Parson

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