2009 CFN Kansas State Preview
Kansas State OT Nick Stringer
Kansas State is going old school with Bill Snyder taking back the reins of the program he built up from the scrap heap. Can he regain a little of his old magic, and how long will it take for this rebuilding project to be a success? Check out the 2009 CFN Kansas State Preview.
2009 CFN Kansas State Preview |
2009 Kansas State Offense
2009 Kansas State
2009 Kansas State
2008 KSU Preview |
2007 KSU Preview |
2006 KSU Preview
blogging about Kansas State football?
Like you wouldn't rather be
running a college football program.
Bill Snyder's legacy was
secure. He had finished up a historic, legendary career with one of
the greatest turnaround jobs in the history of sports, taking a
pathetic, almost non-existent Kansas State program and making it a
national power. His family name became synonymous with the KSU
football from the stadium to the standard and expectations set, and
he will forever be remembered for doing the impossible in Manhattan.
But he decided to return.
Head coach: Bill Snyder
18th year: 136-68
Off. 20, Def. 25, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 28
Best KSU Players
1. WR/KR Brandon
2. CB Josh Moore, Jr.
3. DT Jeffrey Fitzgerald,
4. DE Brandon Harold, So.
5. WR/RB Lamark Brown, Jr.
6. OT Nick Stringer, Sr.
7. TE Jeron Mastrud, Sr.
Tysyn Hartman, So.
9. DE Eric Childs, Sr.
10. LB John
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2009 Record: 0-0
9/12 at UL Lafayette
9/19 at UCLA
9/26 Tennessee Tech
10/3 Iowa State (in KC)
10/10 at Texas Tech
10/17 Texas A&M
10/31 at Oklahoma
11/21 at Nebraska
11/28 OPEN DATE
2008 Record: 5-7
North Texas W 45-6
9/6 Montana State W
9/13 OPEN DATE
9/17 at Louisville L
9/27 UL Lafayette W
10/4 Texas Tech L 58-28
10/11 at Tex A&M W 44-30
10/18 at Colorado W 14-13
10/25 Oklahoma L
11/1 at Kansas L 52-31
11/8 at Missouri L 41-24
11/15 Nebraska L 56-28
11/22 Iowa State W
11/29 OPEN DATE
The cupboard wasn't exactly
stocked for Ron Prince when he took
over in 2006, but he couldn't put together a defense, didn't get enough
out of the bazillion JUCO transfers he brought aboard, and he couldn't
come up with winning seasons in either of the last two years with
tremendous late collapses killing seasons. In 2007, the Wildcats lost
their final four games to miss out on a bowl, and last year they lost
five in a row to ruin a 4-2 hot start. He's gone, the legend is back,
and all will be right with the Kansas State world.
While making Kansas State a major player in the Big 12 race wouldn't
be on par with what Snyder did when he first took over the reins, it
would be a bit of a shocker considering he's been out of the game for a
few seasons and the talent level isn't all that great across the board.
Worse yet, for those fans who only know the good years of Kansas State
football and don't have a memory of anything before 1990, this might
seem like heresy to say, but the halcyon days weren't all that
Oh sure, compared to the days before 1991, when Kansas
State came up with just its third winning season since 1954, the
prosperity and the success was stunning. But for all the fireworks and
all the success and all the great things that Snyder did with the
program, there was only one Big 12 title (the shocking 2003 win over
Oklahoma) and the wheels started to come off right after. Since the
championship, Kansas State has gone 26-44, hasn't played a lick of
defense, and the program has become an also-ran, at best. That's not to
say it wouldn't take a little bit to turn things back around in a big
If Kansas State played in the Big 12 South, then forget
about it. There wouldn't be any hope of getting back to a Big 12 title
game before Snyder chose to retire again. But the North is mediocre with
Missouri starting over, Iowa State really starting over, and Colorado
failing to step up and do anything special under Dan Hawkins (although
that might change this year). Kansas State isn't going to win the
division, but all the team needs is a good quarterback, an improved
defense, and one other Darren Sproles-like playmaker in the backfield.
The opportunities will be there. The depth chart is hardly set
in stone, there are plenty of chances for some players to take jobs and
make them their own, and the coach is back. Can he make Kansas State a
big story again? Check in next year.
What to look for on
quarterback derby. In Snyder's perfect world, his quarterback would be
smallish, very quick, and a 1,000-yard runner who could also throw
efficiently. There isn't a Michael Bishop or an Ell Roberson waiting
around, but Carson Coffman is an agile, mobile passer who has been
around just long enough to know what he's doing. Unfortunately, the
previous coaching staff wanted big, tall bombers, and while that worked
out well for Josh Freeman, that means the two best backup options,
Collin Klein and Joseph Kassanavoid, are both huge. However, both can
run. On the way is Daniel Thomas, a JUCO transfer who originally signed
on in 2008 and has the speed and quickness Snyder wants, but he'll need
time to become a passer.
What to look for on defense: Jeffrey Fitzgerald. Kansas State has
lived, and mostly died, with JUCO transfers over the last few seasons
and haven't developed enough defensive talent. Defensive end Brandon
Harold is one of the homegrown stars who should become a terror of a
pass rusher, while the program hit the jackpot by getting Fitzgerald. An
ideal NFL 3-4 end, Fitzgerald is in a salary drive after leaving
Virginia just when he was about to become a national superstar. With the
defense going from a 3-4 to a 4-2-5, Fitzgerald will be the crown jewel
This team will be much better if … it can find one thing it
can do well on defense. To be fair, the Big 12 has been unbelievable
through the air over the past few years, so everyone's pass defense
stats stink, but Kansas State couldn't stop the run, either. Over the
last two seasons, KSU is 3-9 when allowing 250 yards passing or more.
Holding teams under the 250-yard mark usually meant a win, but in games
when the pass defense was working fine, the run defense went bye-bye. UL
Lafayette threw for 174 yards, but ran for 335. Kansas threw for 189
yards, but ran for 280 yards and six touchdowns. Colorado ran for 247
yards and threw for 106. The defense isn't going to be a brick wall, but
it has to be able to take away some element of an opposing offense.
It's Kansas State, so you know
what's coming in the non-conference schedule with games against
teams like Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech. However, a trip to
UCLA makes up for it and going to UL Lafayette is an odd date.
While going to Texas Tech and Oklahoma will be tough, getting
Texas A&M in the third game against the South will help.
However, after the season opener, there's only one other home
game in the following five weeks. In the North, the Wildcats
have the three big games after the trip to Oklahoma with home
games against Kansas and Missouri before finishing up at
Nebraska on November 21st. There isn't an off-week meaning the
season is cut short.
Best Offensive Player:
Senior WR Brandon Banks. Not just an elite
receiver who can be used both as a home run hitter and a move-the-chains
possession target, he's also a top-shelf return man who averaged 27.7
yards per kick off return and 11.6 per punt try. He's only 5-7 and 170
pounds, but he has elite speed and will be the No. 1 target who takes
attention away from everyone else.
Best Defensive Player:
Junior CB Joshua Moore. Fitzgerald is the best pro prospect and
will likely be the best player on the team, and Brandon Harold will
eventually be special, but Moore is the key to the defense because of
his cover skills and tackling ability. Relatively big for a corner at
5-11 and 184 pounds, he's physical enough to have led the team in
tackles, making 76, and he broke up 12 passes and came up with a
team-leading three picks. With five defensive backs being used now.
Moore needs to be a top-shelf producer more than ever.
Key player to a
The starting quarterback. The defense will be
better, and while it won't be great, it'll have its moments. The offense
is another story after losing Josh Freeman, the franchise passer who was
taken in the first round by Tampa Bay. The line will give the
quarterback time, and the receiving corps will be solid, but now it's up
to Coffman, Klein, Kassanavoid, Thomas, or a combination of any and all
of the above, to carry the offense to make up for a mediocre running
The season will be a
... the Wildcats get to a bowl game. They should've been to the
post-season in each of the last two seasons but died down the stretch.
This year, getting to six wins is a must with three layups against
UMass, UL Lafayette (which would be a road trap if the Ragin' Cajuns
weren't rebuilding), and Tennessee Tech. That means it'll only take wins
over Iowa State, Texas A&M to get to five, and then hope to pull off a
home upset over someone like Colorado or Missouri to get to six. It
would also be nice to get to a bowl win. Considering the decade is
almost over, winning one bowl game since 2000 is a rough run.
Key game: Sept. 19 at UCLA. The team isn't good enough
to be thinking about big Big 12 games quite yet, and it's likely going
to be the 11th best team in the league ahead of Iowa State, but that
doesn't mean there can't be a little excitement. If the Wildcats can go
to L.A. and beat UCLA, which isn't that tough a task, they'll
almost certainly be 4-0 to start the year with the game against Iowa
State coming up. 5-0. With home games against Texas A&M and Colorado to
follow a trip to Texas Tech, they could be off to a whale of a start.
However, a loss to the Bruins would prove that any good early record
would only be a mirage.
2008 Fun Stats:
Opponents 84 for 662 yards - Kansas State 67 for 557 yards
per carry: Opponents 5.2 - Kansas State 3.9
- Time of possession:
Opponents 32:20 - Kansas State 27:40