Team: Kansas State Wildcats Location: Manhattan, Kan.
Colors: Purple & White Enrollment: 23,581 Conference: Big 12 (North Division)
Head Coach:Bill Snyder (William Jewel, 1963), 146-74-1 in 19 seasons Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator:Chris Cosh
2010 Record: 4-0 (1-0 Big 12) National Ranking: None (receiving votes) Series Record vs. Nebraska: Nebraska leads 77-15-2
Game Date: Thursday, Oct. 7 Game Time: 6:30 p.m. CT Stadium: Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000) in Manhattan, Kan. TV: ESPN Radio: Husker Sports Network
Up Front: DE Brandon Harold (6-5, 258) looks to be returning to the form that made him a freshman All-American two years ago before an injury held him out of all but one game in 2009. Harold is currently second on the team with 26 tackles including a team-high six TFLs including a pair of sacks while adding two passes defended, two forced fumbles and fumble recovery. He ranks among the Big 12 leaders in tackles (19th), sacks (14th) and TFLs (8th). DT Prizell Brown (6-2, 284) joins Harold among the league sack leaders with a team-high 3.0 sacks to rank 10th in the conference. NT Raphael Guidry (6-4, 282) and DE Antonio Felder (6-1, 243) have combined for 33 tackles and round out the Wildcat starters along the front line.
The Middle Men: LB Alex Hrebec (5-11, 247) is the leader of the Wildcat defense, ranking third in the Big 12 with 9.8 tackles per game (39 total including double-figure tackles twice in first four games of the year). He also has one TFL and four passes defended to rank second on the squad. LB Blake Slaughter (5-10, 230) joins Hrebec directing traffic in the middle and is third among the Wildcats with 23 tackles this season, including a career-best 13 stops in the come-from-behind victory over UCF. LB Troy Butler (5-11, 197) has added 10 tackles from his starting linebacker spot.
In the Back: Kansas State's pass defense is ranked third in the league by allowing 153.8 yards through the air and trails only Nebraska in opponent completion rate. The Wildcats have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete just 45.6 percent of their pass attempts, just behind the Huskers' 45.0 percent allowed. CB Terrance Sweeney (5-9, 177) paves the way in the backend with 16 tackles and a team-high eight passes defended, including two interceptions. Through four games, he leads the Big 12 in passes defended and is sixth in interceptions. CB Stephen Harrison (5-11, 180) also ranks 19th with three passes defended. FS Emmanuel Lamur (6-4, 215) and CB David Garrett (5-8, 176) also have an INT for the Wildcats while combining for 34 tackles and 3.5 TFLs while S Tysyn Hartman (6-3, 206) ranks fourth on the team with 21 total stops.
Kicking It: P Ryan Doeer has punted 19 times for an average of 42.5 yards per kick. His average ranks ninth in the Big 12 although as a coverage team, KSU's net punting is fifth in league (38.7). Nine times Doeer's kicks have been fair caught and three have been downed inside the 20. He has a long of 55 yards, one of four 50-plus yard punts this season.
They Said It: "Why does it seem like we play better when we are on that end of the field? I think there is a sign of whether you have the kind of team that will give in a little bit or where you have a team that will stand up and get a little more emotional about it. I think sometimes offenses tend to change a little bit when they get into those areas and maybe get away from some of the things that got them there. It is a combination of those things I think." - Coach Bill Snyder on his team's defense, which has allowed the fourth-fewest red zone opportunities among league teams.
*** Despite facing the league's top rusher every day in practice, Kansas State has not been strong as a unit against the run this fall. Entering the week, it ranked last in the league by allowing 195.5 rushing yards per contest.
*** The Wildcats have recorded seven turnovers through four games including four interceptions and three fumble recoveries. KSU is sixth in the league for turnover margin at +2 through four games.
*** K-State has been fundamentally strong by keeping the penalties to a minimum. Wildcats have been called for 19 penalties for 41.8 yards per game (167 total), the lowest penalty average in the league.
*** KSU owns the most blocked kicks in the nation since 2002 with 36. Since the start of Big 12 play in 1996, the Wildcats rank second in league with 52 blocks, only behind Texas.
*** The Wildcats have struggled to stop opponents in crucial situations early in the year as KSU has allowed six opponent fourth-down conversions in seven attempts. The opponent fourth-down conversion rate is the second-highest in the league.
Kansas State Wildcats 2010 Schedule Sept. 4 UCLA, W, 31-22 Sept. 11 Missouri State, W, 48-24 Sept. 18 vs. Iowa State (in Kansas City), W, 27-20 Sept. 25 UCF, W, 17-13 Oct. 7 Nebraska, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN) Oct. 14 at Kansas, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN) Oct. 23 at Baylor Oct. 30 Oklahoma State Nov. 6 Texas Nov. 13 at Missouri Nov. 20 at Colorado Nov. 27 at North Texas