K-State looks ahead to TCU

Senior nickelback Randall Evans (15) and then junior strong safety Dante Barnett (22) tackle TCU wide receiver David Porter at the two yard line following Porter's 34-yard reception during the first quarter of the No. 7-ranked Wildcats' 41-20 loss to the No. 6-ranked Texas Christian University Horned Frogs on Nov, 8, 2014, at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

K-State had little time to dwell on the 34-36 loss to Oklahoma State last weekend before they began focusing on facing TCU at home this Saturday.

Junior linebacker Will Davis said he is not daunted by the fact that TCU is ranked second in the nation.

“It gives us a great opportunity to do something special here,” Davis said during a press conference. “I think that builds a lot of excitement with the guys.”

TCU has won 21 of its last 27 conference road games. Since 2009, TCU holds the nation’s third-best road record at 27-7. Saturday will mark the team’s ninth meeting with K-State. The series is tied 4-4, and the Wildcats hold a 3-1 record when playing the Horned Frogs in Manhattan. The last time TCU won in Manhattan was in 1985.

Head Coach Bill Snyder said in Tuesday’s press conference that he felt like an opportunity to defeat a ranked team slipped past the Wildcats last weekend and that the team was fortunate to get another opportunity to defeat a ranked opponent this weekend.

“If you’re looking at it as a spoiler role, you’re accepting the fact that you’re not as good as somebody else,” Snyder said. “I want to believe and I do believe that if we practice well, prepare well and play well, we have every right to believe we can be successful.”

K-State will have to solve TCU’s offense led by Trevone Boykin. Boykin ranks second nationally in total offense at 408.8 yards per game. He currently holds the nation’s longest streak with a touchdown pass in 20 straight games. He will look to connect with Josh Doctson, who ranks second in the nation with 722 yards receiving and eight touchdown catches.

Davis said that the defense took it personally when they gave up a score at the end of the Oklahoma State game and that the Wildcats will be looking to improve in that aspect against TCU this weekend.

“If we fail, we fail as a unit,” Davis said. “It takes 11 guys to defend the pass and it takes 11 guys to defend the run.”

Offensively, K-State will look to capitalize on TCU’s younger defensive players. TCU currently leads the nation this season in most players making their first career start on defense. Junior quarterback Joe Hubener is not taking the Frogs’ inexperienced defense lightly.

“While they might not have the experience of some of the players they’re missing, we know that they’re going to come out and work hard,” Hubener said. “This is their chance to prove themselves too, and we can’t take that for granted.”

Hubener suffered an injury early in the Oklahoma State game and senior wide receiver Kody Cook took over the quarterback spot. Snyder was pleased with Cook’s performance.

“I thought he was quite poised in the ball game and had a very fine command of what the offense does,” Snyder said. “If he would have been there all of that time, then we would have been short changed, which we are now, from the receiver point. I guess we have to play him both ways, divide him in half.”

Hubener said he did not mind the idea of having Cook as a complementary player at quarterback.

“(Cook) is a tremendous athlete,” Hubener said. “He’s so versatile, he can really do it all. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him take some snaps at quarterback still.”

Overall, Hubener is looking forward to playing a highly ranked opponent in a familiar atmosphere.

“You can’t prove yourself playing against the 112th ranked team,” Hubener said. “You need these opportunities versus quality programs where you can come out and shock the world essentially. We want these types of opportunities.”