K-State tries to find silver linings in bye week

K-State head football coach Bill Snyder during the football game between the University of Texas and K-State on Oct. 24, 2015 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. (George Walker | The Collegian)

K-State was 3-0 going into their last bye week back in September.

In those three games, the Wildcats were averaging 34.3 points per game while they held their opponents to an average of 12 points per game. The goal for the first bye week was to work on improvements before entering Big 12 play against Oklahoma State.

The team is still looking to make improvements going into this bye week, but instead of being on a three-game winning streak, K-State is trying to overcome a four-game losing streak.

The Wildcats have fallen behind in average points per game with a 27.3 average to their opponent’s 28.9.

The Wildcats have been plagued with a plethora of injuries. Head coach Bill Snyder said nine players were on the injury list before the Texas game last Saturday.

Snyder said the intent was to cut down the length of practices on Tuesday and Wednesday before starting up again on Saturday to get the team rested up for Baylor. K-State will also be using this week to build team morale.

“The hardest part is just trying to continue to motivate young people and to do the very best that they possibly can,” Snyder said at Tuesday’s press conferences. “You know a lot of us, myself included, have not really been here before.”

Junior quarterback Joe Hubener said the team is not where they want to be in terms of the Big 12.

“This is not the projection we hoped for, but having a bye week gives us extra time to prepare for Baylor and to fix some of the mistakes that we have made in these first several games in Big 12 play,” Hubener said at the press conference.

K-State will look to take advantage of Baylor’s quarterback situation. The Bears’ junior quarterback Seth Russell went down with a neck injury and freshman Jarrett Stidham will look to fill the void.

Wildcats’ sophomore defensive back Sean Newlan said he sees Stidham as a well-coached player.

“There is always that youth factor that goes along with a young player like that,” Newlan said at Tuesday’s press conference. “Maybe if we’re able to disguise some of our coverages we’ll be able to force him into some errors and missed throws, but I think he’s a pretty solid player.”

Junior linebacker Will Davis is also hoping to use Stidham’s youth as an opportunity to make plays.

“Even a senior out there who’s been playing for four years is going to make mistakes,” Davis said at the press conference. “A freshman might be a little more susceptible to that, so that’s what we’re going to have to take advantage of.”

As for the team’s morale dealing with a four-game skid, junior offensive lineman Terrale Johnson said the team is staying focused on keeping determined and positive.

“We just talk to every player and make sure they have their head up,” Johnson said at the press conference. “If we keep grinding hard together and we keep fighting together, we’ll come out on top.”