Down, but not out

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Warning: The following column is obnoxiously positive.

Let’s be honest, if sports were easily predictable with no jaw dropping twists and surprises, no one would watch them. “Upset” would just be a word used to describe what happens when the fruit basket is tipped over. “Comeback” would be two words, and simply an expression used when you get drunk on Saturday night and start texting your ex.

Who’s to say that this Thursday won’t result in an upset with K-State prevailing over No. 2 Baylor? Many things might point to the fact that it is foolish to believe such a thing could happen. The Bears lead the NCAA with 686.1 yards per game and 61.1 points per game compared to K-State’s total offense of 314.6 and 27.3 points per game. Baylor is the only team in the country averaging 8.43 yards per play, while K-State averages 4.8.

This week Baylor’s offense will be led by true freshman Jarrett Stidham, who is making his first start in place of an injured Seth Russell.

There is a chance. The players have a choice to make.

“You have two easy options and one is to stay down and the other is to get up,” head coach Bill Snyder said at Tuesday’s press conference. “I trust that our young guys will get up.”

A win on Thursday would be huge, but finishing the night with the most points on the scoreboard isn’t necessary to swing the momentum for this K-State team. If K-State can finish drives on offense, create turnovers on defense and improve their overall execution against Baylor, they will have no trouble playing out the rest of their Big 12 schedule.

It starts with learning from the losses and moving past them.

“There’s been a lot of spirit,” junior quarterback Joe Hubener said at the press conference. “I think guys are fired up and ready for Thursday.”

Snyder said he’d seen a lot of spirit in practice over the past week.

“By that I mean guys were into it,” Snyder said. “I’ve liked that there was that determined focus to execute the things that they do better then what they have.”

A little spirit in a productive practice is a step in the right direction for K-State. It could result in a win on Thursday night for the Wildcats or it might leave the team with a goose egg in the column for Big 12 wins.

“It’s not going to be overnight,” Snyder said. “There’s got to be a continued effort to enhance our work and preparation for each and every ballgame that we play.”

Overall, as long as K-State makes an obvious step toward improvement, the rest of the pieces should start to fall into place for the Wildcats.

“If you put the kind of practices together that we’re talking about, we will get there,” Snyder said.

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