Wildcats gear up for showdown against the Red Raiders

The Kansas State Wildcats play the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan. on Oct. 8, 2016. (Archive photo by Emily Starkey | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team will attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time since early September on Saturday when they travel to Lubbock, Texas, to take on Texas Tech.

K-State is coming into the game hot off a 30-20 win against the University of Kansas last weekend. The Wildcats’ record is currently 4-4 for the season.

At last week’s post-game press conference, head football coach Bill Snyder talked about the team’s conversations after the game against KU.

“Most of the conversation and dialogue was about what we need to do to become a better football team, as well as the pluses and the minuses from the game,” Snyder said. “We spent some time on that, then we spent some time on the upcoming opponent, Texas Tech. Mondays are far different than what they normally have been. That is … because of the time element and how much time we are afforded by the NCAA.”

Snyder also talked about Texas Tech quarterback Nic Shimonek, who has thrown for over 2,500 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.

“For a young quarterback, he has a good deal of poise about him and seems to have a very good understanding about what they do at Texas Tech,” Snyder said. “He throws the ball well, and he can run it if he has to. He has an exceptional amount of experience as it relates to quarterbacks in the nationwide scope [regarding] how much they throw the football.”

A major talking point for Snyder was the opportunity to get six wins this season and make it to a bowl game. K-State has made it to seven straight bowl games, but the team will need to go at least 2-2 in the final four games of the season to keep that streak alive.

“I have mentioned it,” Snyder said. “I know it is on their mind, and I know their aspirations to do some of the things they were excited about earlier in the season do not exist now. They want to go to a bowl game, and they understand what they have to do in order to make that happen.”

The Wildcats may be playing without starting quarterback Jesse Ertz, who hasn’t played in the past two games. K-State has relied on sophomore quarterback Alex Delton, but most of the heavy lifting on offense has been done by sophomore running back Alex Barnes, who ran for 108 yards against the Jayhawks.

Snyder was complimentary of Barnes’ performance on the team.

“First and foremost, he’s pretty adept to follow his blocks — he goes where the holes are, so to speak,” Snyder said. “He normally is an aggressive runner. I don’t know if it was this past week, but he can run hard. But nobody is going to get 100 yards if you’re not blocking somebody, so that’s a big asset.”

The game between K-State and Texas Tech will begin at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on FS1.