K-State football to begin Big 12 play on the road

Dalton Schoen goes up against a UTSA player during the game against UTSA. The Wildcats ended the game with a score of 41-17, which was their second win of the 2018 season (Emily Lenk | Collegian Media Group)

Saturday’s football game will be the second time in three years that the Wildcats will be beginning conference play on the road against the Mountaineers.

K-State has been on the road to begin Big 12 play every year since hosting Baylor in 2011.

In his weekly press conference, head coach Bill Snyder was a little perplexed with the fact that the Wildcats are always on the road to start the season.

Snyder jokingly said, “It [the scheduling] is a done by a computer so I need to talk to the computer I guess.”

Snyder also mentioned that he loves to play at home but emphasized that being able to win on the road is extremely important.

Senior offensive lineman Dalton Risner talked about the environment of Milan Puskar Stadium and what to expect from the crowd and Mountaineer team.

Risner said it’s a “tough fan experience, you’re going to have a stadium packed full of rowdy fans that are going to be in there for their team and they are going to be loud and it’s going to be hard to play there, but second you think about the team that’s going to play physical and is going to play hard.”

Crowd noise will be a factor for the offense as this will be the first road for the Wildcats this season.

During practice this week, the offense simulated crowd noise on the big screen at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Risner said practicing the noise factor helps the offense prepare for the environment.

“I can barely hear myself think for two and a half hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s so aggravating but it’s good for us,” Risner said. “You get to the game and you think ‘Okay, I can do this.’”

Junior wide receiver Dalton Schoen talked about the interesting challenge of opening Big 12 play on the road.

“It’s a great challenge because West Virginia’s a great team, ranked top 15 or something like that,” Schoen said. “I’ve never been there myself, but I’ve heard it’s quite the hostile environment. It’s definitely going to be a big test for us, but it’s a great challenge for this team.”

K-State is seen as the underdog against West Virginia; the current line is 16 points, but the last four matchups have been decided by six points or less.

The Wildcats will be hoping to contain Heisman hopeful Will Grier and the Mountaineers on Saturday in Morgantown.