Wildcats take advantage of the bye-week to prepare for matchup with No. 8 Sooners

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Junior running back Alex Barnes runs the ball in K-State's football game against Oklahoma State in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 13, 2018. The Wildcats defeated the Cowboys 31-12. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team is preparing to take on the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday inside Gaylord Family Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.

Ahead of the matchup, the team spoke to the media on Tuesday about the possibility of taking down the eighth-ranked team in the country on the road.

Junior offensive lineman Adam Holtorf talked about the motivation behind being the underdog this week.

“It adds a little more motivation,” Holtorf said. “That just influences our preparation even more. Personally, it pushes me a little harder to try and improve the best I can and get myself in a position where I’m ready to go for Saturday.”

K-State had a bye-week this past week, and the extra preparation should pair well with the fact that the team won its last game against Oklahoma State on Oct. 13.

Junior wide receiver Dalton Schoen spoke about the momentum provided from that 31-12 win.

“It was definitely big for this team for momentum purposes,” Schoen said. “To go out there and play the second half that we did and show what we’re capable of, I think that’s definitely big for our team and something to build off of.”

Junior running back Alex Barnes had seven rushing touchdowns in the last two games, and is the Big 12’s best running back, averaging 112.6 yards per game.

Although Barnes has been putting up big numbers for the Wildcats as of late, head coach Bill Snyder emphasized that the team must have balance on offense.

“As I’ve said so many times, it’s important for us to have balance,” Snyder said. “If we can’t throw the ball, they can put all 11 guys up there and it’s pretty hard to run it. We’ve got to have the capacity to be able to throw the ball and throw it effectively as well.”

Oklahoma’s dynamic quarterback Kyler Murray could pose a danger to the Wildcats. The junior ranks first in the Big 12 in pass efficiency (225.4), total offense (343.6) and passing touchdowns (25).

Snyder commented on Murray’s ability Tuesday, commending his running ability and ability to stand in the pocket and make throws.

“He’s an amazing player, he truly is,” Snyder said. “I’m sure you’ve seen something of him, but if you sit down and watch him on tape, he’s an excellent player. He’s got exceptional quickness for that position. He can stand in there, find his throwing lanes. You put in the capacity to run the football, scramble, keep the ball alive, he’s a good player.”

After beating Oklahoma State more than a week ago, K-State has a chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season, a fact Snyder addressed on Tuesday.

“I just know we are 3-4, and that’s not where we need to be or want to be,” Snyder said.

The Wildcats and Sooners will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and the game will be televised on FOX.

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