K-State aims to stay focused, avoid trap against Bowling Green

Junior running back Harry Trotter runs the ball in for a touchdown during K-State's football game against Nicholls State in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019. The Wildcats took the Colonels 49-14. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State’s 49-14 domination of Nicholls State on Saturday was a big-time, emotional win in head coach Chris Klieman’s first game at K-State. For players and coaches alike, there was a huge emotional weight for the first game.

On Sept. 14, the Wildcats will venture to Starkville, Mississippi, for a rematch of last year’s home drubbing at the hands of Mississippi State, another game that holds huge weight on K-State’s schedule.

But between the two games lies possibly the easiest game on the Wildcats’ schedule — Bowling Green. In the sports world, having an easy game sandwiched between two emotionally important or significant games is called a “trap game.”

The fear is that players and coaches may overlook the lesser opponent by focusing too far forward and also have a letdown compared to the built up energy they had in the first game.

Sophomore defensive end Wyatt Hubert, for the record, does not think that that let down will happen.

“I do not think [recreating the week one energy] will be a problem at all because we have been so excited for this,” Hubert said. “Week one is over, but we have so many weeks ahead of us.”

The Wildcat coaches and team leaders are trying to avoid a letdown as much as possible, and that seemed to be a consistent message during media availability on Tuesday.

Klieman, for instance, made several references to his philosophy of “stacking good days” on top of each other, a twist on the old “take it one game at a time” cliche that coaches and players overuse in press conferences across the country.

Still, K-State team leaders seem to have bought into the philosophy.

“I think guys realize last week is in the past and that we have to continue to build on it,” senior offensive lineman Adam Holtorf said.

Holtorf added later that he had not heard any talk about Mississippi State in the locker room this week and that it was all focused on Bowling Green.

“The coaches, they hound to us ‘Don’t be seduced by success,’” junior defensive back AJ Parker said. “That game doesn’t matter anymore, so we have to come in, focus and get prepared for the next week.”

Hi! I'm Nathan Enserro, an alumnus from Olathe, Kansas. I graduated in spring 2022 with a Masters in Mass Communication, and I graduated in spring 2020 with a Bachelor's of Science in strategic communications from K-State. I covered K-State sports for the Collegian for four years.