2007 KU Football press conference Oct. 2
- KU coach Mark Mangino speaks with the media Tuesday about the upcoming Sunflower Showdown in Manhattan
- KU defensive back Aqib Talib talks about his matchup this Saturday on K-State's Jordy Nelson
- KU linebacker Mike Rivera talks about taking on a K-State team fresh off a win at Texas
- KU quarterback Todd Reesing talks about his impending first career road start
- KU running back Brandon McAnderson talks about his fourth go-around in the KU-KSU rivalry
- KU tight end Derek Fine talks about preparing for a fast and physical K-State defense
On the surface, it's just a simple change. Take one guy off the defensive line and move him back.
But it's a strategy that separates Kansas State's football team from the rest of the Big 12 Conference. Kansas University's next opponent operates with a base 3-4 defense, meaning a setup of three down lineman and four linebackers. One of the linebackers always rushes, but it's not always clear which one will.
Most defenses, including the Jayhawks', operate out of a base 4-3 alignment.
Though it's not drastic, KU's offensive line does have to make a few tweaks to go against a 3-4.
"Different challenges," KU offensive line coach John Reagan said. "To be honest, it obviously changes your calls and changes the way you do some things. You have to figure out who the fourth lineman is going to be and those kind of things.
"That being said, we played Southeastern Louisiana who, scheme-wise, was a (3-4) team who blitzed a ton. : The biggest challenge is changing the mindset from four-down line calls to three-down line calls."
Many defenses, including the Jayhawks, go to three linemen in nickel packages. That said, the offense-versus-defense work at KU's practices certainly has helped the offensive line get more familiar with the altered setup.
For example, the center has what could be an uncomfortable change of scenery. Going against a 3-4, KU center Ryan Cantrell will have a nose tackle right on top of him when he snaps the ball. In a 4-3, there is a lineman on each side of him at an angle.
"I think it can be (challenging)," Reagan said. "I think it really depends on the type of player you are and the type of players you have next to you. Certainly, there is a guy breathing down on the ball every snap."
The adjustment up front could be crucial in the Jayhawks' ability to keep its offensive machine moving Saturday, when Kansas and Kansas State tangle at 11 a.m. in Manhattan.
The man at the wheel, quarterback Todd Reesing, doesn't see it as too big of a deal.
"We've played against a 3-4 defense this year," Reesing said. "We've played against it with our team in practice when they do it. It's not like something we haven't played against. We know how to handle a 3-4 defense. We've done it before."
2007 K-State football press conference Oct. 1
- Jordy Nelson, the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, speaks further on the KU game
- K-State coach Ron Prince addresses the media Monday at his weekly press conference in Manhattan
- K-State defensive end Ian Campbell speaks with the media Monday, on the heels of being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
- K-State quarterback talks about avenging his showing a year ago in Lawrence
- K-State receiver Jordy Nelson talks about his huge performance and Texas and looks forward to KU