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Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2007

KSU still smarting

Wildcats eager to face CU on Saturday

October 9, 2007

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— It took Kansas State three years to get back into the Top 25, but it took only one weekend to fall back out.

After earning the No. 24 spot in last week's poll - the Wildcats' highest ranking since Sept. 5, 2004 - Kansas State lost at home, 30-24, Saturday to in-state rival Kansas University.

Though the Jayhawks have won three of the last four games, this year's loss was particularly painful for the Wildcats (3-2 overall, 1-1 Big 12).

"I know right now I got a bad taste in my mouth," linebacker Justin Roland said. "I can't get the plays that we missed out of my head. The sooner that we get to the next game, the better."

That game is Saturday at home against Colorado (4-2, 2-0), a team that followed its conference-opening upset of Oklahoma with a 43-23 victory at Baylor. The game is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. and will air on ESPN2.

The past two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for Kansas State, which stunned then No. 7 Texas 41-21 before losing to the Jayhawks.

As high as morale was after the victory over the Longhorns, it might have been just as low after the Kansas loss.

"I want to say it was just like another game, but in-state rivalries are big," wide receiver Daniel Gonzalez said. "It may be a little worse than any other game, but I think it's something we can learn from."

Coach Ron Prince said his team's goal still is to win the Big 12 North. He said his four captains - quarterback Josh Freeman, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, linebacker Ian Campbell and Roland - have helped keep the team on an even keel.

Nelson, who leads the team with 52 receptions for 634 yards, noted that the Wildcats are just two possessions away from being 5-0. He said the key is executing down the stretch.

"After a loss, there might be some people down, and you just have to pick them up and get them to move on," Nelson said. "We got a game Saturday, and that game's not going to wait on us. It's going to come here just as quick as the other games, so we've got to get stuff corrected and get ready."

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