LJWorld.com weblogs Tale of the Tait
Three and out with K-State ...
• Kansas Jayhawks (1-3) vs. No. 7 Kansas State Wildcats (4-0) •
— 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS —
Opening Las Vegas Line: KSU -23.5
Current Las Vegas Line: KSU -24
Three and out, with Kansas State...
Kansas State’s roster features 56 players who list cities in Kansas as their hometowns, compared with just 24 for the Jayhawks.
Although the Wildcats have more than twice as many Kansans on their roster, neither school features a player from the opposing city on its side, as no one on KU’s roster lists Manhattan as his hometown and no one on KSU’s roster lists Lawrence.
In all, eight Jayhawks played high school football with players on K-State’s current roster. In addition, KSU coaches Tom Hayes (defensive coordinator), Joe Bob Clements (defensive ends) and Chris Dawson (strength and conditioning) spent time as coaches at KU, while KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger and assistant to the AD George Matsakis worked on KSU coach Bill Snyder’s staff in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
KU’s offense certainly has left a little to be desired so far this season. Through four games, the Jayhawks are averaging 21 points per contest and have yet to see quarterback Dayne Crist and the passing game get going.
The Jayhawks have delivered in the running game and junior wide receiver Christian Matthews’ management of the Jayhawk attack sparked Kansas in its Week 4 loss at Northern Illinois. Although the KU offense has been a little out of sync, KSU coach Bill Snyder still has a tremendous amount of respect for its potential.
“I think we see an offense that presents a lot of issues,” Snyder said of Weis’ attack. “The execution is good and (they have) the ability to do so many things because of the many formations that they utilize and the variety of schemes. They do something new every week. I think that presents a lot of problems for us.”
Everyone knows about quarterback Collin Klein, linebacker Arthur Brown, coach Snyder and the fact that the Wildcats rarely, if ever, beat themselves. But KSU possesses a weapon that very few people outside of Manhattan know much about. His name is Ryan Doerr, he’s the Wildcats’ punter and he’s played a huge role in just about every K-State victory this season. Two weeks ago, when the Wildcats upset Oklahoma in Norman, Doerr earned Big 12 special teams player of the week honors by landing all five of his punts inside the OU 20-yard line, including two inside the 10.
“Number one, Ryan is a good worker,” Snyder said. “He takes a lot of pride in his skill level and his contribution to our football team and special teams. The result of all of his kicks was positive, and some of them probably were not as good of kicks as he would like.... When Oklahoma has to start on its own 10-yard line instead of its 30, it is a big difference, a major difference, and it has an impact on the outcome of the ball game.”
Although the Wildcats have dominated the series since Snyder took over in 1989 — Snyder is 16-4 vs. KU all-time — the Jayhawks still lead the all-time series 65-39-5. In fact, KU owns a winning record all-time against K-State both in Lawrence (37-16-2) and in Manhattan (28-23-3).
The Wildcats have won three straight in the series, dating back to a 17-10 victory in Manhattan in 2009. Prior to that, KU won three straight from 2006-08, including a 52-21 rout in 2008, the Jayhawks’ last win in the series.
KU hasn’t won in Manhattan since 2007, when the Jayhawks knocked off the No. 24 Wildcats, 30-24 during Week 5 (on Oct. 6, no less) en route to their 12-1, Orange Bowl championship season.