‘CATS OPEN BIG 12 PLAY WITH ISU … IN KC

‘CATS OPEN BIG 12 PLAY WITH ISU … IN KC

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It's Kansas State's home game, but one that will be played at the home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Wildcats will be trying to go 3-0 to start a season for the first time since 2006 Saturday at 11 a.m. against the 1-1 Cyclones. While the KSU administration likes the idea of playing games in major cities, coach Bill Snyder would just as soon be playing at ‘his' stadium.

It's a home game, that's on the road. While it's Kansas State's year to play Iowa State in Manhattan this year, the game Saturday will be played at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium completing a two-game contract between the two schools.

"The Chiefs have been terrific hosts," said KSU athletics director John Currie. "It's a world-class facility that is in a huge market for us, so we'll continue to look at the right kind of opportunities to play at Arrowhead Stadium. Maybe that's a conference series, maybe it's not."

If not Arrowhead Stadium, K-State President Kirk Schulz has charged Currie with finding a game every so often that would take K-State's brand into a high-profile venue.

"If we can make the revenue work in Kansas City, yes, we'd like to play at Arrowhead again. Then it becomes a question of a conference game or a regional opponent," Schulz said earlier this fall.

"We're also looking at other stadiums in the country. I'd love to see our major athletic teams showing up in Dallas and Denver where we have solid alumni bases and where we're trying to recruit students. Dallas and Denver are on that list, and then Chicago is a little lower on the list."

This two-game set with Iowa State has generated each school a total of $1.8 million, while a single home game with the Cyclones in the Big 12's home-and-home agreement would have generated roughly $1.3 million for each school.

But Currie sends out this reminder on taking games to neutral sites: "When you factor in the cost to replace the home game by buying a game with a guarantee, it's essentially a wash." Excited about this weekend's opportunity are the K-State players.

"We all want to get to the NFL one day, so it's exciting to play in an NFL stadium," said defensive back David Garrett. Offensive guard Zach Kendall said of playing in Arrowhead, "This is big-time for us." He added, "I grew up in Kansas City and this is where I used to come tailgate with dad."

For Carson Coffman, it's also playing in his home community, and, a place where he didn't play last year having lost his starting quarterback position to Grant Gregory.

"That was embarrassing and disappointing," said Carson, who will have scores of friends and former teammates at the game. "This year I want to put a show on for them."

Dating back to 2001, K-State has won just two of its last nine Big 12 opening games. Those were last year against Iowa State, 24-23, and in 2007 against Texas, 41-21.

Of those nine games, seven were true away games, one at home in 2008 against Texas Tech, and last year's against Iowa State played at Arrowhead Stadium.

Going into this year's Big 12 opener, offensive tackle Zach Hanson says, "It's always best to start off the season the right way, especially when it's the opening to a conference season. We have a big task ahead of us, but this game can set a trend for the rest of the season."

On the subject, linebacker Blake Slaughter added the fact that "… it's a team from the North and that's the division we're trying to win. This win could create some great confidence for the rest of the year."

This will be K-State's sixth game at the home of the Kansas City Chiefs with the ‘Cats winning four of the previous five, which included the 2003 Big 12 title game over Oklahoma.

While the administration likes to take the Powercat brand into metropolitan, coach Bill Snyder would just as soon be playing the game in the stadium that carries his name The first reason is for the home-field advantage as the Wildcats are 46-5 (.902) at BSFS in the month of September dating back to 1992.

As for the second reason, he says, "The Manhattan community profits considerably from home games. The economy, the business community in Manhattan certainly profits and it's a healthier community when you play at home."

LAMUR OUT OF THE GAME:

Not expected to play Saturday will be safety Emmanuel Lamur due to a concussion suffered in practice this week. Lamur's place will be taken by Ty Zimmerman.

THOMAS NO. 10:

Daniel Thomas is at 1,636 yards through 14 games to rank No. 10 in K-State history.

On Thomas' talents compared to past KSU greats, coach Bill Snyder said, "I don't know that there's a capacity to make the comparison, other than to say he certainly could be right at the top. It's a hard question to answer. We've had some very, very fine players at the running back position and other positions as well. But he certainly wouldn't take a backseat to anyone."
Next in line on the all-time rushing charts is Cornelius Davis, who totaled 1,873 yards during a three-year career from 1966-68.

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