IT'S ‘SUNFLOWER SHOWDOWN' TIME

IT'S ‘SUNFLOWER SHOWDOWN' TIME

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The experts put Kansas State as an 11- to 12-point favorite Saturday at KU's Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats are 6-0 to start the season while the Jayhawks have stumbled to a 2-4 mark. KU's number? Bill Snyder has it, having won 14 of the last 15 games he's coached against KU.

Bill Snyder will tell you it's just another game, but even he reached into his bag of tricks this week to prepare his Kansas State Wildcats for the 109th meeting against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Normally, K-State practices to the static-sound of a jet engine to prepare for away games, but this week it was the KU fight song that Snyder cranked up during the Wildcat practice sessions.

"It's a rivalry game. It gets the blood flowing and gives us some extra motivation," said junior tight end Travis Tannahill of the tune. "Coach (Bill Snyder) is just giving us a little more to get us going."

Freshman center B.J. Finney added, "It will help us get accustomed to what Memorial Stadium is like and what it sounds like when everybody is in full swing. It is just a mental preparation for us."

Saturday in an 11 a.m. kickoff in Lawrence, No. 12-ranked Kansas State will put its 3-0 Big 12 and snazzy 6-0 record on the line against the 0-3 and 2-4 Kansas Jayhawks.

The Wildcats will be playing for their third straight win over Kansas, and Snyder will be coaching for his 15th win in the last 16 tries against his school's arch-rival.

"Am I confident that they will continue to do that?" Snyder asked. "If they continue to practice well, and practice and prepare themselves to play well, then I think they will. It is not something you just turn on when Saturday afternoon rolls around."

On paper, its Kansas State's game to win. After all, the Wildcats are ranked No. 12 in the nation with a 6-0 overall mark and 3-0 Big 12 record. Kansas is just 2-4, which includes three Big 12 losses to Texas Tech by 11, Oklahoma State by 42, and Oklahoma by 30. To those numbers, however, backup running back Angelo Pease said, "I never look at a record.

Every team is going to come in and give us their best shot. We're going to go out and practice this week, prepare and be ready for whatever they may throw at us. It won't be an easy game. It's a rivalry game, so we're going to get their best shot."

Freshman center B.J. Finney added of the game, "It is the same old story. Anyone can lose on any given day. We are just going to play football and handle it that way."

"We will not have a letdown this week. Coach Snyder and our leaders will not going to let that happen. It's always 0-0 when the game starts, and stats don't matter in a rivalry game like this."

To such a comment, Snyder would nod his head in approval.

"All games are significant, as most people say. Winning is hard under any circumstance. They are all really special in their own right. That is never meant to downplay the rivalry and what it means to so many people, but this is just the next game, and therefore it becomes the most important game we play," said Snyder. "That is just kind of the way we approach it. If you make the exception for any football team, then you do not have the consistency you preach about all the time."

PLAYING THE BEST:
Kansas has dropped its last four games by an average margin of 31 points. Those losses came to 6-1 Georgia Tech, 4-2 Texas Tech, 6-0 Oklahoma State and 6-0 Oklahoma. Today the Jayhawks play 6-0 K-State and next week will face 4-2 Texas.

Of those six games, OU is ranked No. 3, O-State No. 6, K-State No. 11, Georgia Tech No. 20, plus Texas is receiving Top 25 votes. After today, K-State's next four games are against 6-0 OU, 6-0 O-State, 4-2 Texas A&M and 4-2 Texas Tech.

FOR THE (7-0) RECORD:
K-State's last 7-0 start to a season came in 1999 when the Wildcats opened with nine straight wins. The only other 7-0 start in the Snyder era came in 1998 (11-0).

In K-State history, the only other 7-0 start came in 1910 when Mike Ahearn's team went 7-0, and finished at 10-1.

BY THE NUMBERS: KSU KU

Points per game 29.3 31.7
Points allowed 19.5 49.0
Rushing per game 206 207
Rushing defense 97 227
Passing per game 130 218
Passing defense 249 338
Total offense 336 425
Total defense 346 565

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