BACK BETTER THAN EVER:
• Travis Tannahill and strength and conditioning coach Chris Dawson buddied up during the off-season, so expect stronger and more versatile play from the Wildcat tight end in 2012.
• John Hubert openly says his goal is to have a 1,000-yard season as K-State's go-to running back. With scouting reports focused on Mr. Klein, look for Hubert to top last year's rush total of 970 yards.
• Wide receiver Tramaine Thompson is another Wildcat that took the off-season strength and conditioning program more seriously than ever before and expects to be a more sudden and durable receiver and return man.
• B.J. Finney was a more than able center last year, but those games were the first 13 of his career. As a sophomore, he'll be more comfortable in reading defenses and making calls in a more timely manner.
• Meshak Williams scored 10 tackles for negative yards last year, which included seven sacks. With NFL size and quickness, expect those numbers to be even higher in his senior campaign.
5 TRENDS TO CONTINUE FROM 2011:
• Last year K-State threw just six interceptions, which was a league-low, plus lost just nine fumbles, which was one off the league-low. That total of just 15 lost turnovers was three fewer than any other league team. The Wildcats had a plus-12 in the turnover department to rank second in the Big 12 and No. 9 in the nation.
• The Wildcats ranked first in the league in fewest penalty yards per game at 35.8, that compared to 65.8 yards for Texas A&M, or a difference of three first downs per game.
• There's no better defense than keeping the ball yourself. In 2011, K-State controlled the football for 33:55 minutes per game, which ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 4 in the nation.
• K-State pounded the ball in the end zone 34 times on rushing plays, which ranked third high in the Big 12; the Wildcats allowed just 18 rushes for touchdowns, which ranked fourth in the league.
• With Tyler Lockett leading the way, K-State ranked No. 9 in the county with 25.2 yards per kickoff return. Including an 8.4-yard average on punt returns, that's 33.6 total yards in kickoff/put returns, which ranked second only to Texas at 38.3 yards.