A LOOK AHEAD TO 2012

A LOOK AHEAD TO 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Some ‘Cats are bigger, stronger, faster heading into 2012 Kansas State football year, for for those Wildcats to be as good in the win column as last year, some trends of 2011 need to continue.

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.

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