Battle of the QB's

Battle of the QB's

Big 12 Conference play opens Saturday at 2:30 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium as Kansas State plays host to Texas Tech. The game features two of the premier QBs in the nation in Graham Harrell of the Red Raiders and Josh Freeman of the Wildcats.

The Davey O'Brien committee that names the Quarterback of the Year has put the spotlight on Bill Snyder Family Stadium Saturday as its Quarterback Match-up Game of the Week.

That's Graham Harrell of Texas Tech and Josh Freeman of Kansas State.

Last week, Freeman passed Lynn Dickey on the career yardage ladder with 6,238, and this week, Harrell will likely do the same at Tech, as he needs just 196 yards to tie Kliff Kingsbury's record of 12,429.

Asked about the dueling quarterbacks, Kansas State coach Ron Prince said of Harrell, "Their guy has been doing this for white a while. He is very successful and they are going to put up very staggering numbers."

Because Harrell and his pass-catching buddy Michael Crabtree have fancy Big 12 resumes, Prince said the comparison with his own Freeman and Brandon Banks, who happens to lead the nation with his 115 receiving yards per game (one more yard than Crabtree), probably isn't fair.

In his words, "They (Freeman and Banks) have a lot to prove in this contest. I don't think right now that you can say it's apples to apples, but we will go see."

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Harrell is passing for 393 yards per game. He's completing .645 percent of his passes with 12 TDs to 3 interceptions.

The 6-6, 250-pound Freeman is passing for 276 yards per game. He's completing .670 percent of his passes with 11 TDs and 2 interceptions.

"His size and he has a very strong arm and is very accurate with it," said Tech free safety Darcel McBath. "From 10, to 15, to 40 yards down the field, he can make all the throws. We are going to have to bring our ‘A' game."

Which is basically what Freeman says about going against Tech: "We know they'll put up some numbers, and I think we'll put up some numbers.

It'll be a matter of defense and I have confidence in ours. But we know we'll have to be on our ‘A' game."

As for the receiver comparison, the 5-7, 142-pound Banks has 22 catches, is averaging 21-yards per catch and has six touchdown passes.

The 6-3, 208-pound Crabtree, a 2007 all-American, has 29 catches, is averaging 16 yards per catch and six touchdowns.

As a team, K-State's 47.0 scoring average ranks No. 8 in the nation and Tech's 45.8 average ranks No. 9.

The difference in this game with two marquee quarterbacks might come down to the running game with Tech featuring Shannon Woods with his 99 yards of rushing and catching of the football, while K-State will counter with Lamark Brown, who rushed for 137 yards last week in his first collegiate game as a running back.

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