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Previewing Kansas State football

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Plus, the VolleyCats win again!

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Michigan v Kansas State

Previously...

Five days to Kansas State football, y’all! FIVE DAYS!!

We celebrate with BracketCat’s countdown and #5 quarterback Alex Delton.

Volleyball

Kansas State is 2-0, and off to a hot start. After knocking off Arizona on Friday, the VolleyCats scored a big upset yesterday, beating #6 Hawaii 3-1 in a come-from-behind victory (19-25, 30-28, 25-22, 25-20). This is the Wildcats’ first road win over a Top 10 team since beating Nebraska in the NCAA Tournament in 2011.

The first set was marred by service errors, but Kylee Zumach’s eight kills in the second frame helped Kansas State even the match. Zumach ended the match with 14 kills and 11 digs, the first double-double of her career. Brooke Sassin was also dominant last night, getting seven kills in the second set and a total of 18 on the night, and Bryna Vogel had 12.

The Wildcats dominated the next two sets in part because of Katie Brand and Katie Reininger. The team had double digit blocks for the second straight game. In comparison, 2015 featured a single game with double digit blocks.

This is Kansas State’s fifth consecutive season with a 2-0 start. Next, they’ll take on Wisconsin in the conclusion of the Rainbow Wahine Invitational at 5 PM CDT today. The Badgers are also 2-0 at the event and the all-time series between the teams is tied 2-2.

Football

The Kansas City Star’s 2016 Football Preview issue is out, and there’s plenty of Kansas State football material. The print edition has some interesting artwork, including a rendition of Bill Snyder as Atlas.

Kellis Robinett provides a brief capsule, highlighting areas of concern, including the continued health of Jesse Ertz and a retooled offensive line.

Speaking of Ertz, he’s apparently a lethal combination of killer instinct and competitive spirit. His teammates compare him to Collin Klein and voted him team captain even though he didn’t throw a single pass in competition last season. “The sky is the limit for Jesse,” as Dalton Risner put it, adding:

People may not realize it, but the guy is such a great athlete. We go to the pool, and he is the fastest swimmer. We go to the basketball court, and no one can guard him. He never loses at video games. He is a born winner, and I can’t wait for him to prove it on the football field.

Like many other media outlets, the Star could not avoid the obvious, inevitable question about Kansas State football. What happens when Bill Snyder retires? Blair Kerkhoff doesn’t mine any new material here, but it’s a good reminder that this ride will not last forever. Let the handwringing begin!

The Topeka Capital-Journal has plenty of Kansas State coverage too, including this piece from Kevin Haskin debating the importance of the quarterback position in football. As usual, Snyder gets the last word, noting that “11 guys better be doing what they’re supposed to be doing or you’re going to get beat.”

Kansas State punter Nick Walsh, who is on the Ray Guy watch list this preseason, was also the third best punter in the Big 12 last season. That was not good enough for Walsh, who is in constant pursuit of perfection. This season, his goal is to improve his hang time to about 4.8 seconds. Sean Snyder, who knows a thing or two about punting, thinks this is achievable, but also wants to help Walsh out by limiting return yards by opponents (Ken Corbitt, Capital-Journal).

Like many other punters in the Big 12 and Big Ten conferences, Walsh is dedicating the season to Nebraska punter Sam Foltz who, along with former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, was killed in a car accident earlier this summer.

What keeps Kansas State fans so invested in football? There are many factors involved, but key upgrades to football facilities and to Bill Snyder Family Stadium have been a huge draw for the community, as Laird Veatch notes (Delaney Hiegert, Capital-Journal).

Finally, a note about Kansas head coach David Beaty. He may not win a lot of football games in Lawrence, but he is definitely a winner at the game of life. Some years ago, he stepped in to rescue and offer comfort to a young boy at a trampoline park in Houston. This week, the boy’s mother is thanking Beaty for saving her son’s life (Brad Weiss, Fansided).