This bas become a game that is now must-win for both teams. The Wildcats are winless in conference play, a dubious honor they share with Kansas. But Oklahoma State has also slipped and has won just one Big 12 game so far, a 20-point victory over—you guessed it—Kansas.
TB kicked the tires on Oklahoma State, and it’s hard to disagree with his evaluation that the Wildcats are going to lose this one, and bowl eligibility is not really in the cards for this team.
For his part, Kellis Robinett is slightly more optimistic, noting that a bowl game is still mathematically possible, even with a loss to the Cowboys today. Nevertheless, even Kellis can’t help but see the resemblance between this team and the 2004 debacle.
At least some of the blame for Kansas State’s current predicament can be laid at the feet of a special teams unit that has been anything but special so far this season. With kicker Blake Lynch sidelined. and with the return game and kick coverage floundering, things have been ugly. It may take a massive improvement on special teams for the Wildcats to regain some confidence.
Meanwhile, the Kansas State offense, which finally found a potent rushing attack against Baylor last week, hopes to carry that momentum into today’s contest against the Cowboys. Dalton Risner, who called a players’ only meeting recently, recognizes that better run blocking is key, and that the offensive line needs to do a better job in pass protection, especially against an Oklahoma State team that features the Big 12’s two best pass rushers in Jordan Brailford and Jarrell Owens.
The defense will also face a tough challenge against the Cowboys. Thanks to Justice Hill—probably the best running back in the Big 12—Oklahoma State presents the Wildcats with a challenge they haven’t faced since the Mississippi State game, and well, we all know how that turned out.
To add to all that, the Wildcats are pretty banged up. Neither Alex Delton nor Blake Lynch are expected to play today, but the team might get safety Denzel Goolsby back now that he’s recovered from an arm injury suffered against the Bulldogs.
But never mind all that...because basketball is back!
The men’s and women’s launched the basketball season with Madness in Manhattan. 4,500 fans showed up to watch a co-ed three-point contest and a dunk contest for the men’s team.
The evening began with a tribute to legendary coach Tex Winter who passed away earlier this week. Then Jacob Pullen marked his return to Bramlage Coliseum with the unveiling of his giant bobblehead. Pullen was also one of three judges for the dunk contest, along with women’s basketball assistant coach Chris Carr, and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar. Dean Wade won the dunk contest over Austin Trice, while the three-point contest was won by Sarah Bates (20) and Xavier Sneed (15).
Madness ended with a men’s basketball scrimmage, with White (led by Sneed and Barry Brown. Jr.) beating Purple 30-25. Brown had nine points to seven for Sneed, while Wade had nine points for the Purple squad, followed by eight for Mike McGuirl.
The men’s golf team is currently playing in the Big 12 Match tournament. On the first day, the team tied Oklahoma in a head-to-head matchup.
Junior Ben Fernandez won his match, as did Will Hopkins. Senior Jeremy Gandon lost though, despite playing well and finishing the day 5-under par. This was also true for Roland Massimino who finished under par but also lost his match.
Match play continues today as the Wildcats take on Iowa State.
Kansas State’s winless streak in conference play continues. The Wildcats lost to Texas Tech 2-0 despite a strong defensive showing that held up through the first 72 minutes of play.
Texas Tech scored twice in quick succession after that, once off a Kansas State turnover and the second time after the Wildcats cleared a corner kick and sent the ball straight to the Red Raiders’ Jade King who shot the ball right into the back of the frame.
The only good news for the Wildcats happened at halftime when the program broke ground on Buser Family Park, the new K-State soccer facility.
Kansas State has one more chance to win a Big 12 game this season with its final home match against TCU on Sunday. The match is scheduled for 12:30PM.
The Kansas State tennis team is in Iowa City for the ITA Central Regional Championships. In the Round of 64, the Wildcats’ three doubles teams all came away with wins.
The day began with Maria Ponomareva and Ioana Gheorghita beating Oral Roberts 8-4, while teammates Margot Decker and Maria Linares got an 8-2 win over Nebraska. Ines Mesquita and Anna Turco then beat another Nebraska duo 8-6. The team advanced to the next round in the doubles competition.
Singles play begins today with the first matches in a 128-player draw.