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Slate: Confidence is Key for Wildcats

How will Klieman and the ‘Cats handle the underdog role?

NCAA Football: Nicholls State at Kansas State
Can Malik Knowles and the K-State offense continue rolling as competition ramps up?
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The weeks seem longer during football season, don’t they? Buckle down, do your work, and Saturday will get here eventually.

In the meantime, there is plenty of retrospective on the Bowling Green beatdown to go along with the anticipation of this week’s big-boy match-up in Starkville.


Ryan Black tells the story of the 4th-and-3 touchdown strike to Malik Knowles from 34 yards out that pushed the halftime score against Bowling Green to 38-0. Both the offense and the defense love the empowerment that comes from the coaching staff’s confidence in the team. Klieman’s money line: “Hey. We trust you. Go win it.”

Noted in the comments yesterday and also by the Eagle staff, K-State may not appear in the AP or Coaches’ poll just yet, but the analytical gurus at Sagarin listed K-State as the No. 25 team in the nation. Stats beat silly opinions, right?

The athletic department turned the page, looking forward to this week’s big road match-up against the SEC’s Mississippi State. One semi-interesting side story: Coach Klieman makes a rare appearance in the shoes of the underdog against the Bulldogs. Even the Oklahoman, with no stake in this match, saw fit to comment on this Bigfoot sighting.

In his “Five things to Know” column, Kellis Robinett informs us that Mississippi State, which owns at 38-28 road victory over Louisiana-Lafayette and a 38-15 home win over Southern Mississippi, is ranked 23rd in the USA Today coaches poll. He also reminds us of last year’s 31-10 shellacking in Manhattan, because Kellis is a mean, mean man. The Bulldogs (big thanks to M.S.U. for not caving to the “dawgs” iteration of the word, by the way) may be without Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens at quarterback, after he left the Southern Miss game with an upper body injury. Coach Moorhead says he’s not ready to rule him out completely, but he sounds less than optimistic. The Bulldogs will have a familiar name in the passing patterns, though, as K-State’s former leading receiver Isaiah Zuber will line up opposite his old team in Starkville. Another interesting tidbit: Coach Joe Moorhead’s team has not surrendered more than 28 points in any game over the past two seasons. Can the high-scoring ‘Cats end that string?

Women’s Golf

K-State Sports Extra featured the women’s golf squad as it tries to maintain confidence from its experience and past success. In the second round of the Trinity Forest Invitational yesterday, Reid Isaac got a confidence boost from draining a 70-foot birdie putt and used the momentum to turn momentum in her round to get back into the top-5 on the leaderboard. Isaac is 2-under through 36 holes and tied for fourth. As a team, K-State struggled on the back-9 in Monday’s windy conditions and sits 7th. The final round teed off at 8:30 this morning.