Cats look to improve off bye week

By Joel Jellison

More often than not, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder gives wait-and-see responses to questions about the positives or negatives of a bye week.

But never has a bye week seemed to come at such a time for a K-State team.

The Wildcats are 10-3 after bye weeks under Snyder, including a 1-1 mark coming off of losses. In the 1991 season, the team came off a loss to No. 4-ranked Washington with a win over Kansas. In the 2003 season, the Wildcats were upset by Marshall, 27-20, and then went on to lose to Texas two weeks later, 24-20.

But after a 52-24 loss to Baylor, Snyder said this bye week could be far different from any other.

The Wildcats were ranked No. 1 in the BCS and controlled their destiny to the national title game when they lost to the Bears. And with a bye week, comes the added time of sitting and thinking about that loss.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” Snyder said. “The time is needed from a rest standpoint for our players. Maybe it would have been better to have it a little sooner than this, but that is hindsight. The other side of the coin is you have to let this fester for that period of time. That can be good or bad — it depends on how they respond to it.”

Responding to it good or bad isn’t a choice for K-State quarterback Collin Klein. Klein said the team must move forward as there is still much to play for.

With a loss to Texas next week, the team would likely fall out of contention for a BCS bowl, and be back in line for a second-straight trip to the Cotton Bowl. With a win over Texas, the team would claim a piece of the Big 12 title, and its win over Oklahoma would be enough to put them in, at least, the Fiesta Bowl.

“It’s just something that we have to do,” Klein said on moving forward. “Heartbreaking does not even describe it, but at the same time we just have to make sure that we don’t let Baylor beat us twice. We have to go back to what we know and that is just trying to be the best we can be, contribute in helping each other and being a good teammate. We just can’t waste any days.”

K-State center B.J. Finney, who appeared to be injured at times during the Baylor game, said the bye week does seem to be coming at a good time. While he acknowledged many of his teammates would rather be playing football, he said the time to recover and recuperate is also needed.

Klein said he is just ready to get back to work.

“Obviously, we had a pretty long stretch there with a long run, and we were not able to finish it out like we would have liked,” he said. “We will rest up and hopefully fix some things here and there and then get ready to go at it again.”

Kickoff announced for Texas game

The Wildcats final home game on Dec. 1 against Texas will be played at 7 p.m. on ABC.

It game will be celebrated as senior night. A win for the Wildcats would give them a share of the Big 12 title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

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