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Cats turn focus to No. 6 Sooners

By Kelly McHugh

It wasn’t until the second quarter of Saturday night’s game against North Texas that No. 15/13 Kansas State recorded its first first down.

Needless to say, much like the game against Missouri State three weeks ago, the Wildcats got off to another slow start.

“I don’t know that it was a surprise,” Bill Snyder said following Saturday night’s 35-21 win over the Mean Green. “If you don’t prepare yourselves well, then almost anything can happen, and we were not very well prepared.

“We didn’t practice well Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday — you pick it.”

This Saturday K-State will take on the No. 6/5 Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Okla., the the Wildcats’ Big 12 opener.

The Sooners, with only one home loss in the past six seasons (Texas Tech last season), will be coming off of a bye week after starting its season 2-0 against unranked UTEP and Florida A&M.

“It’s OU,” K-State receiver Tramaine Thompson said. “It’s a big game. It’s the first game of conference play. There’s a lot of things that go into it, and we just have to make sure to put our best foot forward and get started right.”

Putting its best foot forward in Norman will be crucial as K-State opens league play against the preseason favorite to win the Big 12.

But preparation for Oklahoma, according to senior tight end Travis Tannahill, began Sunday, after the team put its game against North Texas behind it.

“Obviously OU is going to be a big game,” Tannahill said Saturday night. “This game, put it behind you. We’ll watch the film (Sunday), learn, see what we did right, see what we did wrong, but we’ll definitely look at the OU film starting (Sunday).

“We didn’t look ahead at OU or anything this week — we haven’t watched a minute of OU film yet.”

Snyder didn’t have much to say about preparation for Oklahoma, except it has to start on the practice field.

“We better take care of ourselves and we better prepare to practice with a purpose,” Snyder said, “or it’ll be 150-0.”

K-State saw what Oklahoma was capable of last season as the Wildcats suffered their worst loss of the 2011 season, a 58-17 setback to the Sooners in Manhattan.

The last time K-State traveled to play at Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium was in the 2009 season when the Wildcats lost 41-38. 

“We’ve got to take it one game at a time and get better,” said Thompson, who had five receptions for a career-high 102 yards and two touchdowns Saturday. “But tonight, I don’t think we got that much better, and we’ve got to definitely step it up for this next week.”

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