Bye weeks aren’t always so perfectly timed, but for Kansas State the past week off probably couldn’t have come at a better point in the season.
K-State has played to a 2-4 overall record through the first half, including an 0-3 start in the Big 12, leaving the Wildcats a lot of work to do in the second half if they intend to play in a bowl game for the fourth straight season.
The Wildcats, who need four wins in their final six games to become bowl eligible, used the time off wisely. Not only did K-State not have a game this past weekend, but the Wildcats didn’t even have practice, as coach Bill Snyder afforded his team a rare two-day weekend away from the daily grind before it hosts West Virginia this Saturday.
“It was an indication that it’s a long season,” Snyder said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. “They’ve been going virtually every day for 2 1/2 months since the first of August.
“The last time we had the off week, we gave them a day off early in the week and a day off late in the week. I thought to give them the entirety of the weekend because we have a ballgame over the Thanksgiving weekend so they won’t have the opportunity to get home, so this gave them the chance.”
K-State practiced Friday and then allowed those who could to go home for the weekend before returning in time for practice on Monday afternoon.
“We got some time off and some time to get our legs up,” redshirt-freshman fullback Glenn Gronkowski said. “I know a lot of guys took advantage of that and are ready to go. We had a great practice (Monday) and a great week last week. Everything is looking good right now.”
Sophomore linebacker Mike Moore said the Wildcats needed the rest before beginning the second half of the season against the Mountaineers.
“We were ready to play, but we needed the rest,” he said. “We feel re-energized with fresh legs and fresh bodies.”
Gronkowski, who wasn’t able to go home to Amhearst, N.Y., took advantage of the time off to watch some football — more importantly all six of K-State’s remaining opponents.
“I just stayed here and got some time to relax,” he said. “We had every single game on of our next six opponents. They were all on TV this week so we watched those and learned a lot.”
The week off was also kind to a trio of injured Wildcats, as receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson and cornerback Kip Daily are expected back this Saturday.
Lockett was injured in the second quarter against Oklahoma State, while Thompson has missed the last two games for undisclosed reasons. Daily was knocked out of the Baylor game after taking a helmet-to-helmet shot on a targeting play.
“In all likelihood, they’ll be able to go,” Snyder said. “It’s not guaranteed, but if I show up they’ll be there.”