Cats take on TCU in Ft. Worth

MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) Coming off a tough loss at No. 8 Oklahoma, Kansas State will play its second road game in as many weeks on Saturday as it travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to face TCU. The game will kick off at 2:30 p.m., and be shown nationally on FS1 with Cory Provus (play-by-play) and Ben Leber (analyst) on the call. The game can be heard across the 39-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst) and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action, in addition to Sirius Channel 105, XM Channel 384 and the TuneIn app.

A LOOK AT K-STATE

• K-State is looking to bounce back from a loss at Oklahoma and put itself back in the bowl picture needing at least three wins over the final four weeks to become eligible.

• The Wildcats have leaned heavily on their running game over the last three contests, averaging 250 yards and totaling 10 touchdowns on the ground.

• The running game is solidified by Alex Barnes, who ranks second in the Big 12 at 102.0 yards per game with a league-high nine rushing scores. He ran for a career-best 250 yards at Baylor, the fifth-most in a game in school history, while recording three touchdowns on the day.

• Against Oklahoma State, Barnes had 181 rushing yards and four scores, and he was also the team’s leading receiver with 51 yards on three catches.

• The Wildcats’ rushing attack is anchored by five offensive linemen who were all returning starters from a year ago. The group is led by Midseason All-American Dalton Risner at right tackle.

• Quarterback Skylar Thompson has started seven games, throwing for 988 yards and five scores, while he has added 359 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

• Isaiah Zuber leads the Wildcats with 41 catches on the year, totaling 496 receiving yards and three scores.

• Defensively, K-State averaged 3.0 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions during the OSU and Baylor games after putting together averages of 1.0 sacks, 3.0 TFLs and 0.8 interceptions in the first five contests.

• The Wildcats had an impressive performance against an Oklahoma State team that was averaging 523.3 yards and 44.0 points per game. K-State held OSU to 311 yards and just 12 points.

• Senior safety Eli Walker (53) and junior linebacker Da’Quan Patton (49) lead the team in tackles, while Reggie Walker has a team-best 5.5 sacks and 7.5 TFLs.

• Senior defensive back Duke Shelley has three interceptions this season – all coming within the last three games – to rank third in the Big 12 and 14th in the country.

• Shelley has 12 total passes defended this year to rank second in the Big 12 and sixth in the nation.

A LOOK AT TCU

• TCU is coming off a 27-26 loss to Kansas last week in Lawrence.

• The Horned Frogs boast the Big 12’s second-best defense, giving up 339.2 yards per game, and their pass defense is ranked first at 194.2 per game.

• Darius Anderson leads the rushing attack with 482 yards, while Michael Collins has taken over at quarterback and thrown for 598 yards and four scores.

• On defense, Ben Banogu ranks third in the Big 12 with 6.5 sacks.

A LOOK AT THE SERIES

• TCU leads the all-time series, 5-6, after the Horned Frogs broke a series tie with a 26-6 win last year in Manhattan.

• The series is tied, 3-3, since TCU joined the Big 12, with the road team picking up four of the six wins.

• K-State is looking for consecutive wins in Fort Worth for the first time ever.

• Last time in Fort Worth, K-State ended the regular season with a dominating 30-6 victory, a game that featured a 336-yard rushing output by the Wildcats.

• K-State received 170 rushing yards from then-quarterback Jesse Ertz and 133 yards from then-sophomore Justin Silmon. The Wildcats also added on 126 receiving yards from Byron Pringle.

• The Wildcats totaled 11.0 tackles for loss in the game, including 2.5 TFLs from then-redshirt freshman Reggie Walker. Walker also had 2.0 of the team’s 3.0 sacks.

SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS

• Kansas State is in rare company in college football as the Wildcats rank in the top 20 in wins among FBS programs over the last 23 seasons.

• Since 1995, K-State has picked up 194 victories, which ranks 19th in the nation.

• The only current Big 12 teams to rank higher are Oklahoma (3rd; 226), Texas (t12th; 209) and TCU (t15th; 199).

ONE OF THE BIG 12’S BEST

• Kansas State has had both recent and historical success in the Big 12 since the league began in 1996.

• The Wildcats are one of only four teams in the conference to reach 100 league wins over the last 23 years, a mark that now stands at 110 victories.

• The Wildcats also rank third in the conference in winning percentage since round-robin play began in 2011. They sit at .618 (42-26), trailing only Oklahoma (.809; 55-13) and Oklahoma State (.676; 46-22).

• During that stretch, the Wildcats are 23-11 (.676) at home in Big 12 play and 19-15 (.559) on the road.

THE HALL OF FAMER

• The architect of the “greatest turnaround in college football history,” Bill Snyder is in his 27th season at K-State.

• Snyder is just the fourth person in the history of college football to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as an active coach when he was enshrined in 2015.

• Snyder, who has 213 wins, is one of just six coaches to reach the 200-win mark and coach at only one school.

• Holding 174 more victories than any other coach in K-State history, Snyder ranks first in the FBS in wins among coaches at their current schools and second in total wins among active coaches (FBS schools only).

• Snyder has 124 conference wins to stand as one of four coaches with 100 Big 8/12 victories (Tom Osborne [153], Bob Stoops [121], Barry Switzer [100]).

DRAWING FIRST BLOOD

• Since 1990, K-State is 166-34 (.830) when scoring first.

• K-State is 20-5 in that department over the last four seasons, including a 5-3 mark in 2017.

• Under Bill Snyder, K-State is 153-27 (.850) when scoring first.

LEADING AT THE HALF

• Under Bill Snyder, the Wildcats are 180-12 (.938) when leading at halftime, including a 61-5 (.924) mark in Snyder’s second tenure, which began in 2009.

• The Wildcats finished the 2017 campaign with a 7-1 record when leading at the half.

• The lone blemish last season was against No. 9 Oklahoma when the Wildcats led, 21-10, at halftime before the Sooners scored a touchdown with seven seconds left in the game to win, 42-35.

COMEBACK KIDS

• Kansas State recorded three wins in 2017 in which they trailed by double digit points. That comeback mentality has continued in 2018 as the Wildcats have a pair of wins when trailing at halftime.

• This year, K-State trailed South Dakota, 24-12, before earning a 27-24 victory. Then, against Oklahoma State, the Wildcats trailed, 6-3, at half and outscored the Cowboys, 28-6, in the second half for a 31-12 victory.

• Last year, the Wildcats trailed by 11 points at Texas Tech but won, 42-35, in overtime. Against Iowa State, K-State was down by 12 points before earning a 20-19 win. In the Cactus Bowl against UCLA, K-State was down, 17-7, at halftime but outscored the Bruins, 28-0, to win 35-17.

TURNOVER TURNAROUND

• After starting the year minus-5 in the turnover department, K-State has turned the tide over the last five games, going plus-3 in that stretch.

• The recent stretch started with a plus-3 mark against West Virginia when K-State picked off three passes and recovered a fumble while fumbling one time itself.

• Following a game with no turnovers against Texas and a minus-1 mark at Baylor, K-State was plus-2 against Oklahoma State when Duke Shelley picked off a pair of passes.

• The Wildcats began the year with a minus-4 mark against South Dakota but still won, marking the first time since 2011 they won a game with four-plus more turnovers than their opponent (10-7 win over Eastern Kentucky).

CATS TOPS IN NON-OFFENSIVE TDs

• K-State is the nation’s best in non-offensive touchdowns over the last 19 seasons with 112 since 1999, eight more than the next closest team and one of only three to top 100.

• Entering 2018, the Wildcats averaged 5.8 non-offensive scores per year since 1999, while the yearly average for the other 105 teams to play FBS football since then is 3.3.

• Kansas State has at least five non-offensive touchdowns in six of the last seven years.

• The Wildcats’ only non-offensive score this year was an 85-yard punt return score by Isaiah Zuber in the season opener against South Dakota.

• Since 1990, the Wildcats are 62-17 when scoring on special teams and 20-1 when scoring on special teams and defense, including an 18-0 mark under Bill Snyder.

NON-OFFENSIVE TD RECORDS

• Under head coach Bill Snyder, K-State is 76-21 (.784) when scoring a non-offensive touchdown, while the Cats are 57-14 (.803) since 1999 in that department.

• Since Snyder returned to the sideline in 2009, K-State is 32-7 (.821) in this same category.

FLAGGED EARLY, NOT OFTEN

• Kansas State was flagged 13 times for 129 yards in the season opener against South Dakota, the most penalties by a Bill Snyder team since the 2005 Nebraska game (14) and the most yards since 2011 against Kent State (136).

• Since then, K-State has committed five or fewer penalties for 50 or fewer yards in five of seven games.

• One of those games was a zero-penalty effort against Texas, the first by a Wildcat team since the 2014 Auburn contest. Ironically, K-State lost both of those games.

• The Wildcats ranked 119th nationally and last in the Big 12 in penalties, but they have worked their way to 26th in the country and third in the Big 12.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

GROUND ATTACK

• K-State has leaned heavily on its rushing game the last three weeks as it has averaged 250 yards and three touchdowns on the ground against Baylor, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

• The recent numbers are a big up-tick from the first five games of the year as the Cats were averaging 146.2 yards per game and only 0.8 rushing scores during that stretch.

• K-State’s rushing prowess is nothing new as, dating back to 2016, the Cats have hit the 200-yard mark on the ground in 19 of its last 34 games.

• Kansas State enters this week’s game ranked third in the Big 12 in rushing, which includes 189.0 yards per game in conference-only games to rank second.

GOING FOR 275

• The Wildcats, who had 319 yards against the Bears and 291 yards against the Cowboys, put together consecutive 275-yard rushing outputs for the first time since doing so against Kansas (342) and TCU (336) in 2016.

• K-State’s total against Oklahoma State came against a team that was ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally in rushing defense at the time.

SKYLAR UNDER CENTER

• Sophomore Skylar Thompson has started seven of the eight games this year and 11 of the last 12 overall.

• Thompson threw for a career-high 213 passing yards with two scores in a week-three win over UTSA.

• His passer rating of 208.3 against the Roadrunners was the second highest of his career (minimum 13 attempts). His career high was 284.55 last year at Oklahoma State, when he had a previous career high of 204 yards.

• Thompson has become a more efficient runner in his second year on the field, averaging 44.9 yards per game (33.4 yds/gm in 2017) with four touchdowns, the latter mark bettering his total from last year.

• His total includes a career-long touchdown run of 52 yards at Baylor.

CAREER DAY
• Junior running back Alex Barnes had one of the best rushing games in school history when he went for 250 yards and three touchdowns at Baylor.

• His 250 yards were the fifth most in school history and the most by a Wildcat since Daniel Thomas went for 269 yards at North Texas in 2010.

• Even more impressive, the total was the most by a Wildcat in a Big 12 game since Darren Sproles put together a 273-yard rushing effort against Missouri in 2003.

BACK TO BACK
• Alex Barnes backed up his performance at Baylor with 181 yards and four scores vs. Oklahoma State, an effort that gave him Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors.

• He became the first Wildcat with consecutive 175-yard rushing games since Darren Sproles did so against Missouri (273) and Oklahoma (235) in 2003.

OUT OF THE BACKFIELD
• The performance by Alex Barnes against the Cowboys was even more impressive considering he was also K-State’s leading receiver with three catches for 51 yards.

• He became the third player in program history to have 175 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in the same game, joining Darren Sproles (2003 vs. Oklahoma) and Tony Jordan (1986 vs. Iowa State).

• This season, Barnes has 12 receptions for 138 yards after totaling only five catches for 29 yards in his previous two seasons.

FINDING PAYDIRT
• Totaling seven rushing touchdowns over a two-game stretch against Baylor and Oklahoma State, Alex Barnes became the first Wildcat to tally consecutive games of at least three rushing touchdowns since then-quarterback and now Co-Offensive Coordinator Collin Klein against Iowa State (3) and West Virginia (4) in 2012.

• However, Barnes was the first K-State running back to accomplish the feat since Mack Herron did so in four-straight games in 1969 against Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Missouri.

• Barnes enters this week ranked first in the Big 12 and 16th nationally with nine rushing touchdowns.

MOVIN’ ON UP
• Alex Barnes, who ranks second in the Big 12 and ranks 18th nationally in rushing, continues to move up the K-State career rushing yardage list.

• He entered the school’s career top-10 list with his effort against Oklahoma State as his career mark of 2,077 ranks 10th in school history.

• Barnes, who is now 105 yards away from tying for ninth in K-State history for a career, has 816 yards this season. He needs 184 yards to become the 16th player in school history with a 1,000-yard rushing season.

SCHOEN A DEEP THREAT
• Wide receiver Dalton Schoen has become a deep threat for the Wildcats over the last two years, averaging 18.8 yards on his 43 career catches.

• The junior ranks ninth nationally among active players in average since 2017 (min. 40 catches), while he is fourth in school history among players with at least 40 catches.

• Schoen’s five career touchdown receptions are just as impressive as they span an average of 45.8 yards.

ZUBER WITH TWO MILESTONES
• Junior wide receiver Isaiah Zuber has reached a pair of career milestones this season.

• At West Virginia, Zuber became the 31st player in school history with 1,000 career yards, while he has also topped the 100-catch mark for a career, becoming the 16th player in school history to hit the mark.

• Zuber enters this week’s game with 116 career receptions, needing seven to reach the top 10.

• The Stone Mountain, Georgia, product has been a model of consistency throughout his career as he has recorded at least one catch in 29 of his 34 career contests, 28 of which have been multi-catch games.

LEADER ON THE FIELD, IN THE COMMUNITY
• Dalton Risner has been a leader on the field, being named a captain each of the last three years.

• Risner is just the fifth player in program history to be named a captain three times, joined by Brooks Barta (1990-92), Mark Simoneau (1997-99), Collin Klein (2010-12) and B.J. Finney (2012-14).

• A Preseason All-American by multiple outlets entering the season, Risner has started 46 career games, the third most by a Wildcat offensive lineman since 1989.

• Risner was named to multiple Midseason All-America teams, earning the nod from Sporting News, Pro Football Focus and CBSSports.com.

• The leadership by Risner does end on the field as he was named to the AFCA Good Works Team and is also a candidate for the Wuerffel Trophy.

DEFENSIVE NOTES

UNDER AVERAGE
• Kansas State has generally held its Big 12 opponents under their season scoring averages over the past several years, and the 2018 season is no different.

• The Wildcats have held three of their five conference foes under their season scoring averages entering the game, highlighted by the Oklahoma State contest when they allowed only 12 points to a team that was averaging 44.0 points per game entering the contest.

• The 32.0 points that K-State held OSU under its season scoring average was the biggest difference against a Big 12 opponent since the Baylor game in 2013. That season, BU was averaging 70.5 points per game and scored 35.

IMPROVING RUN DEFENSE
• The Wildcats, who ranked 13th nationally in 2017 by allowing only 117.7 yards per game on the ground, are trying to climb out of an early hole in that department this year.

• After surrendering only 77 yards against South Dakota, Mississippi State totaled 384 yards on the ground, the most allowed by a Wildcat team since 2010.

• Following the game against the Bulldogs, K-State ranked 111th in the nation and last in the Big 12.

• Since that time, K-State has allowed 178 rushing yards per game over the last six games.

PICKING THEM APART
• Kansas State has been one of the best in the Big 12 in interceptions over the last eight seasons, carding 109 interceptions since 2011 to rank second in the Big 12.

• The Wildcats, who have notched at least one interception in 41 of the last 59 games, are fourth in the Big 12 with eight interceptions, which includes seven in league-only games to rank second best.

• K-State has picked off at least two passes in three of its five Big 12 game this year, totaling three at West Virginia and two apiece against both Baylor and Oklahoma State.

• The Wildcats’ picks this year have been fairly spread out. Outside of Duke Shelley, who is ranked 14th nationally in total interceptions with three, the other five picks are by five different players, including four who made their first-career picks.

SHELLEY LEADS THE BACKFIELD
• Senior Duke Shelley is back for his final campaign after being a primary starter at cornerback the last three years.

• Shelley, who burned his redshirt five games into his true freshman season of 2015, has 39 career passes defended.

• His 39 passes defended are tied for the fourth most among active players and rank seventh in school history.

I’LL TAKE THAT
• Duke Shelley has been a ballhawk recently with three interceptions over his last two games.

• The Tucker, Georgia, product tallied a career-high two picks against Oklahoma State en route to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week accolades.

• His two interceptions gave him eight for his career, a mark that is tied for 15th nationally among active players and two shy of entering the school’s top-10 list.

• Of Shelley’s six career picks, two have been returned for touchdowns to tie for fourth in K-State history and first among active Big 12 players.

WALK THIS WAY
• Junior Reggie Walker has taken his game to another level over the last four games with 5.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks during that span.

• Walker enters the week ranked fifth in the league with 5.5 sacks, while he is tied for 12th in TFLs.

• His total this year has bumped his career mark to 14.0, standing four sacks away from entering the school’s career top-10 list.

• Walker has also forced a pair of fumbles this year to tie for second in the Big 12 and give him six for his career. His six career forced fumbles are tied for 11th nationally among active players.

MITTIE IN THE MIDDLE
• Junior graduate transfer Jordan Mittie has started the last seven games, providing the Wildcats a formidable run stopper in the middle of the defense.

• The Aledo, Texas, native tallied a season-best four tackles, his first sack as a Wildcat and a fumble recovery at West Virginia.

• An All-Sun Belt player last year at Texas State, Mittie had 8.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks during his time with the Bobcats.

• Mittie’s transfer to K-State shouldn’t have come as a surprise as his father, Jeff, is entering his fifth season as the K-State women’s basketball head coach in 2018-19.

HUGHES COMING UP HUGE
• Entering the Texas game with five career tackles in nine games, linebacker Justin Hughes has answered the bell the last four contests.

• Hughes recorded a then-career high six tackles and a tackle for loss against Texas. Then, in his first-career start at Baylor, the Tucker, Georgia, product tallied 11 tackles and forced a fumble before coming back with eight more stops against Oklahoma State.

• Hughes has 29 tackles over the last four contests are second on the team to Eli Walker, who has 35 of his team-leading 53 stops during that span.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES

ANNUALLY ONE OF THE BEST
• Kansas State has been a model of success on special teams, being a key element of the Wildcats’ success over the last two decades.
• Since 1996, K-State ranks first in the nation in kickoff-return touchdowns (28), first in punt-return average (13.1 [min. 100 attempts]), first in kickoff-return average (23.6), tied for first in punt-return touchdowns (28 tied with Miami), and fourth in field goal percentage (75.8 [min. 400 att]).

SCORING IN THE THIRD PHASE
• Kansas State has been far and away the best team among FBS programs over the last decade when it comes to scoring via a kickoff or punt return.
• The Wildcats have a combined 48 kickoff- and punt-return touchdowns since 2005, 19 more than any other FBS school over the last 13 seasons.
• K-State averaged 3.6 return touchdowns per year over the last 13 seasons entering 2018. The yearly average for the other 116 teams to play FBS football since 2005 is 1.1.

DEFENSE IN THE THIRD PHASE
• On the flip side, K-State has been just as consistent in terms of kickoff and punt coverage.
• The Cats have not allowed a kickoff-return touchdown in the last 70 games as the last was against Louisiana on Sept. 7, 2013. During that stretch, K-State has defended against 271 kickoff returns.
• K-State surrendered only 16.6 yards on kickoff returns in 2017, its best mark since 2000.
• The Wildcats had a streak of 54 games and 70 attempts of not allowing a punt-return score snapped when Texas recorded a 90-yard return for a score.

KICKOFF-RETURN STREAKS
• Kansas State is currently riding a pair of streaks in terms of kickoff returns as the Wildcats have returned a kick for a touchdown in each of the last 13 seasons – the longest streak in the nation by five years.
• Since head coach Bill Snyder’s return in 2009, K-State has returned 19 kickoffs for touchdowns as opposed to only four in his first tenure, which lasted 17 years.
• Kansas State also is the only Power 5 team in the country to finish in the top 15 in kickoff-return average each of the last three seasons.
• Additionally, D.J. Reed earned First Team All-Big 12 honors, marking the 12th-straight year a Wildcat received all-conference honors for the discipline.
• Of the 29 First Team All-Big 12 returners in conference history, 12 (41.3-percent) have come from K-State to lead the league. The next closest team is Colorado, which had four.

ANCTIL WITH THE BOOTS
• Punting in just his second-career game at Oklahoma, junior Devin Anctil averaged 46.9 yards on seven attempts, with three punts of 50 or more yards and five that were downed inside the 20-yard line.
• His high average included a 65-yard punt, the longest by a Wildcat since Mark Krause had a 67-yarder against Iowa State in 2013, while Anctil’s three punts of 50 or more yards were the most since Krause also had three against TCU in 2013.
• A product of Lenexa, Kansas, Antcil’s five punts downed inside the 20-yard line were the most since Nick Walsh had five at TCU in 2014.