www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Sherman, Seahawks slam 49ers in dominant win -11/28/2014, 9:59 AM

Ellis keys KU win -11/28/2014, 9:59 AM

Final home game for KSU seniors -11/28/2014, 9:59 AM

Eagles own Cowboys -11/28/2014, 9:59 AM

Calvin Johnson, Lions dominate Bears -11/28/2014, 9:59 AM

K-State falls short of upset bid against No. 3 Arizona -11/26/2014, 9:17 AM

Tiger women move to 4-1 -11/26/2014, 9:17 AM

Tiger men grind out win -11/26/2014, 9:17 AM

Top seven spots remain unchanged in latest College Football Playoff rankings -11/26/2014, 9:16 AM

Ravens pull away in second half for 34-27 victory over Saints -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Wildcats prep for Jayhawks -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

KSU beats Purdue in Maui, No. 3 Arizona next -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers earn all-region honors -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Berry out with possible cancer -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

No. 11 Kansas returns to form in 87-60 win -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Lehman named MIAA Player of the Week -11/24/2014, 11:09 AM

Romo rallies Cowboys past Giants for 31-28 win -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Dolphins collapse, lose to Broncos -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Wichita State routs Newman, now 3-0 -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

TCU closing in on program's first Big 12 title -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

KSU's Weber has strong ties with Purdue, Painter -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers' Page wins at UNK Open -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

FHSU soccer falls in quarterfinals -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers move on to Elite Eight -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tiger men pick up second win -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tigers search for new coaches -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Phillipsburg drops a heartbreaker to end season -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

KVA all-state volleyball teams -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Tiger women roll to second straight win -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Knights claim state title -11/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Wildcats looking to the future

Published on -12/31/2013, 9:16 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By DAVE SKRETTA

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas State headed into this season faced with the prospect of replacing its starting quarterback, best defensive player and a slew of other contributors on both sides of the ball.

The Wildcats shouldn't have nearly as many concerns next season.

After a dominant victory over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday night, Kansas State heads into the offseason brimming with optimism -- and expectations. The Wildcats will return most of their key players next season, including quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who hooked up for three TD passes against the Wolverines.

"We're losing some great seniors," Waters said, "but with the work ethic that we have, the type of coaches that we have, we're all excited about it."

As well they should be.

The Wildcats had to replace Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein and linebacker Arthur Brown from a Fiesta Bowl team this season, and it was a struggle early on. The Wildcats lost to lower-division North Dakota State in their season opener, and then lost their first three Big 12 games.

But by the midway point of the season, coach Bill Snyder had begun to embrace a two-QB system involving Waters and Daniel Sams, and a defense that had been gouged by Texas and Oklahoma State had improved to the point that it was holding mighty Baylor in check.

After losing a nip-and-tuck game with the Bears on Oct. 12, the Wildcats' only other loss came in a tight game against Oklahoma. Along the way, they routed Texas Tech when it was still among the nation's ranked teams, and trounced rival Kansas 31-10 to cap the regular season.

Then an impressive performance against the Wolverines, jumping out to a 21-6 lead and then tacking on a touchdown in the closing minutes to help seal the 31-14 victory Saturday night.

It was the Wildcats' first bowl victory in 11 years.

"The way the season started, it wasn't the way we wanted," said Waters, who threw for 271 yards and the three TDs to Lockett without tossing an interception. "But to finish the way we did, it gives us a lot of momentum and excitement about getting started again."

There will be holes to fill, just as there are every season, but the majority of the key players on both sides of the ball are expected back next year.

Running back John Hubert, who went over 1,000 yards for the season against Michigan, will have graduated. So will wide receivers Torell Miller and Tramaine Thompson, and three offensive linemen in Tavon Rooks, Cornelius Lucas and Keenan Taylor.

But the Wildcats worked several underclassmen into the mix this season, particularly along the offensive line, where Boston Stiverson should slip easily into one of the starting spots.

Kansas State also has a commitment from running back Dalvin Warmack from Blue Springs (Mo.) High School, the first two-time winner of the Simone Award given to top prep player in the Kansas City area. Warmack is expected to compete for the starting job this fall.

Defensive tackle Chaquil Reed, linebackers Blake Slaughter and Tre Walker, and defensive backs Ty Zimmerman, Kip Dailey and Dorrian Roberts will be lost to graduation, but backups such as Morgan Burns and Demonte Hood showed this season they can be capable replacements.

"It depends on how we practice when we get back," Snyder said. "I hope we set a foundation for the younger players in our program. It will be up to them."

Then again, Snyder thought the foundation had been laid last season, only for his team to stumble out of the gates in September and October. So he's not willing to read too much into the momentum that was gained by a late-season surge and a bowl win in the desert.

"We didn't get off to a great start. We took some things for granted. I think some of our young people realized that and turned the whole thing around," Snyder said. "That's the biggest lesson probably for the young people that are in our program returning, you know, realizing how we started this season and why it took place. That 'why' is the most significant thing."

Especially given the schedule next season.

Along with the usual Big 12 round robin, and games against Stephen F. Austin and UTEP, the Wildcats welcome No. 2 Auburn to Manhattan for an early non-conference showdown.

"Looking back at the season, seeing how everybody didn't give up -- it's easy to give up at 2-5," Lockett said. "Being able to keep fighting, fighting, ending the season 6-1, whatever it may be, it gives us a lot more to look forward to next year."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos