September 14, 2007

Five Keys to Victory: Mo. State at K-State

When: Saturday, Sept. 15
Kickoff: 6:05 p.m. (CDT)
Location: Manhattan
Venue: Snyder Family Stadium (50,000)
TV: None

A note to all: Yes, Kansas State coach Ron Prince is not unlike many other coaches and is prone to offer polite coachspeak when it comes to the strengths of an upcoming opponent. "We're very concerned about Missouri State's offense," Prince said of Coach Terry Allen's Bears. "They've got a good defense, but I'm very concerned about their offense."

In this case, Prince is not just talking. There is real concern inside the Vanier Football Complex about Missouri State's use of a no-huddle spread offense that could move the ball even on a good K-State defense. Few are predicting that the Bears of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) will come to Snyder Family Stadium and win, but Appalachian State's upset of Michigan earlier in the season does catch everyone's attention.

"This is the same kind of offense that Appalachian State runs. They've had plus-50 point games," Prince added. "They have a lot of confidence; they're winning. They have a new offensive coordinator that has come in and really electrified things for them."

It's a game that could feature more offensive fireworks than many expect, but one that the Wildcats should win. The Bears are 2-0 and averaging 56.5 points a game, albeit against lesser competition.

"You had better (take lower division teams seriously) this year after what Appalachian State did to Michigan," said senior receiver Jordy Nelson. "You can't take a team lightly anymore. They have nothing to lose. A lot of people have to open their eyes and see that."

"It's going to be a great test for us and probably a reality check," said Missouri State's Allen, who experienced great success at I-AA Northern Iowa prior to coaching at Kansas. "We haven't been behind and we haven't had to face a hostile crowd or really have anything bad happen.

"You know we're going to have some adversity when we go over there, and how we handle that is probably what I'm looking to see the most."

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