October 10, 2008

Wildcats hit road looking for key win

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Only a dozen current players were on the roster when Kansas State last visited Texas A&M in 2005 and few among them remember the two-point loss. That the Aggies have taken five straight in the series doesn't weigh on the Wildcats as much as the fact they will seek their first road win in more than a year when the teams meet for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Kyle Field.



The Wildcats, 3-2, have dropped their last five contests on the road, including four against Big 12 teams, since a 41-21 upset of No. 7 Texas in Austin on Sept. 29, 2007, with 11 or more points deciding three of them. They suffered a 38-29 loss at Louisville on Sept. 17 in their only road game so far this season.



"I knew it'd been a while, but I didn't know it's been that long, to be honest," senior defensive end Ian Campbell said. "There were a lot of those games we were close in. I'm just hoping that we find the spark that we need and we'll be able to stop that."



Third-year coach Ron Prince dropped to 15-15 overall as the Wildcats suffered their worst home loss in 12 years in a 58-28 setback against seventh-ranked Texas Tech on Saturday. The Wildcats have rarely found a spark on the road in losing 10 of 12 games away from Manhattan since 2006 by the average margin of 35.5 to 24.0.



Prince's first road win was a 34-21 win at Colorado on Nov. 4, 2006.



"One of the things that's honest about our situation is that we have won one conference road game each of the last two years and that is not good enough to win in the conference or to be in the hunt," Prince said. "We are going to have an opportunity here to go on the road and at a place that it has been a while since K-State has won.



"They have a lot of good players, a great venue and if we can play to the best of our ability and play a good game then I'll like our chances."



Commonly regarded as one of the toughest places to play in college football, Kyle Field has averaged crowds of 82,315 at three home games this season and is on pace to pass the school-record average of 82,711 in 2001.



The Aggies, 2-3, earned their first home win of the season in a 21-17 victory against Army on Sept. 27 before they suffered a 56-28 loss in their Big 12 opener at No. 21 Oklahoma State last weekend.



During his weekly news conference on Monday, first-year coach Mike Sherman issued a message to fans deciding whether or not to spend $150 on a couple of tickets for Saturday's game, which will feature a match-up between the Big 12's worst offense (Texas A&M) and the league's worst defense (K-State).



"Come watch this team get better and grow," Sherman said. "We're playing a lot of young kids and they're giving it everything they've got, I can promise you that."



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