K-state is out to stop string of bowl losses
None of the players have won a game in postseason.
Before Kansas State’s football team took the practice field one day last week, coach Bill Snyder gave the players a pep talk in the form of a question.
“How many of you have won a bowl game?” Snyder asked while addressing the Wildcats in the locker room.
“Nobody raised their hands,” sophomore receiver Tyler Lockett said. “That’s great motivation for us, because none of us know what it feels like to end the season with a win.”
It’s been a long time since K-State won its last bowl game, defeating Arizona State 34-27 in the 2002 Holiday Bowl. So long that some of its current players hadn’t started playing organized football. The Wildcats have lost four bowl games since.
Snyder coached in three of those. The seniors on this roster played in two, falling 3634 to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl two years ago and losing to Arkansas 2916 in the Cotton Bowl last season. Their motivation stems only from recent defeats, but that is more than enough to provide added incentive as they prepare for Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl.
“Nobody here, myself included, has won a bowl game,” senior quarterback Collin Klein said. “That’s another huge thing. We talk about being tough and finishing off all the time, this is our chance to prove it. It’s huge.”
A bowl victory would also put the finishing touch on one of the best seasons in program history. The Wildcats have won 11 games six times, but they have never won 12 in a season.
“We are ready to do whatever it takes to make K-State history,” sophomore center B.J. Finney said.
Snyder has reminded his team of all these pos- sibilities lately, hoping to keep everyone motivated during a month long break between games.
That’s always the hardest thing about preparing for a bowl game.
“Whether or not you can get whole heartedly into the preparation when you know you’ve still got 15 practices left before the actual event itself (is difficult),” Snyder said. “During the course of the season, you’re looking at . . . four practices, maybe five at best. There is a sense of urgency that exists at that time. Now it is a matter of creating that same sense of urgency. Not necessarily just in their preparation for Oregon, but addressing each and every practice and meeting as an opportunity to truly improve yourself.”
Texas Tech pulls 3 from bowl: A schoolofficial says three Red Raiders won’t be playing against Minnesota in Friday’s Meineke Car Care Bowl because they violated team rules.
Football program spokesman Blayne Beal on Monday would not divulge the rules violated. He says Red Raiders starting defensive back Cornelius Douglas, Chris Payne, a linebacker who played mostly on Texas Tech’s special teams, and backup defensive tackle Leon Mackey won’t play in the bowl game.
The Red Raiders (7-5) take on the Gophers (6-6) about three weeks after Tommy Tuberville unexpectedly left to take the head coaching position at Cincinnati.
Associated Press contributed to this report.