BY JACKSON SCHNEIDER
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State Head Coach Chris Klieman and select players spoke to the media Tuesday ahead of the Wildcats' Big 12 matchup with Oklahoma this weekend.
Kansas State has beaten Oklahoma each of the last two times the foes have squared off, including a comeback victory last season when the Wildcats trailed 21-7 at halftime, but rallied in the 4th quarter to win 38-35 in Norman.
K-State running back Deuce Vaughn says there's nothing specific about the Oklahoma matchup that brings out the best in the 'Cats. "It's the fact that every single week we come out and we just prepare to go and play our best football game every Saturday," said Vaughn. "Things kind of get clicking at some point, and when we're all together as a unit, that's when we're a really, really good football team."
Oklahoma, who enters ranked #6 nationally in the AP Top 25 and #4 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, is coming off a 16-13 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday, and although OU will enter at 4-0 on the season, they have yet to "win convincingly," against a quality opponent. To some, that may be a sign of weakness in the Sooners, but to the Wildcats who spoke to the media today, it's more of a testament to the quality of football within the Big 12 Conference.
"There's a whole bunch of good teams in the big 12 and we see that every single week," said Vaughn. "We see that with Baylor beating a really good Iowa State team... Just seeing all these great teams in the Big 12, and we think we have a really good team ourselves, so it's going to be a great time, a great year in the Big 12."
Kansas State will likely be without Quarterback Skylar Thompson Saturday, according to Head Coach Chris Klieman. Thompson has played a massive role in each of K-State's last two wins over the Sooners, but the Wildcats will have to find a way to get the job done with either Will Howard or Jaren Lewis running the offense. Both of which saw significant work in Saturday's loss at Oklahoma State.
It's no secret that the Wildcats will play the role of underdog when Oklahoma visits on Saturday, and even more so without Thompson, but Chris Klieman emphasized that he and his staff won't approach the game any differently in that role.
"I think it's still all in your preparation. You know, I think so often we as coaches, or even as players, worry more about the opponent when we need to worry more about how we can be better ourselves," said Klieman. "Whether or not it's an opponent that you're an underdog, you're a favorite, you still gotta come ready to play every weekend. I think you're seeing that accross the landscape of college football, with teams that quote, 'are favored to win and don't win,' or are hanging on."
The Wildcats are currently 10.5-point underdogs to the Sooners on Saturday, according to Las Vegas. K-State will look for it's third-straight win over Oklahoma when the ball is kicked at 2:30p.m. inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.