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Big 12 football: Dana Holgorsen said Kansas State might be best team in country

Only one more ranked team remains on the Wildcats' schedule — No. 15 Texas Tech. The teams play Saturday in Manhattan, Kan.
by Michael Baldwin Published: October 22, 2012
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photo - Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) avoids a tackle by West Virginia's Karl Joseph (8) after a pass from quarterback Collin Klein during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)   ORG XMIT: WVCJ101
Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) avoids a tackle by West Virginia's Karl Joseph (8) after a pass from quarterback Collin Klein during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson) ORG XMIT: WVCJ101

Kansas State opened conference play with a road win at Oklahoma. Last Saturday, the Wildcats romped to a 55-14 win at West Virginia.

Now that the 'Cats have cleared their two biggest hurdles, can they run the table, giving them a shot at playing in the national title game?

“Our intent is to brand the message it's day by day,” said K-State coach Bill Snyder. “However they're thought of externally is not a major factor for us. The important thing is how well we prepare today. I know everybody talks this way, but it really is game by game.”

Only one team currently ranked in the AP poll — No. 15 Texas Tech — remains on K-State's schedule. The Red Raiders visit Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday.

But in the ultracompetitive Big 12, the Wildcats must still play Oklahoma State and Texas at home and TCU and Baylor on the road.

“They're one of the best teams, maybe the best team in the country,” said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. “Time will tell. “They're just a real mature team. They're physical, disciplined, play smart and don't beat themselves. They're an all-around good football team with no weaknesses.”

RED RAIDERS A BIG SURPRISE

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said during fall camp that the Red Raiders were much better than their ninth-place projection in the preseason Big 12 poll. Why was he so confident?

“We have more depth on both sides of the ball and a senior quarterback, a kid who can play,” Tuberville said. “He's pretty special. For instance last week, we didn't play very well defensively. TCU took it to us, but he throws seven touchdown passes.”

Seth Doege has thrown for 2,209 yards and 28 touchdowns.

The other factor is Tech's defense. The Red Raiders, who had one of the worst defenses in the country last season, ranks seventh nationally in total defense and 21st in scoring defense (21.6).

“This time last year, we were all beat up,” Tuberville said. “We're still a long ways away. We need to recruit a few more linemen and defensive backs for this league. We're just a more solid defense because we have more depth, more speed and more talent.”

MOUNTAINEERS MUST REGROUP

Back-to-back losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State by a combined 104-28 score was a wake-up call for West Virginia, which is in its inaugural Big 12 season.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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