Kansas State's 10-3 Cotton Bowl season was energized by a win at Miami. The Wildcats preserved the win last year with a goal-line stand.
The Hurricanes are much younger for the rematch Saturday in Manhattan. K-State coach Bill Snyder said one challenge is players must guard against a letdown.
“Miami not having what some might consider not as experienced a football team as last year I don't think enters into it,” Snyder said. “Complacency, if you have it, is perhaps taking some things for granted, not of Miami, but taking your own performance for granted. That's always a concern.”
The Wildcats allowed only nine points on three fields in a win over Missouri State but K-State failed to record a sack and surrendered 418 yards.
“Defensively we have to be a better three-and-out team,” Snyder said. “Those are hard to come by, I understand that... That's one thing we have to be better at which constitutes not giving up drives. But we were efficient in the red zone defensively.”
RHOADS' BEST TEAM AT IOWA STATE?
Entering his fourth season coach Paul Rhoads said this is his best team at Iowa State, which opened with a win over Tulsa by dominating the second and third quarters.
“We're finally a veteran football team. And we've acted like it,” Rhoads said. “We acted like it in training camp. We acted like it in pre-game and I thought we acted like it over the course of the football game.”
This week the Cyclones play at rival Iowa.
“Anytime you play a rivalry game there is heightened emotions, excitement and rewards that go with that as well as the pain of a defeat,” Rhoads said. “The first two years back here we had our butts handed to us (by Iowa)... Last year was a fun game.”
HOW THE MEDIA HELPED BAYLOR BEAT SMU
Replacing Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and most of their weapons from one of the nation's top scoring offenses, Baylor felt it had something to prove.
The Bears compiled 613 total yards in a lopsided win over SMU. Quarterback Nick Florence threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns.
“They played with a chip on their shoulder,” said coach Art Briles. “That's where the media has helped us because there are a bunch of doubters. These guys have confidence and wanted an opportunity to show themselves.”