K-State licking wounds as it enters bye week

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 26, 2013 at 2:57 am •  Published: September 26, 2013

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The foundation of the Kansas State football program since Bill Snyder's arrival more than two decades ago has been what he calls the "16 Goals for Success."

Things such as unselfishness, commitment and unity.

More often than not, the Wildcats have thrived on these principles. But as they mull over a 2-2 start that included a disheartening loss at Texas on Saturday night to open Big 12 play, those same goals are providing a good place to start figuring out where things have gone wrong.

"We need to improve in the intrinsic values segment of our program," Snyder said Tuesday. "And it starts with me."

The loss to the Longhorns was Kansas State's second conference-opening loss since 2005, the final year of Snyder's first tenure in Manhattan. It also left the defending Big 12 champions trying to answer a slew of questions as they get this week off.

"We need to go back to a value system that we've tried to operate on for a long period of time," Snyder said. "Just those goals, so to speak, and understanding the intrinsic values that are significant in being successful, both on and off the field."

Bye weeks aren't terribly exciting for players, especially after watching a five-game winning streak over Texas come to an end. Most would rather get back on the field right away. Still, this is one week off that Snyder said the Wildcats desperately need.

"We still don't like to have to sit on it," Snyder said. "By the same token, there are a number of things that are going to take some time that we need to work with."

Turnovers are a good place to start. Jake Waters already has thrown five interceptions and the Wildcats have lost four of their six fumbles. Meanwhile, they've been on the receiving end of four interceptions without recovering any of the opposing team's four turnovers.

The Wildcats' defense is giving up more than 185 yards rushing per game. The team has been penalized an uncharacteristic 16 times for 138 yards. A team that generally dominates possession time has seen it go the other way. And on and on.

"A lot of people needed this bye week to get their heads together," wide receiver Tyler Lockett said. "Just to be able to relax and just think about the future of what we're trying to get to this year and everything we're trying to accomplish."