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.”
WVU DEFENSE PLAYS HARD, FAST BUT NOT WELL
The Mountaineers' biggest concerns following a lopsided win over Marshall was poor tackling and the inability to get off the field. The Thundering Herd compiled 545 total yards and was 9 of 19 on third-down conversions.
“We missed too many tackles which is always a concern,” said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. “We had 22 critical downs and were only successful on nine of them. But we did play hard and played fast defensively.”
TUBERVILLE: TEXAS STATE WILL BE ‘FORCE'
One surprising score the opening week was Texas State's 30-13 road win over Houston. The school in San Marcos formerly known as Southwest Texas is touting Saturday's game against Texas Tech the biggest home game in school history.
“They've done a good job with their expansion,” said Tech coach Tommy Tuberville. “They're going to be a force to be reckoned with in their conference. There are people that want to be major college football teams... People try to give themselves a chance to do that and they've done it.”
ALL THINGS ARE NEW AT TCU
Entering his 12th season, Gary Patterson will become TCU's all-time winnginest coach Saturday with a win over Grambling. Patterson is tied with Dutch Meyer, who won 109 games from 1934 to 1952, highlighted by national titles in 1935 and 1938.
“It's ironic,” Patterson said. “You have a chance to break the record and we're also christening a new stadium and going into a new conference... For us to break that record it's definitely a great honor. But I know people won't be happy with me if we go 1-11.”
The Horned Frogs researched new conference members as far back as March. Opening the season a week later, the Horned Frogs monitored other Big 12 teams in action last weekend.
“We were able to watch a few teams around the league and watch what they do but we already had a pretty good feel,” Patterson said. “Look at scores and most everybody was over 30 to 40 points, all the way up to 84 points. Obviously there's a lot of work to do.”