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No. 17 Cats have tough rebound game: third-ranked Oklahoma State

POSTED November 2, 2011 10:23 p.m.
Mack McClure Great Bend Tribune/

Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson (7) and strong...

MANHATTAN (AP) — Kansas State wants to take after Oklahoma this week.
Beaten by Texas Tech two weeks ago, the Sooners took out their vengeance on the Wildcats in a 58-17 drubbing last week in Manhattan. They piled up 690 yards of offense while holding previously unbeaten Kansas State to just 32 yards in the second half.
Now, it’s the Wildcats’ turn to take their frustrations out on somebody.
“It kind of hurts the pride a little bit, but at the end of the day you’ve got to let your pride go and suck it up, take that L, and just really move on,” Kansas State cornerback Nigel Malone said. “They are a good team, but we didn’t come out and play the kind of ball that we wanted to.”
They’ll get another chance to play that kind of ball against No. 3 Oklahoma State, whose perfect start has been fueled by the quarterback-to-wide receiver tandem of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said that he tries to map out a positive and natural progression of moving on from losing to Oklahoma and making sure it does not distract preparation for Oklahoma State.
Even so, everyone deals with it a bit differently.
“Really, it’s just kind of our natural instinct to be upset and be mad about it,” said linebacker Jonathan Truman. “It’s not going to sit well with our team, taking a loss. So really, it’s just a great motivator to get us ready for this week, get our minds right, get focused in on Oklahoma State so we can go into Saturday’s game focused, ready to go.”
As the Wildcats confronted their mistakes by going through game film of the loss, the players have channeled their anger into a tight focus on Oklahoma State. The consensus was that much of the loss was Kansas State’s responsibility more than just being bulldozed by the Sooners.
“We were all in disbelief that we got beat that bad, but come Sunday, we watched film, we were like, ‘Wow, we didn’t play the best,’ so we deserved to get beat like that,” KSU center B.J. Finney said.
Finney cited fundamentals like footwork and blocks that were off by just a few inches. Malone said that although there were a few times when the Sooners made big plays, most of the time defenders were in the vicinity and just missed tackles.
As Snyder likes to say, these are correctable mistakes.
During the days after the game, he said he has seen a better degree of focus from the players, including some of them stepping up to make practice more competitive.
‘’After we came back and we regrouped, we had our heads up, and I think that was the most important thing going into this week,” Malone said. “You never want guys kind of bagging it down, and I think that we do have the right approach going in — staying positive, optimistic, and like I said, coaches told us basically the same thing. It was definitely a slice of humble pie, but we’ve got to chalk it up and go next week.”


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