November 22, 2007

The Game Up Close: K-State at Fresno State

As far as bowl eligibility goes, it's now or never for a Kansas State team that has lost four consecutive games. And while a win in California this weekend wouldn't guarantee the Wildcats a postseason birth, it would at least make such a scenario possible. Standing in the way of that possibility, however, is Fresno State, a team that thrives on defeating BCS-Conference opponents, and head coach Ron Prince will need to have his team ready for a physical game if he hopes to have any chance of coaching another game this season.

The Game Up Close: K-STATE (5-6, 3-5) vs. Fresno State (6-4, 5-2)

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2:30 p.m. kickoff
Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, California.

Fresno State rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: Allowing 133 yards per game, No. 6 in the Big 12, No. 44 overall
FSU rush offense: Averaging 195.7 yards per game, No. 3 in the WAC, No. 27 overall

The breakdown: The Bulldogs are a very physical team, and could be the most aggressive rushing offense Kansas State has faced all season. The Fresno State rushing attack will come from all directions this weekend, and defensive end/linebacker Ian Campbell and company will need to be prepared. The Bulldogs are equipped with three different running backs that have gained more than 450 yards this season, including Ryan Mathews, who leads the team with 751. Mathews missed last weekend's game with an ankle injury, however, and his status for this weekend is unknown. Still, fellow tailbacks Clifton Smith and Lonyae Miller have combined to rush for 952 yards on 189 carries in 2007, so the Fresno State rushing attack will not miss a beat if Mathews is indeed forced to miss a second consecutive game. K-State will need to show improvement from recent weeks if it hopes to slow the Bulldogs on the ground.

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