Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State Hopes Playing Nonconference Road Game Pays off at Oklahoma State

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

K-State Hopes Playing Nonconference Road Game Pays off at Oklahoma State

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- For the 16th time in the 20-year history of the Big 12, Kansas State plays its conference opener on the road.

In most years, it's the first road game of the season with coach Bill Snyder's preference to remain at home for nonconference games. But K-State already has been on the road this season with a victory at UTSA.

That experience could ease some anxiety when the Wildcats (3-0) face No. 20 Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) at 3 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.

"I'm so glad I played a road game before going to Oklahoma State," said Dalton Risner, K-State's freshman center. "At UTSA, that first drive was ridiculous. I couldn't hear. Where I come from, the most I played in front of was maybe 500 people in the state championship.

"It was good for me to get the feel playing an away game and getting that crowd noise, so I'll have a lot more confidence having done that."

Even before kickoff, hitting the road for the first time can be a complicated experience.

"Any time you can get the new guys acclimated to how to travel and treat everything like a business trip, it's beneficial," said junior linebacker Will Davis. "To have it before we go into Big 12 play is really a good thing for us to get all those questions out of the way.

"To go into hostile environment early in the season benefits not only the young guys, but it reminds the older guys what it's like."

Snyder said there is an adjustment for young players making their first road trip, but once the game starts it shouldn't matter.

"As we say all the time, keep the game between the white lines and try to be oblivious to everything else," Snyder said. "Once you get inside the white lines, it's all the same. There isn't any real difference other than a couple of logos on the field. It's whether or not you can confine your thoughts to that arena."

Still, the road win at UTSA was a positive experience.

"I can't say honestly that it hurt us, by any stretch of the imagination," Snyder said. …

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