Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Cats Not Guaranteed Bowl Game ; Haskin: Passing Woes Slowing Down Wildcats

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Cats Not Guaranteed Bowl Game ; Haskin: Passing Woes Slowing Down Wildcats

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- A freshman boldly stated a guarantee this week about Kansas State and its football future.

"We're still going to make a bowl game," center Dalton Risner said. "It's not as if we make a bowl game, it's when we make a bowl game, what are we going to do with it? We're going to finish it out and do a good job."

Wow. The comment was striking.

Made me look around at the plush, new complex that houses the Kansas State football team and wonder if the Wildcats weren't beginning to take for granted achievements earned so many years as Bill Snyder built the program stone by stone.

Hey, I love Risner's attitude, his candor, his confidence. If those beliefs are shared wholeheartedly by all the Wildcats, and the team remains that resolute while sitting 3-5, then a bowl bid is possible.

It just sounded a bit startling based on an 0-5 conference start, the worst for K-State since 1989, when Snyder first took over as coach.

A winless getaway in the Big 12 was a concern back in the offseason when any glance at the Cats' schedule included the gloomy possibility they could lose each of their first five games.

Some of the statistical bruises left from that wicked run do not suggest a complete recovery going into a game Saturday at Texas Tech.

The Cats' leading receiver is averaging 34.8 yards per game on 22 catches. That puts Deante Burton on pace for 420 yards on 33 receptions -- the worst totals for a receiving leader at K-State since 2001 when Aaron Lockett had a team-best of 24 catches for 357 yards.

In addition, quarterback Joe Hubener is completing 47 percent of his passes. The last passing leader at K-State to complete fewer than 50 percent of his attempts was Ell Roberson. Yes, in 2001.

The Wildcats reached the Insight.com Bowl that season and finished 6-6, leaving Snyder to wonder if accepting a postseason bid was the right move. …

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