Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Cats See Turnover Turnaround ; K-State: Shelley Began Disguising Coverage in Camp

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Cats See Turnover Turnaround ; K-State: Shelley Began Disguising Coverage in Camp

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- Many factors went into Kansas State being able to win football games the last two times it played at Oklahoma, but turnovers were at the top of the list.

K-State didn't lose the ball at all while Oklahoma had a total of five turnovers in the games of 2012 and 2014 that the Wildcats won by a combined six points.

Ball security is always vital, but especially on the road as the Wildcats (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) travel to No. 19 Oklahoma (3-2, 2-0) for an 11 a.m. kickoff Saturday.

"That's true wherever you're playing," K-State coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "We can play in Okinawa and we still better hold on to the football. That's one of the things we feel we have to do -- not beat yourself. Part of that is not turning the ball over and not getting penalized. When you do the right things and don't make those mistakes, you normally have a chance."

That was a major issue for K-State last season when it ranked No. 8 in the Big 12 with a minus-three turnover margin (19 lost, 16 gained). Through five games this season the Wildcats are No. 1 in the conference and No. 8 in the nation with a plus-six turnover margin (10 gained, four lost).

What has caused the turnover turnaround?

"Probably the same thing I've addressed numerous times in regards to having more experienced players who, because of their experience, can process information quickly and consequently react a little bit faster," Snyder said.

The Wildcats already have five interceptions, matching last year's 13-game total.

"We know how to disguise a lot of formations," said cornerback D.J. Reed, who returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown in last week's 44-38 win over Texas Tech. "I think that's throwing a lot of offensive coordinators off because they really don't know what we're in some of the time. …

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