Three storylines for OSU-Kansas State
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Saturday, November 03, 2012
11/03/12 at 3:41 AM
Oklahoma State roared to a school-record 10-0 start last season. Coach Mike Gundy had to worry about people telling his players how great they were.
It's tough to stay focused on the next game when you're allegedly on track to play for the highest of stakes at season's end. That's where Kansas State finds itself in this season.
The Wildcats have ascended to No. 2 in the BCS standings. Head coach Bill Snyder was asked about a possible Big 12 title during his weekly press conference Tuesday and refused to go there. Said the coach, "I do not know how many times I have to say it, but we are thinking about our practice this afternoon. I say that with all sincerity."
Friend vs. friend
At some point during Saturday's game, OSU running back Joseph Randle will come face-to-face with a former running mate, Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown.
Randle and Brown grew up in Wichita, Kan. They once were on a grade-school relay team that included Brown's brother, Bryce, and Oliver Bradwell, who anchored the United States' gold medal-winning 4x100 relay team at the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Randle leads the Big 12 and ranks ninth nationally in rushing. Arthur Brown is Kansas State's leading tackler. When Randle was asked if he was looking forward to colliding with his buddy, he said, "I don't ever look forward to collisions. I try to get past the collision and go score. That's my job."
Freshman quarterback Wes Lunt has made one road start in his collegiate career and, in a Sept. 8 game at Arizona, OSU was undone by a combination of yellow flags (school-record 167 penalty yards) and turnovers (four). The Cowboys can't afford either Saturday.
The Wildcats lead the Big 12 and rank fifth nationally in turnover margin (19 takeaways, four giveaways). They rank second nationally in fewest penalties (3.63) per game and fourth in fewest penalty yards (29.1) per game. They avoid negative yardage plays. KSU players are stopped behind the line of scrimmage so infrequently that the Wildcats rank sixth nationally in avoiding tackles for losses.