Game eleven of the 2007 season has a team from the Big-12 on the schedule as Kansas State heads to the valley for what Fresno State officials are hoping will become a nice tradition. The Bulldogs and Wildcats have met only one before back in 2004 with the Bulldogs winning, 45-21.
Josh Freeman experienced some growing pains when he emerged as the starting quarterback midway though the 2006 season but with that experience under his belt the folks at Kansas State are very excited about his future. Freeman is 289-of-458 for 3,097 yards and 16 touchdowns but has still been victimized occasionally with 11 interceptions. Jordy Nelson has had a big season and is second in the nation with 107 catches on the season for 131 yards per game (2) and 10 touchdowns. James Johnson leads a rushing attack averaging 133 yards per game (84) and has done the lions share of the work on the ground for the Wildcats. He twice has gone over 175 yards this season as he ran for 183 yards against Colorado in October and ran for 177 last week against Missouri.
Tim Tibesar has come in as the new defensive coordinator and is fiddling with the 3-4 defense. Defensive end/linebacker Ian Campbell leads a K-State defensive unit that ranks No. 63 in the nation in total defense giving up 387 yards per game. Campbell leads a defensive front that has gotten to the quarterback 30 times this season but has struggled to defend the pass. The Wildcats are surrendering 254 yards through the air and have given up 122 points over the past two weeks.
What to expect:
Kansas State desperately needs a victory to get to the magic win total of six to become bowl eligible and with a win is hoping for an invite to the Independence Bowl. Ron Prince and the Wildcats will try to open up the passing game and make the Bulldogs play catch-up. Fresno State on the other hand will try to control the clock with a solid running game and occasionally pick its spots down field. The Bulldogs will be looking for its first win over a BCS program in three years as they have lost their last seven attempts. A win for Fresno State would likely cement a spot in a bowl game in two years after a disappointing 4-8 finish in 2006.
Fresno State leads 1-0
Series started in 2004 (Fresno State 45, Kansas State 21)
Highest scoring game, 2004, 66 points (Fresno State 45, Kansas State 21)
Lowest scoring game, 2004, 66 points (Fresno State 45, Kansas State 21)
Biggest blowout, 2004, 24 points (Fresno State 45, Kansas State 21)
Longest winning streak, 1 games (Fresno State 2004)