Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Show Me My Opponent - Kansas State Wildcats

Record - 2-0 (beat Montana Sate 69-10 Sept. 9)
Conference - Big 12
Location - Manhattan, KS
Stadium - Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000)
Starters Returning from 07 - 14

Louisville defeated the Wildcats 23-6 in their only meeting (9/23/06) in Manhattan. Hunter Cantwell started for n injured Brian Brohm and threw a TD pass to Harry Douglas. Brock Bolen also had a TD run in a game Louisville led 23-0 for the majority of the game before K-State scored a late TD and missed the conversion. (All-time record: 1-0)

Head Coach
- Ron Prince (14-13 in 3rd year)
Prince succeeded Bill Snyder who spent 17 years at the school winning 138 games and putting the school back into the national picture after years of futility. Prince came from Virginia where he was offensive coordinator for 3 years coaching players such as Heath Miller and D'Brickashaw Ferguson. He led the Wildcats to a bowl in his first year and has back-to-back wins against Big 12 powerhouse Texas to hang his hat on. Prince joined our friend John "The Freak" Renshaw on 93.9 The Ticket. Here's the audio...

Ron Prince Interview - The Freak Show - 93.9 FM The Ticket

Notable Alumni - Earl Woods (father and teacher of the man missing the Ryder Cup due to injury), Craig Bolerjack (NFL on CBS), Gordon Jump (WKRP in Cincinnati), Kirstie Alley (Sam Malone's love interest Rebecca the 2nd best comedy show ever, Cheers), John Allen (COO, Cincinnati Reds), Sam Brownback (Senator R-KS), Pat Roberts (Sen., R-KS), Micheal Beasley (#2 pick by Miami Heat), Mitch Richmond (sharpshooter, former NBA All-Star), Bill Guthridge (former UNC head coach and longtime Dean Smith assistant), Gene Keady (former Purdue coach with a weird looking set of hair), Lon Kruger (current UNLV head man), Rolando Blackman (NBA Mavs), Jim Colbert (golfer who always wore bucket/fisherman cap)

NFL Alumni - QB Michael Bishop ( '98 Heisman Trophy runner-up), DB Chris Canty (2 time All-American '95-'96), K Martin Gramatica (one half of the unforgettable duo of NFL kicking brothers), DB Terrence Newman (starter DAL; '02 Thorpe Award winner), RB/KR Darren Sproles (left; watch last week's Chargers highlights if you don't know who this guy is), LB Mark Simeneau (NO), WR Jordy Nelson (rookie GB), KR Yamon Figurs (BALT)

Cardinal Connection - It might be too early to question whether Steve Kragthorpe and Ron Prince are the right men to lead their teams into the future. However, both are under a microscope this year. This game will ring very loudly throughout the whole season for both squads. The consensus is the winner will get a momentum boost and the loser might become deflated. The predecessors of both coaches are legends in their own ways at the schools and fans never expected this rough of a transition. The coaches are feeling the pressure to win, something the guys they replaced seemed to do a little easier.

Outlook - Kansas State hasn't faced a team worthy of comparison to Louisville in open laughers against North Texas and Montana State. QB Josh Freeman (right) is a pocket-passer who likes spreading the ball around to 5-6 receivers and running backs. He set Big 12 freshman and second year records and hopes to feed on Louisville,s secondary. The match-up between the defensive backfield of Ron English and the arm of Josh Freeman will determine who wins the game. If Freeman is able to pick the DBs apart, it could get ugly for the Cards. I think Louisville's game plan will be to give up the short stuff and eliminate the deep threat like they succeeded in doing against UK.
The Cards are going to score points on the untested Wildcat D, how many depends on the decision making of Hunter Cantwell. If he can manage the game well and limit his mistakes, the offense should be able to mix up run and pass, keeping the K-State defense on their heels. I expect the running load to be evenly dispersed as always among Anderson, Powell and Bolen with Powell leading the way. Lineman Eric Wood and George Bussey will definitely play, so the running game could get rolling like last week.
I'm excited to see how our DBs play against this high-powered passing attack of Kansas St. Whomever wins that battle will win the game.

Prediction - Cards 28-17

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