banner

College Football

more stats

Stephen F Austin (0-0) at (20) Kansas State (0-0)



Saturday, August 30, 7:10 p.m. (ET)

The Sports Network

GAME NOTES: The highly-anticipated 2014 season gets underway for the Kansas State Wildcats, as they kick things off on Saturday with a home date against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.

Bill Snyder's Wildcats are coming off an 8-5 season that saw the team go 6-1 down the stretch, including a 31-14 victory over Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The team opens the new season ranked 20th in the country.

Stephen F. Austin heads into a new era with Clint Conque beginning his reign in Nacogdoches, Texas. Conque comes over from Central Arkansas, where he had great success, amassing a 105-59 record in 14 seasons at the helm, including a pair of Southland titles. He has his work cut out for him after last year's SFA squad went 3-9 overall, including a mere 1-6 Southland mark that spelled the exit of J.C. Harper.

This marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs.

Moving the football wasn't the problem for SFA a year ago, as the team churned out 571.6 yards of total offense, thanks in large part to a passing game that generated a whopping 389.0 ypg. Star quarterback Brady Attaway (4,268 yards, 32 TDs) has moved on however. Conque's son Zach has transferred in and will get the first crack at filling the void under center. Just a sophomore, the younger Conque could be pushed by junior Joe Minden for playing time.

The good news is that second-team All-Southland selection Gus Johnson returns to man his spot in the backfield. The 5-10, 224-pound senior led the team in rushing a year ago with 1,061 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging just under 100 yards per game (96.5).

A talented receiving corps will also help the transition for the new QB, as both Tyler Boyd (79 rec, 1,183 yds, 8 TDs) and D.J. Ward (61 rec, 809 yds, 7 TDs) return to the fold.

While the Lumberjacks had very few problems on the offensive side of things, the defense were their downfall in 2013. The team was torched by both the run (189.8 ypg) and the pass (338.0 ypg), as the team gave up a generous 49.3 ppg.

There is some holdover from last year's squad, as the team will seek leadership from players like senior linebacker Collin Garrett (88 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2 INT), senior defensive end Ishmiah Miles (41 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5 sacks) and senior safety Trey Vallier (48 tackles, 4 INTs).

Conque knows this program is in rebuilding mode.

"We are only three years removed from back-to-back, I believe, out-right Southland Conference Championships, 2009 and 2010 at SFA," said Conque. "We have good players in our program. We have really good players in our program, but we have some work to do from a physical maturation standpoint, and an academic standpoint. Obviously, some roster management went into this, some roster moves. The young men have embraced that. As a coaching staff we are energized. Every place that we have gone we have been well-received both in recruiting and our satellite camps. I think we have a very, very bright future."

Unlike the Lumberjacks, the Wildcats are set at the quarterback position, as senior Jake Waters is expected to be one of the better signal callers in the Big 12 this season after throwing for nearly 2,500 yards and twice as many touchdowns (18) as interceptions (9) in 2013.

"Jake is one of those young guys that has a tremendous value system,' said Snyder. "He's a young guy that understands what our program is truly all about. He's a young guy that works diligently to improve his plight in life and on the football field on a daily basis."

Fellow senior Tyler Lockett has developed into one of the top receivers in not only the Big 12, but the nation as well. Lockett (81 receptions, 1,262 yards, 11 touchdowns) is the top target, but Waters has several other options in Curry Sexton, Deante Burton and former quarterback Daniel Sams.

Finding a replacement for productive running back John Hubert won't be easy, and Sams is the team's top returning rusher (807 yards, 11 touchdowns). Sophomore Charles Jones and senior DeMarcus Harrison will get the call early to try and fill the void.

The Wildcats allowed 22.9 points and 358.8 yards per game, both of which ranked them third in the conference and in the top-31 nationally. However, fewer than half of the starters return. The ones that do though, are very good.

Ryan Mueller was named the 2013 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year after matching the school record for sacks in a season with 11.5, and the 6-2, 245- pound senior could be poised for another big season. Junior Travis Britz (6-4, 293) is strong in the middle of the line, while senior linebacker Jonathan Truman (top returning tackler, 89 stops) and senior defensive back Randall Evans provide leadership from their respective spots on the field.

The Lumberjacks have lost 11 straight road games and that trend is likely to continue. The Wildcats have their sights set on vying for a Big 12 crown and should be ready to go right out of the gate.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 45, Stephen F. Austin 13

08/29 15:23:21 ET

Other Stories

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
 
3rd
CLE 70
MEM 64
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
2nd
NICST 49
TROY 53
 
2nd
BRAD 43
UCI 50
 
1st
UGA 0
SHU 0
 
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
3rd
STL 13
NYG 20
 
Half
OAK 13
BUF 10
 
3rd
DAL 28
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA