Kansas St.-Kansas Preview
By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- Kansas State had its highest-scoring game of the season last week and needed just about all of those points to pull out another close win and stay unbeaten.
The 12th-ranked Wildcats might have an easier time during a visit to beleaguered rival Kansas on Saturday.
Holding on for a 41-34 win at Texas Tech last weekend helped Kansas State (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) remain tied atop the conference with No. 3 Oklahoma and sixth-ranked Oklahoma State.
The Wildcats' offense didn't score until 4:55 remained in the second quarter, but quarterback Collin Klein finished with 110 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground, including a 2-yarder as time expired in the third that put his team ahead for good.
"(Coach Bill Snyder) says all the time you've just got to keep sawing wood and eventually you're going to get somewhere," Klein said. "It makes it exciting because we're hanging together. That's the most important thing."
Klein also threw for another score, but it was Nigel Malone's 24-yard interception return for a TD and Tyler Lockett's 100-yard kickoff return that kept Kansas State in the game early.
Defensive lineman Raphael Guidry also helped with a pair of blocked field goals, and the Wildcats set up their final touchdown - Klein's 1-yard plunge - with the second of three interceptions.
The Wildcats moved a step closer toward their first 7-0 start since winning nine in a row to begin the 1999 season.
"We're a tough football team and we have a long way to go," linebacker Tre Walker said. "We're going to fight and fight to the end. No matter what the outcome is; we don't even look at the scoreboard."
The victory was Kansas State's fourth in a row by seven points or fewer, but it would appear the Wildcats would have a chance to end that streak in the Sunflower Showdown.
Kansas (2-4, 0-3) ranks near the bottom in the FBS in every major defensive category and is last with 49.0 points and 565.0 yards allowed per game. During their four straight defeats, the Jayhawks have given up an average of 627.0 yards while being outscored 228-103.
They yielded 610 yards in a 47-17 loss to Oklahoma last week and their offense also had a miserable second half. Kansas gained six yards over the final 30 minutes and recorded one first down.
A chance to play their rivals, however, has coach Turner Gill hoping for a better performance from his Jayhawks, who will face their third straight ranked opponent.
"It's the Sunflower Showdown," Gill said. "We're ready for this one. It's one of those things that gets me excited. ... I think it's going to be a great game for us."
Kansas lost 59-7 when the Wildcats visited Lawrence last season, its most lopsided defeat since falling 66-14 at Texas in 2005. After relieving Carson Coffman, Klein scored Kansas State's final points with a 51-yard run.
Kansas running back James Sims, who has a team-best 455 yards and six TDs, had 23 yards on 10 carries during that loss. Jordan Webb finished with 228 yards and an interception.
The Jayhawks have lost two straight to Kansas State after winning four of the previous five matchups.
Kansas leads the series 65-38-5 - going 37-16-2 at home - and pulled off a 30-24 upset in Manhattan, Kan., the last time it faced a ranked Wildcats team in 2007.
Snyder is 14-1 in his last 15 matchups with Kansas.
Updated October 18, 2011