MANHATTAN — Sometimes a week off is exactly what a college football team needs. Other times, it can be a burden. Which category does Kansas State fall into? Wildcats coach Bill Snyder isn’t sure.
On one hand, he wouldn’t mind playing again on Saturday with No. 7 K-State still riding high after its impressive victory at Oklahoma. Too much time off could slow that momentum. But an open weekend could also help the Wildcats move forward and regain their focus before struggling Kansas comes to town for an 11 a.m. game Oct. 6. That might not have been possible in seven days.
“We will have to wait two weeks and see,” Snyder said. “I would hope that the week would be spent trying to improve our capabilities and that there would be some inspiration to do that.… The positive thing is we need time to continue the improvement, but by the same token if you come off of something very good you like the momentum that you have. We have responded in a variety of different ways to open weeks.”
Traditionally, Snyder prefers open weeks to fall between the end of K-State’s nonconference games and the start of Big 12 play. That was the setup two years ago, but K-State didn’t respond well, falling to Nebraska 48-13 after a 4-0 start. A year ago, K-State took a week off after its first game and started 7-0.
All things considered, Snyder isn’t complaining this time around.
“It’s coming at a reasonably appropriate time,” Snyder said.
K-State players took Monday off other than a few meetings. They won’t practice Friday, but will scrimmage on Saturday morning. The emphasis of practices will be on improving rather than preparing for future opponents.
But they will still be rigorous.
“Considering who it is we are playing next week, I’m sure we will put a lot into it,” linebacker Arthur Brown said. “Coach Snyder recognizes this as a big game.”
Added punter Ryan Doerr: “KU is always a big game for us. We always want to beat KU so getting that extra week before KU is huge.”
Assistant coaches will get to leave the state on recruiting trips and watch high school games they don’t normally have time to attend. They will also begin early work on strategies to use against the Jayhawks, as well as teams throughout the Big 12.
At K-State, there is little time to relax during a bye week.
“We use it in virtually all ways you can imagine,” Snyder said.
In theory, that should help the Wildcats before taking the field for seven games in seven weeks. But improvement isn’t guaranteed.
“It’s what we make of it,” quarterback Collin Klein said. “We’re trying to get a little rest, rejuvenate a little bit, but at the same time get better.
“A lot of the good things that have happened this year are the result of that mentality. We just have to remember what got us to this point and just keep it up every single day.”
Limited tickets on sale: The Sunflower Showdown football game is sold out, but K-State is selling a limited number of general admission tickets for $75. Seating is available on the grassy hill in the northeast corner of Snyder Family Stadium.