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WRNL Interrogates: Bring on the Cats

Jon Morse returns for a second go around this week, and let's hope it goes better than the first time (it won't).

Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

We didn't listen.  Jon Morse came in here last week and said "don't turn the ball over", and we did, twice, and the world came crashing down.

So the natural thing to do is invite him back to talk about his real school, Kansas State.  Thanks again to Jon for the responses to our inane questions, and hopefully the execution passes quickly tomorrow.

How's the running game looking? Is Waters doing his best Collin Klein impression or is he deferring more to Robinson and Jones?

He's not really doing a Klein at all, which is fantastic since a big part of his problem carrying the ball last seacon was that the coaching staff apparently forgot that he WASN'T Klein in reality. Klein was built to hesitate and then go off-tackle. Waters can't do that; he doesn't have that one-two burst of acceleration. He does have the wheels to run the ball effectively once he's already in motion, though, and even did so last year. It's just that Waters does so on bootlegs and draws. Klein was an excellent scrambler too, of course, and that's one thing they do have in common.

One stat that was particularly telling from week one: Waters led the team in rushing (after adjusting for sack yardage), but essentially he, Robinson, and Jones all had about the same day carrying the ball. When you've got three guys who evenly split over 160 rushing yards between them, that's good distribution.

How does one stop Tyler Lockett without going Tonya Harding on him?

Apparently telling Bill Snyder that Lockett's not needed works pretty well. The media has reported, with technical accuracy, that Lockett played one quarter; in reality we only even noticed him for about three snaps, one of which was his touchdown.

But once things get serious, pretty much the only way to stop Lockett involves either having an All-American corner, or keeping Jake Waters so busy that Waters never has time to throw the ball at him. Or, you know, busting his spleen works too, I guess.

On paper this Wildcat defense is small. How do they make up for their lack of size? Is it Cialis? Is it fundamentals, is it just a fearless attack where they act like squirrels fighting over a nut?

Ovaltine and Spinach Smoothies.

I think part of this is where Snyder's entire recruiting philosophy comes into play. He'll get guys that the experts and most other coaches write off as too small just because they don't look like LeBron James standing next to Milhouse. But in reality those guys aren't really small, they're just SHORT. They also seem to have one thing in common: they're stocky and they're quicker than you'd expect by looking at them.

After that, Snyder lets what's obviously a stellar S&C unit work their magic. Look at Ryan Mueller; I think that kid does his homework in the weight room, and he's now the closest thing to a sentient and ambulatory fireplug humanity has devised its in centuries of learning and experimentation. There's absolutely no reason why Mueller should be able to bench press you while running full speed at your quarterback, but there he goes again. Sorry 'bout that, we told him not to tackle the tailgate.

Fundamentals are, as with any Snyder team, paramount. But there's a manic urge wrapped around those fundamentals, and a desperate energy straining for release. You can sometimes see it when they're being interviewed, and it's really sort of precious.

Seriously, can we borrow some potion or something? We need all the help we can get this weekend. Maybe a lock of Snyder's hair?

Oh, potions. We have those. They come in handy 1.75 liter bottles, and we usually save them for basketball games against teams from the Big Sky and the Atlantic 10. We can spare a few of those for y'all, no question. But the hair thing? I fear we'd be cut down by angry Taco Bell associates carrying AK-47s before we ever got within 50 yards of the source.

What's your final prediction on this game? We obviously thing it's going to be a mess, but so far K-State fans are giving us more credit than we probably deserve.

This is like when my ex-wife used to ask me what I thought of her outfit, isn't it? I'm going to answer this, and our beautiful relationship is going to turn into rancid accusations of betrayal, and then you're going to throw all those handles of brown likker at me, and next thing you know you're out in a cheap motel room with a Jayhawk or something.

Vegas had the line at 12 last time I looked, and if was in Nevada I'd put my entire bank account on a cover. I know weird things happen to K-State in Ames, but the one thing I just can't get over -- and please forgive me for dredging up nightmarish memories -- is giving up over 500 yards to the Bison. The offensive failure after the first quarter I can handwave; obviously Tom Farniok is important, and the Cyclones were fine on offense before he went down. But the defense... well, I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but 500 yards is what NDSU does to Missouri State, not to an FBS program. Iowa State's only hope Saturday is for the game to turn into a shootout, and I don't think K-State's defense will let that happen.