October 11, 2006

Freeman not focused on Nebraska's talk

Off to the side, Ron Prince politely listened to the question, then in one of those rare moments when the cameras were off with the 37-year-old still in the room, the first-year Kansas State head coach couldn't help himself: He chuckled. The question was simply this: What would it mean if Josh Freeman in just his second career start beat Nebraska on Saturday?

Prince loves compelling stories. Moments earlier, he said he wanted the story of K-State football to be told across the nation. A K-State true freshman slaying Husker nation? Such a notion years ago would have spurred snickers.

Now, it's a dead serious proposition.

Prince and Freeman are just days away from the 6:10 p.m. kickoff Saturday at a sold-out Bill Snyder Family Stadium. They could co-author another chapter to this K-State/Nebraska story packed over the years with dramatic game-winning heroes (Michael Bishop and Darnell McDonald, Jonathan Beasley and Quincy Morgan) and villains (Tommie Frazier, Lawrence Phillips and Eric Crouch) and dry spells (29-straight losses until 1998) and winning streaks (four-straight K-State wins in Manhattan since 1996).

Yes, Prince chuckled. His eyes twinkled. The gears turned. The coach, already seemingly so close to the kid, his kid, the 18-year-old prodigy, the new star on a squad where suddenly so much is new, took a moment. What would it mean?

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