June 20, 2007

Sack happy Cats wanting more

39 = Number of sacks K-State recorded in 2006, ranking first in the Big
12 Conference, two more than second-place Texas.



This was the area of K-State's defense where former defensive
coordinator Raheem Morris' fiery, up-tempo style seemed to make the
biggest difference. After recording just 21 sacks each in 2004 and
2005, the Wildcats obviously needed to inject some energy into a
somewhat lifeless defensive attack.



Considering the Wildcats had amassed 22 sacks by the seventh game of the
season, it looked as if Morris was able to accomplish that. The season
total of 39 sacks was the second-most for a K-State unit since 1997.



The obvious leader in 2006 was first-team All-Big 12 defensive end
Ian Campbell, whose 11 sacks tied a K-State record and
placed him second in the conference, sack behind Colorado's Abraham
Wright. Campbell will make the switch to outside linebacker for new
defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar's 3-4 front, a position he
would be most likely to play at the next level.



At the new position, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise if Campbell was
able to increase his total from 2006. Some of the greatest sack masters
in the NFL - including the Chargers' Shawne Merriman, the Cowboys'
DeMarcus Ware and the Steelers' Joey Porter - play outside linebacker
in a 3-4 look. The new scheme should give Campbell more freedom to run
and use his speed to get to the quarterback.



Campbell's production could go a long way in determining the overall
success of the 2007 Wildcats. In 2006, K-State was 6-3 in games in
which Campbell dropped the quarterback. In the four games he didn't,
the Wildcats were 1-3, and that one win was a 45-0 thumping of Florida
Atlantic.



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