September 16, 2007

Prince's Cats ride Nelson into off week

Ron Prince didn't decorate the Kansas State locker room with checkered flags like Mack Brown did at Texas a couple weeks ago. Instead, the second-year coach issued his message with one word on the dry-erase board in the team meeting room: "FINISH." In thumping Missouri State 61-10 behind a record-setting performance from Jordy Nelson, the Wildcats hope they are just getting warmed up for their highly anticipated showdown in Austin, Texas.

"We're still in it. We're in the hunt," Prince said. "We're 0-0 in conference play and need to be able to go out and prove something: that we want to be taken seriously."

To get things rolling just perfectly before the Wildcats travel to face the Longhorns on Sept. 29, there were a few things Prince wanted his team to take care of Saturday night. He wanted decisive and consistent execution. He wanted the offensive line and defensive line to win the battle, so he had senior nose tackle Steve Cline storm out of the locker room with the American flag and junior center Jordan Bedore carry the state of Kansas flag.

"It was a great experience," said Cline, who had one sack for 10 yards. "I would do it again."

Finally, Prince wanted the fourth quarter against Missouri State to be the best 15 minutes the Wildcats played through three games. He preached it before the game. He repeated it as the Wildcats entered halftime ahead, 27-7.

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