September 24, 2007

On the road again

Kansas State coach Ron Prince isn't sure whether there's a formula that could stick the Wildcats on the road in nine-straight Big 12 openers, but the second-year coach will probably be way too busy to try and figure one out as the Wildcats prepare for face No. 7-ranked Texas at Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

K-State is 2-1 and comes off a bye week. But the program has dropped six straight Big 12 openers and seven of the last nine. At least Prince maintained a sense of humor in addressing the road streak

"I'm sure there's a formula out there somewhere," Prince said. "Maybe we'll get to open the next nine at home."

It doesn't take much to recall the formula the Wildcats used to defeat the Longhorns 45-42 last season in Manhattan. K-State used back-to-back trick plays and Josh Freeman threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats beat their highest-ranked team at home since 2000.

It was a magical night as a national audience caught students running onto the field after the win, but Prince on Monday stopped short of calling the victory the best game last season.

"The only reason I'm hesitating is because of the 42 points we gave up," Prince said. "Any game where you give up 42 points can't be the best game you played."

Texas coach Mack Brown, whose Longhorns are 4-0 after a 58-14 win against Rice over the weekend, uses various methods to motivate his team. After an eight-point win over Arkansas State in the opener, Brown decorated the Texas locker room with checkered flags to emphasize the necessity for the team to finish the game. The Longhorns then beat No. 19 TCU, 34-14.

Brown likely won't need to rely on any motivational techniques to get Texas ready for K-State, which snapped the Longhorns' 21-game conference winning streak.

Texas entered the week as a 14-point favorite.

"(Texas) is still a Top 10 team and we remain unranked," Freeman said. "Until we can put together a strong of wins against Top 10 teams and get ourselves ranked we'll always be the underdog. They're obviously favored. Nobody in our locker room looks at standings or anything going into the game, it's just (about) what we're going to come out and do."

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