The No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats have a huge matchup looming on Oct. 20 against Heisman candidate Geno Smith and the fifth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, but the Wildcats cannot afford to look ahead. That's because this weekend, they travel to Ames to take on an Iowa State squad that's coming off a big 37-23 victory over then-No.15 TCU.
In his weekly press conference, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder praised Iowa State, saying the Cyclones do not have very many weaknesses (via the official site of Kansas State athletics):
"Well, I do not think there are a lot of weaknesses. Of those turnovers, nine of them were interceptions, and they have replaced their quarterback, so that takes eight of them off the board. I think they have made a decision that changes those numbers dramatically. If you do that, then it is not nearly as it appeared to be. In all reality, if you watch the play you do not see, other than the interception that the young quarterback threw, you do not see much in the way of turnovers. They have had three fumbles that they have lost in five ball games, which is a reasonably good number."
The Iowa State quarterback change Snyder speaks of is the one from Steele Jantz to Jared Barnett. Jantz struggled in the Cyclones' 24-13 Big 12 season-opening loss to Texas Tech two weeks ago, which opened the door for Barnett. The sophomore took full advantage of the opportunity, delivering a strong performance in the win over TCU.
While the Cyclones are not ranked, they received 54 votes in the latest poll, the third most of any team to not crack the top 25. They boast a stingy defense that has allowed just 15.8 points per game, so that along with the reinvigorated offense will provide the Wildcats with a stiff test.