K-State Hits the Road Looking for Bowl Eligibility

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will close out the 2007 regular season this Saturday in Fresno, Calif., as the Wildcats face Fresno State in a nationally-televised non-conference game with serious bowl implications. Saturday’s matchup with Fresno State will be televised nationally by ESPN, while the contest will also air live across the 31-station K-State Sports Network and on Sirius Satellite Radio, with Wyatt Thompson and Stan Weber calling the action and Matt Walters providing updates from the sidelines. The Wildcats are looking to snap a three-game skid in November this weekend in Fresno as well as get back to .500 on the year and become bowl-eligible for the second straight season under head coach Ron Prince.

K-State has put up solid numbers consistently during the 2007 season and has also prov-en to be well-balanced on the offensive side of the ball. For the first time in school history, the Wildcats have a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season thanks to the play of quarterback Josh Freeman, running back James Johnson and All-America candidate Jordy Nelson at wide receiver.

Freeman, who has set the single-season school record for passing yards (3,097), attempts (458) and completions (289), has thrown for 250 or more yards in eight games this season and also holds the school record for most 300-yard passing games in a season with four. Johnson has averaged 114.8 yards a game over the last six contests and became K-State’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Darren Sproles back in 2004. Johnson also became the fastest Wildcat ever to reach 1,000 yards in a season, needing only 159 carries to do so.

Nelson, who continues to rank second nationally in catches per game (9.7), receiving yards per game (131.0) and total receiving yards (1,441), now holds 11 different Kansas State receiving records, including four single-game records and seven season records. Nelson has grabbed 10 or more catches in five games this season and has topped the 100-yard receiving mark seven times, both of which are also school records. The Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist is currently ranked second all-time at Kansas State in both catches and receiving yards for a career and is closing in on those marks.

On special teams, the Wildcats continue to lead the nation in punt returns, averaging 22.5 yards per return, and also have scored a nation-leading five times. Anchored by Ray Guy Award semi-finalist Tim Reyer, Kansas State heads into the Fresno State game as the Big 12 leader in net punting (38.6) while also checking in at No. 8 this week nationally in punting.

Defensively, Justin Roland and Justin McKinney continue to pace the Wildcats in tackles as McKinney leads the squad with 69 total while Roland is close behind at 63. Fifteen different Wildcats have recorded sacks this season while 10 players have recorded interceptions, four of which have multiple picks.

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