(WIBW) -- For the first time since 2009, Kansas will enter Saturday's Sunflower Showdown with a record even or better than Kansas State.
Kansas State defensive back Denzel Goolsby (20) breaks up a pass intended for Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
The Wildcats own a 9-game winning streak against the Jayhawks, dating back to the 2009 season in which Kansas boasted a 5-3 record compared to Kansas State's 5-4 record.
Both the Wildcats and the Jayhawks sit at 3-6 on the season, but neither is underestimating the other.
"They're a respectable team this year, and they're getting better and better," said senior KSU offensive lineman Dalton Risner. "I'm sure they're fighting for something over there in Kansas.
"Do we expect to win? Of course we do. Do we expect to keep the Governor's Cup? Of course we do. But at the same time, we respect the opponent coming in to play us."
"Last year it was a one touchdown ballgame, late in the ballgame, three minutes to go," said K-State head coach Bill Snyder. "It is competitive, very much so. KU has become a competitive football team. They’ve played some close ballgames this year with very prominent teams.”
For Kansas State, it's about continuing the success.
"They haven't been as good in the past, but we know they're a much better team this year," said junior KSU wide receiver Dalton Schoen. "We've had (the win streak) so long that we don't want to be the ones to lose it."
But for Kansas, it's about stopping it, and doing so for a senior class that has experienced a mere six wins.
"I don't think motivation needs to be there for this week," said senior KU linebacker Joe Dineen, Jr. "We all know how big this rivalry is and for us, as seniors, it's our last opportunity to go and beat them."
"We’ve talked about it already at length about these seniors, they deserve to go out with a big win against a rival that they haven’t been able to experience," said KU head coach David Beaty. "They have experienced some things here that they’re awfully proud of as well, but being able to beat this team and walking away with this game with a victory, I don’t know that there’s any better way we could honor those seniors because those guys have really given.
"They’ve sacrificed. They’ve bled. They’ve sweat. They’ve cried, and they really truly care about this place."
The Sunflower Showdown will air on FSN at 11 a.m. from Bill Snyder Family Stadium.