By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
This week, the Lariat spoke with DeAundra Allen, editor and chief and sports editor for the Kansas State Collegian about Baylor’s matchup with Kansas State. Allen said that she expects Kansas State to bounce back after its 14-7 loss to Vanderbilt on Sept. 16, but that the Wildcats won’t overlook Baylor.
Q. There has been a lot of talk about the high level of quarterback play in the Big 12 with Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, Kenny Hill at TCU, but Kansas State has a pretty quarterback too in Jesse Ertz. How does Ertz differ from some of the other gunslingers in the conference and what other intangibles does he bring to Snyder’s offense?
A. Jesse Ertz is different because of how he carries himself. Like I’ve said before, he is a high-caliber, dual threat quarterback. A major goal for the K-State offense is to find balance, and Ertz has the power to bring that into play. At Vanderbilt, Ertz ran the ball 24 times. When we hosted UCA and Charlotte at home, he threw for a total of 511 yards combined between the two games. His arm is powerful, he leads the team in the right direction, and he’s not afraid to carry the game or his teammates throughout the game.
Q. Who are some of the other playmakers on either side of the ball that Baylor and its fans need to be aware of?
A. Sophomore Elijah Sullivan. He is an emerging linebacker. He had a rare 4-3 look for K-State and the defense we have with three linebackers could be exemplary. Sullivan took defensive back Cre Moore’s spot to add an extra linebacker, and so far he has nailed it. He is a 6 feet, 200 pound man from Georgia. At Vanderbilt, he helped assist two tackles, but I’m sure for this game he will be in there more to rack in more.
Q. Bill Snyder is beloved by all in the business. What is about him that captivates his players and other coaches?
A. Bill Snyder is a man of consistency, strength and passion. His consistency within the program he has built at K-State is remarkable. His strength and passion come through time and time again when he proves to his fans and his team that he’s more than just a coach. He’s been a role model for many years, and yet he remains so humble. The passion he has not only as a coach, but as a person shows through many times. He’s kind, yet stern. People love him for that, and for him just being him.
Q. What is the x-factor for Kansas State heading into this matchup?
A. I think the x-factor will be that we have got to go out and show that we are one of the top 25 teams in the nation. We were there, but something happened at Vanderbilt and everyone was on different tracks at once. Our motivation for this game will be to show the nation that we deserve to be a top 25 team again. There is something to learn in each game, as long as they build on and correct their mistakes, without a doubt we should be able to claim it back.
Q. What is your prediction?
A. I am hopeful and confident that K-State will bounce back from the Vanderbilt loss. I think they’ve learned from their mistakes that they’ve made and I know they’ve been having extremely good practices this week. Snyder even went on record during the Tuesday press conference and said that Monday was their “most spirited” practice of the season. In hopefulness, I will predict this one to be 28-14, K-State.