Midseason report: Kansas State

October, 15, 2008
10/15/08
11:54
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Kansas State (4-2, 1-1): No seat is warmer for any Big 12 coach than Ron Prince's. Embarrassing losses to Louisville and Texas Tech were underscored by weak defensive efforts. The Wildcats were gashed for 300-yard rushing days by both Louisville and Louisiana-Lafayette. A high-powered offense keyed by Josh Freeman has allowed the Wildcats to score at least 28 points in every game and 44 points in at least four games. But Prince's grand plan of filling his defensive lineup with junior-college transfers appears to have been a failure because of the unit's struggles.

Offensive MVP, Josh Freeman: The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder has lived up to the high billing that pro scouts have given him, rushing for 12 touchdowns and passing for 12 more to become the nation's only player to produce double-figures totals in both categories. He's not mentioned with the Heisman contenders from the conference but might be just as valuable to his team. And his real reward might come when the NFL Draft rolls around.

Defensive MVP, Brandon Harold: The freshman defensive end has emerged as one of the Big 12's top defensive linemen after only six games. Harold is one of only two freshmen to start this season for the Wildcats. And he's been an immediate producer, leading the team with 8.5 tackles for losses, including three sacks and ranking fifth overall with 27 tackles.

What's next: The Wildcats' struggling defense might really surface against some of the high-powered attacks they will be facing in the Big 12. But the A&M victory means they need only two triumphs for bowl eligibility. Kansas State will have trouble with approaching games at Colorado, Oklahoma, at Kansas and at Missouri. But they should have a chance to finish strongly with easier matchups against Iowa State and Nebraska to close the season that could still get them to a bowl.

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