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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Wildcats eye bowl berth

K-State must win one more to become eligible

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— In the last five years, either Colorado or Kansas State has represented the Big 12 Conference's northern division in the championship game.

This year, though, Colorado will be playing for pride the rest of the way out, while Kansas State, with collapses by both Nebraska and Missouri, could still slip in as the North representative.

Also, with a victory Saturday in Boulder, Colo., Kansas State (5-4, 2-3 Big 12) would become bowl eligible for the first time since 2003, when the Wildcats won the Big 12 championship.

"We just said that we want to get to November and be in the hunt. We're in the hunt to play a fourth game," first-year coach Ron Prince said. "We've got three games ahead of us, we're in the hunt to play a fourth.

"That's really what we're in the hunt for. It would be great for our team and our program to get a fourth game, no matter where it is or whom it's against, it will do us a lot of good."

The Wildcats have three games left to get the win they need to qualify for a bowl. After traveling to Colorado (1-8, 1-4 Big 12), they play No. 4 Texas at home and finish the year on the road at Kansas University.

"This game is just as big as last week," freshman quarterback Josh Freeman said. "Coach says that November is just like the playoffs; if you want to play in the postseason, you have to win in November, and that's where we are and we have to get it done."

In the last two seasons, Kansas State has not gotten it done in November, finishing with a 2-4 record during the month. Since the Big 12 Championship vicotry Dec. 27, 2003, Kansas State has been a below-average football team, with a record of 15-19.

Kansas State also has not been successful on the road. Its lone road victory in conference play since 2004 came in a 35-24 victory at Missouri on Nov. 6, 2004.

The Wildcats' combined record on the road in conference in play the last two seasons, including this year's two road losses, is 1-9.

Senior Wildcat running back Thomas Clayton still has not been medically cleared to play, and will miss his third-straight game on Saturday. Senior wide receiver Jermaine Morreira, who missed last week's win over Iowa State, is doubtful for Saturday's game.

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