Oct 22, 2011; Lawrence, KS, USA; A Kansas State Wildcats helmet on the bench before the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium. Kansas State won the game 59-21. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Knowing the Big 12: Kansas State Wildcats

The second Big 12 opponent on the schedule for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2012 will be the Kansas State Wildcats. The Wildcats finished last season with an overall record of 10-3 and a conference record of 7-2. The two Big 12 losses for Kansas State came against #9 Oklahoma (58-17) and #6 Oklahoma State (52-45). Kansas State ended the 2011 season with a loss to #6 Arkansas in the AT&T Cotton Bowl by a score of 29-16.

Entering the 2012 season, Kansas State has already set a school record without even stepping a foot onto the football field. The Wildcats have 14 players being named as candidates in various watch lists for major college awards that are affiliated with the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).

The awards in which KSU have candidates named include: the Bednariak Award (Arthur Brown and Nigel Malone), the Butkus Award (Arthur Brown), the Walter Camp Award (Arthur Brown, Tyler Lockett, and Nigel Malone), the Lombardi Award (Arthur Brown), the Maxwell Award (Collin Klein), the Nagurski Award (Arthur Brown and Nigel Malone), the O’Brien Award (Collin Klein), the Rimington Award (BJ Finney), the Jim Thorpe Award (Nigel Malone), and the Doak Walker Award (John Hubert).

The biggest player for Kansas State on offense entering 2012 is without a doubt Collin Klein. Klein will be entering his final collegiate season in 2012. Last year, he had 3,059 all-purpose yards and 40 total touchdowns (27 rushing touchdowns). His 27 rushing touchdowns in 2011 broke the 42-year-old Kansas State school record for rushing touchdowns in a single-season. Just recently, Klein was named as a candidate for the Manning Award going into the 2012 season.

On defense, Kansas State will look for two players to make sure that the 2012 season is a successful one. Those two players are Arthur Brown and Nigel Malone. Arthur Brown led the team in total tackles and was second on the team in tackles for loss last year. Brown had 101 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss (26 yards), and two sacks (six yards) in 2012. On the other hand, Malone led the team in interceptions last year with seven interceptions (92 return yards). Both Brown and Malone are candidates for six different awards this season.

The Kansas-Kansas State game on October 6th, 2012 will be a big one for both schools. This will be the 44th meeting between the two schools since 1969 (Governor’s Cup). KSU leads the rivalry and has won the last three match-ups between KU-KSU. With the rivalry moving back to Manhattan, Kansas will look to defeat the Wildcats for the first time since 2008.

2012 Kansas State Wildcats Schedule -

Missouri State 9/1
Miami (FL) 9/8
North Texas 9/15
@Oklahoma 9/22
Kansas 10/6
@Iowa State 10/13
@West Virginia 10/20
Texas Tech 10/27
Oklahoma State 11/3
@TCU 11/10
@Baylor 11/17
Texas 12/1

Other “Knowing the Big 12″ Previews -

TCU Horned Frogs
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma Sooners
Texas Longhorns
Baylor Bears

For more on Kansas State, check out Jug of Snyder.

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Tags: Arkansas Arthur Brown AT&T Cotton Bowl Baylor Bednariak Award BJ Finney Butkus Award Collin Klein Doak Walker Governor's Cup Iowa State Jim Thorpe John Hubert Kansas Kansas Jayhawks Kansas State Kansas State Football Kansas State Wildcats Lombardi Award Manhattan Maxwell Award Miami (FL) Missouri State Nagurski Award National College Football Awards Association Nigel Malone North Texas Oklahoma Oklahoma State TCU Texas Texas Tech Tyler Lockett Walter Camp Award West Virginia

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