Maybe Jerome Tang can arrange to have the Kansas State football team give a pregame speech.

Kansas State (7-1) will host Abilene Christian Tuesday night coming off a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Wichita State on Saturday.

The Wildcats were trailing at halftime when the football team arrived with their Big 12 championship game trophy they earned earlier in the day. The crowd got behind host Kansas State, which outscored Wichita State 16-5 down the stretch in a game that featured little offense.

“We were deeply inspired by our football team’s defensive stand on the goal line and decided we want to make this a defensive game,” Tang said after the game. “Don’t worry about making shots tonight. I thought our guys in the second half did a really good job of guarding and rebounding.

“I think I need to have (K-State quarterback) Will Howard come in and let them know that they have some offense, too.”

After a subpar game, Markquis Nowell scored the final six points for the Wildcats. Keyontae Johnson, who scored 17, leads the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game.

“We’ll definitely look at the second half and figure out how we can do that in the first half, because we started off slow again,” said Nowell, who finished with 11 points, seven assists and five rebounds. “But, you know, we just got to keep learning and keep growing. I’m pretty sure that we will do that. Our coaching staff will prepare us for the next one, so that we could be better.”

Abilene Christian (5-4) comes in having won three straight games, but none against a Power 6 opponent. Its strength plays into Kansas State’s struggles. In ACU’s previous game, an 88-42 victory over Division III Arlington Baptist, it held the Patriots to just 27.3 percent shooting.

ACU is balanced in scoring, with four players averaging between 9.6 and 10.7 points per game. The leader, Cameron Steele, comes off the bench.

Coach Brette Tanner knows his squad will have to step up big.

“We’re going to go on the road and play what in my mind, my opinion, is a top-25 team in Kansas State,” Tanner said. “We’re going to have to really lock in.”

–Field Level Media