SLATE: Breaking down the Navy challenge

Adam Holtorf (#79) gives basis to the old truism that the big ol’ offensive linemen comprise the smartest position group on the field. | Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Also: Adam Holtorf named 1st Team Academic All-American for second straight year.

Football

Yesterday all the reporters debriefed us on the Liberty Bowl bid and how it came to be. Today, they begin breaking down the actual match-up with Navy (KSNT). As Jon noted in yesterday’s Slate, the reaction of both K-State and Navy coaches, upon learning of the bowl pairing, was “Oh, crap.” Jason Munz of the Memphis Commercial Appeal uses that moment of blunted euphoria as a jumping off point to discuss exactly what each side sees as daunting about the other. Kellis Robinett, meanwhile, is getting out ahead of things to tells us five things we should know about the Midshipmen. Among the interesting factoids: The game will pit two turn-around programs against each other. The Midshipmen, who are 9-2 with the annual Army-Navy game remaining to be played this weekend, finished last season at 3-10.

In off-field news, for the second consecutive season, senior center Adam Holtorf earned first-team academic All-American honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Besides the national awards, Holtorff, who maintains a 3.916 GPA in agribusiness, has been named to the a first-team academic all-Big 12 the last three years. In all, K-State placed a school record 32 players on the All-Big 12 academic team, including a conference-record 26 first-team members. It’s a big enough deal that KSN even copied and pasted the athletic department article to its own page, and we include it only because their version includes some cool video highlights from the football season.

Volleyball

Holtorf was not the only Wildcat being recognized by CoSida yesterday. Brynn Carlson, a redshirt sophomore outside hitter on the volleyball team, was also recognized as a third-team Academic All-American.

Men’s Basketball

For his efforts in leading the U19 squad to a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup this summer, Coach Bruce Weber has been named USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year. Bruce shares the honor with U19 women’s coach Jeff Walz, who also led his squad to a gold medal.

Women’s Basketball

Though the team results have been lacking over the past few weeks, individual accolades keep rolling in for freshman center Ayoka Lee, who won the Big 12 Freshman of the Week award for the third straight time. She averaged 17.5 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in two games last week.

Golf

K-State Sports Extra features 2017 graduate Connor Knabe, who after soliciting help from the KC Area Catbackers to pursue his dream of a professional golf career, is now president of that organization. At a recent event, he hosted current PGA Tour member Robert Streb and retired professional golfer Aaron Watkins, both K-State graduates, who talked about the grind of trying to make a living playing golf.

Source: Bring on the Cats