He now owns all four major Kansas State career passing records and comes off a school-record 501 total yards against fourth-ranked Oklahoma, the most by any Big 12 player in a league game this season. Yes, Josh Freeman also needs just 418 yards to become the first player in purple and white to reach the 8,000-yard plateau. Big numbers? Indeed. But right now, it doesn't matter. All Freeman really wants to do is beat Kansas.
That's proven difficult for Freeman, who struggled against the in-state rival like no other in his first two meetings against the Jayhawks.
Freeman completed 31 of 48 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown and three interceptions in a 30-24 loss last season in Manhattan. It was a better showing, though, than when he went 23 of 44 for 244 yards and committed six turnovers, including three interceptions, during a 39-20 loss in Lawrence in 2006, his seventh start as a freshman.
"It's something you look at, but my game is different than it was the last two years," Freeman said. "They're a different team. Looking back, people are like, 'Are you going to try not to turn the ball over?' No, I'm going to go out this game and try to do it for my team and move the ball downfield and get the ball into the end zone. Of course, those things happen, but the main thing is going out and trying to get a win."
Nine turnovers. At least publicly, they don't faze the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Freeman, who otherwise has amassed K-State all-time records for completions (616), attempts (1,030), passing yards (7,357) and touchdowns (39). Ever-maturing Freeman has enjoyed his best season yet in completing 160 of 261 passes for 2,224 yards and 15 touchdowns and five interceptions for a pass efficiency rating of 148.01. That figure ranks No. 22 nationally and currently is third in K-State single-season history behind Michael Bishop's 159.6 in 1998 and Matt Miller's 157.3 in 1995.
Freeman's six total turnovers against Kansas in 2006 remain a distant memory and he recalls his comfort level being close to a 10 in the Wildcats' second straight loss in Lawrence.
"How comfortable was I? I was probably a nine right there," Freeman said on Monday. "I was comfortable. Some of the turnovers we had were stuff that never happens. There was a bunch of random stuff that normally wouldn't happen. That game, I felt like we definitely should've won but the turnovers hurt us and we gave them a lot more possessions. When you turn the ball over, you can't win.
"Last year was just rough. Couldn't get it done at the end of the game."
Freeman, 13-15 as a starter, comes off a 29-for-51 performance in which he threw for a career-high 478 yards and three touchdowns and three interceptions in a 58-35 loss to the Sooners last weekend. While he recorded his school-record sixth career 300-yard passing day, Freeman added 23 yards on the ground to finish with 501 total yards, the most ever in a single game at K-State and the most by a player in a Big 12 game this season.
K-State coach Ron Prince called Freeman "terrific."
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