Fiesta Bowl Countdown: From now on, Nigel Malone isn’t taking chances at the goal line

If Nigel Malone has the chance to score a touchdown against Oregon, he says he won’t drop the football until he runs through the back of the end zone and an official asks him for it.

Even then, he might be hesitant to part with the pigskin.

That’s the kind of caution he vows to show the rest of his career after the humiliating play he made against Texas. If you don’t recall the gaffe, here’s what happened: He intercepted a pass near the sideline in the first quarter and saw nothing but open field between him and the end zone. But as he approached the goal line, he became overconfident and dropped the ball an inch short of paydirt. Officials originally awarded him a touchdown, but took it away after a lengthy review.

“I’m pretty sure I crossed it. The line was behind me before I let the ball go. But it is what it is,” said Malone, a senior cornerback. “I know next time I won’t make it close. I’m going to give it to the ref. I might bring it back to the sideline.”

He might even try to keep it as a souvenir.

Whatever happens, should he find himself moments away from another pick six, the defensive back who has had an impressive two seasons at K-State (12 interceptions and more than 100 tackles) is not taking any chances.

He learned that lesson the hardest way possible, and still gets reminded of it through social media.

“I heard it. I heard it,” Malone said. “I think I did a really good job … Some people were bashing me a little bit. But coming out here, I’ve learned a lot of patience. I didn’t want people calling out my name, talking down to me. I had people saying, ‘Oh, Not Top 10′ and all that stuff. It’s OK. I expected it. They are not the ones playing. I didn’t really let it get to me.”

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Next up on the countdown: You will have to check back and see.

Last time on the countdown:K-State’s defense will stick with fundamentals against Oregon.

Editor’s Note: On Jan. 3, the Kansas State football team will face Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. With that in mind, I am counting down to the big game at University of Phoenix Stadium by attempting to write 21 blog posts in 21 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas. I’m confident that I can go 21 for 21, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com or via twitter @KellisRobinett.