Kansas State has won four straight Sunflower Showdowns, so very few active players know what it feels like to walk by an empty trophy case on their way through the lobby of the Vanier Football Complex.
But senior linebacker Blake Slaughter, who made the unusual decision to redshirt last season so he could be a major contributor in his fifth year, does.
As a freshman in 2009, he was part of the team that ended a three-game losing streak to Kansas with a 17-10 victory.
He helped bring the Governor’s Cup back to Manhattan, and it hasn’t left since. He hasn’t forgotten the significance of that victory.
“I remember it being special for that team, because of the struggles it had gone through and how hard that season had been,” Slaughter said. “I remember that being a turning point for our team and our defense. It was special.
“We hadn’t had it the three years before that. That was huge, being on your own turf with so many guys from Kansas, you definitely wanted that win for the guys who live here.”