Sunday Rewind: K-State 41, Iowa State 7

Sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams and the Kansas State Wildcats played their most complete games of the season against Iowa State.

At the moment, Kansas State is in a class of its own within the Big 12.

The Wildcats are clearly better than the conference’s struggling teams. They have blown out West Virginia and Iowa State and they will be favored against TCU and Kansas. As long as they take care of business against the Horned Frogs and Jayhawks they will reach bowl eligibility.

But the Wildcats also appear a notch below the conference’s contenders. They have already lost to Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma State. They are three-point underdogs against Texas Tech and they will likely be underdogs against Oklahoma. They probably need to beat the Red Raiders to have any chance of finishing in the top half of the Big 12 standings.

A 41-7 clobbering of Iowa State proved the Wildcats are improving. They have won back-to-back games, and their defense has gotten better each and every week. They will have momentum and confidence on their side when they head to Texas Tech, fresh off its first two losses, next week. Can they take advantage and once again prove their progress? Or will they stay where they are?

It will be an important game.

Here is a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Sunday Rewind: Kansas State finds passing groove in 35-12 victory over West Virginia

Kansas State put Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson to good use on Saturday. The Wildcats’ top two receivers combined for four touchdowns.

This was definitely a crossroads game for Kansas State. A loss would have made it very difficult for the Wildcats to keep their spirits up and to reach bowl eligibility. Instead, they pounded West Virginia in the second half for a 35-12 victory and now go into their final five games with momentum.

Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett were back on the field together for the first time in a month. Jake Waters looked like the quarterback who originally won the starting quarterback job in the preseason. And K-State looked like a new team.

Here is a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 37, UMass 7


Kansas State’s 37-7 victory over Massachusetts went as expected. The Wildcats were heavy favorites, and they trounced the lowly Minutemen in a game that was never close in the second half.

There were good plays. There were bad plays. You could take this game in a number of different ways.

For now, let’s just focus on the most pertinent question: Is K-State ready for its Big 12 opener against Texas?

On one hand, the Wildcats could use some work on defense. And Jake Waters needs to stop throwing interceptions. On the other hand, what’s going on in Austin right now is a soap-opera. The Longhorns are coming off back-to-back brutal losses and the fan base is furious. Coming off back-to-back wins, the Wildcats are in much better shape.

Again, you could answer the question in a number of different ways.

Here is what K-State coach Bill Snyder said Saturday night: “We need to get a whole lot better real quick. Real quick. Texas is good. I understand they are going through some tough times, but don’t dare underestimate the University of Texas. They will be a handful for anybody.”

And with that, here is a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Football Friday: Tre Walker, John Hubert, a schedule switch and Bill Snyder in a visor

Kansas State takes on Massachusetts at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

That means it’s time for another Football Friday.

The Wildcats are favored by 39 and should win easy. They will play two quarterbacks. Backups should see time in the second half.

That’s all the introduction we need. Let’s get to your questions:


Many have second-guessed the timing of the North Dakota State game. Looking back, I’m sure K-State would have preferred to open with someone else. The Bison, despite their affiliation with the FCS, were the strongest nonconference opponent on K-State’s schedule. UMass would have been a much softer opening opponent. In an ideal world, K-State would have switched those games and be preparing to face North Dakota State as we speak. But those dates are planned years in advance. That being said, I think the Wildcats would probably beat the Bison if they played now. They generally start slow (barely beating Eastern Kentucky and UMass in past openers) and improve with each week. But it would still be a difficult game. North Dakota State is a fine football team that out-played K-State three weeks ago. One computer poll ranked it 35th at the end of last season, and a senior-laden roster returned. That team is dangerous. It would have been a competitive game regardless of when it was played.
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Football Friday: Opening up the playbook, missing Arthur Brown/Collin Klein, using Daniel Sams, predicting tight ends and running backs not named John Hubert

A loss to North Dakota State in the season-opener raised plenty of questions this week, so I won’t waste much time with a lead-in.

One thing I would like to point out: This is arguably the most important game remaining on Kansas State’s schedule. Coaches and players insist they can still have a special season, and, while that’s true, it is hard to envision a successful year for the Wildcats without a win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

I’m predicting K-State to win 40-28. The Ragin’ Cajuns are gifted on offense, but suspect on defense. The Wildcats should take advantage.

Now onto your questions:

I will be surprised if Bill Snyder holds much back this week. He says he is going to get Daniel Sams on the field more and keep Louisiana-Lafayette’s defense guessing. This is a crucial game for K-State, and its opponent has a suspect defense. Expect the Wildcats to be aggressive throughout with Jake Waters throwing it deep and Sams and John Hubert running for increased yardage behind an angry offensive line. Read More »

A few minutes with … Joey Harrington

Former Oregon/Detroit quarterback Joey Harrington will help call K-State’s upcoming game against North Dakota State for Fox Sports 1.

He was a Heisman Trophy finalist at Oregon. Then he was a starting quarterback in the NFL. Now Joey Harrington is a college football analyst for Fox Sports 1.

Harrington is making his first trip to Manhattan to help call Kansas State’s season-opener against North Dakota State on Friday.

He is looking forward to the game, which pits the defending Big 12 champion against the defending Championship Subdivision champion and marks the debut of Jake Waters as K-State’s starting quarterback.

With that in mind, Harrington was kind enough to talk about the game while he drove from KCI to Manhattan on Wednesday.

Here are the highlights of that conversation (edited for clarity and length):

Q: As a former quarterback, what advice would you give Jake Waters heading into his first start? Also, what are you expecting from Waters on Friday?

A: What advice would I give him? Be yourself, don’t try and be somebody you’re not and do more than you need to. He is walking into a good position for a lot of reasons. He has a great tailback behind him. He has some very good wide receivers, he has an offensive line that is very experienced, he has got a head coach who will make sure he is put in the right position … I would tell him to be yourself and go play.

On the second part of your question, I’m not sure what to expect. There is not a whole lot of film on him. We are still trying to find some good game film of him. I am going to try to get in there and see if I can watch some practice footage of him and get a better look. From the highlight tapes, I’ve seen he throws a nice ball and he runs well. From the stats I can tell you 39 touchdowns compared to three interceptions is about as good a ratio as I’ve ever seen.
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 51, Missouri State 9


Kansas State’s 51-9 victory over Missouri State on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium was the closest 42-point victory you will ever see.

At halftime, the Wildcats led 9-6 and everyone feared this could be Eastern Kentucky all over again.

Early in the third quarter, the Bears tied things up at 9-9.

As the clock ran out, it was a blowout.

So how did K-State turn a game that was tied in the second half into the lopsided victory all BCS conference teams hope for on opening night?

Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 30, Iowa State 23

Overall Assessment:
Coming into Saturday’s game against Iowa State, the Kansas State football team wanted to win the final game of the regular season for several reasons. Players viewed a 10-win season as a great accomplishment, and wanted to put themselves within reach of a BCS bowl.

But they also wanted to send the seniors out on top. After beating the Cyclones 30-23, it sounded like players were motivated by that more than anything else.

“We just wanted to win the game for them,” sophomore linebacker Tre Walker said. “It wasn’t about Iowa State. It wasn’t about getting a three-way tie for the Big 12 championship. We just wanted to win it for them because we love them so much.”

Throughout the week, seniors and upperclassmen were allowed to give speeches to the rest of the team. Some of the most emotional came on Friday night at the team hotel.

Senior cornerback David Garrett said he was the first to speak to the whole team on Wednesday, and that after hearing everyone’s take on the season he thought the team was fired up to play.

“Our team, we care a about each other a lot,” Garrett said. “We are always together. Everything we do, even if it has nothing to do with football we do it together. Us stepping up like that and showing that we care and expressing ourselves, it gets to people and makes us go hard.”

Well, K-State’s seniors went out in style. They finished the season 10-2 and finished second to only Oklahoma State in the final Big 12 standings. Now it will wait to find out if it makes a BCS bowl.

If the Cowboys play in the BCS title game, the Wildcats could head to the Fiesta Bowl. If Alabama heads to the BCS title game, K-State may go to the Sugar Bowl. Or maybe K-State will end up in the Cotton Bowl. It will definitely be one of those three. We’ll know for sure in a few hours.

Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 53, Texas A&M 50


Overall Assessment:
Kansas State was without one of its top offensive playmakers, its quarterback was clearly in pain when the game began and several of its defensive players had to fight through injuries in the second half.

Not an ideal combination for a team trying to bounce back from disappointing losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

But, in typical K-State fashion, the Wildcats found a way to win. In four overtimes! Yes, I just used an exclamation mark.

Saturday’s game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium was one of the strangest and most exciting of the season. Combined with last week’s entertaining 52-45 loss at Oklahoma State, the Wildcats are delivering must-see TV to ABC/ESPN.

At 8-2 overall and 5-2 in Big 12 play, plenty of bowl games are starting to look at them. With a strong finish, they could end up in the Cotton Bowl.

K-State still has plenty to work on if it hopes to get an invitation to the Big 12’s top non BCS bowl. It continues to start games slowly, and was once again unable to sack the opposing quarterback. But as long as it continues to play with the resolve it has all season, K-State will have a shot at a 10-win season.

“With the exception of one ballgame, they’ve done it week in, week out,” Snyder said. “… It’s all about how we respond to things, and I think with the exception of kind of getting a little full of ourselves prior to the Oklahoma ballgame, I think we’ve responded quite well.”

Against Texas A&M, the Wildcats rallied from a 14-0 deficit, a 31-21 deficit and won in quadruple overtime. It was a fitting end to the series before the Aggies jump to the SEC. The only other overtime game K-State has played came against Texas A&M in the 1998 Big 12 championship game.

Collin Klein once again led K-State’s offense to the victory, and the defense came through with big plays when it had to behind Nigel Malone and Emmanuel Lamur. Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 24, Missouri 17

Overall Assessment: When Kansas State’s 24-17 victory over Missouri was complete Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Collin Klein summed up the afternoon by describing his mindset heading into the final drive of the game.

Bad weather, a pair of reversed calls and two late Missouri touchdowns tried to put a damper on things, but Klein would have none of it. When K-State got the ball with 5 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, it led by seven points and didn’t want to let things get dramatic the way they did the past two weeks.

Saturday’s victory was the Wildcats’ most complete effort of the season, and Klein wanted to make sure it ended with him taking a knee.

“It was our time,” Klein said. “We were saying to each other, ‘We’ve got to go win the game.’ The defense has been playing great and doing a great job for us. That was really our chance to run off about 5 minutes of clock. It’s something you’ve got to be able to do. It’s a family affair. You’ve got be there for your team and we were able to do it.”

Yes they did. K-State’s defense once again carried the flag, but its offense showed considerable toughness and poise in the second half. It did what it had to to help the Wildcats improve to 5-0. Like Snyder likes to say, “It was a team victory.” Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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