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: Oklahoma 58, K-State 17

Overall Assessment: Every realistic Kansas State football fan knew the Wildcats’ undefeated run was going to come to an end at some point. Maybe the way Oklahoma ended that run, by exposing several of K-State’s weaknesses in a 58-17 blowout Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, was surprising. But the simple fact that the Wildcats are trying to move on from their first loss today is not.

The question now is: How will they handle it?

The Sooners posed significant matchup problems for the Wildcats. In order to beat Oklahoma, as Texas Tech shockingly did in Norman last week, you have to pressure Landry Jones and throw the ball for big yardage. K-State could do neither, and had to step out of its comfort zone. That led to zero success in the second half. Oklahoma played the game at its terms, and made winning look easy.

Difficult opponents remain on K-State’s schedule, but none play exactly the same style. If the Wildcats can put Saturday’s loss behind them, they can still finish the season strong and make it to a prestigious bowl game. In the past two seasons, they have rebounded well from brutal losses. A humiliating 66-14 loss at Texas Tech was followed with a 62-14 win over Texas A&M and a 48-13 loss to Nebraska was followed by a 59-7 win over Kansas.

But this is the first time this team has seen its own blood. Bill Snyder and players say Saturday’s loss was unacceptable, and that they will turn things around quickly.

“I would say that we have a tough minded group of young guys that understand and deal with success and with failure,” Snyder said. “I would hope that the failure would not come from not caring and not trying to correct your mistakes, like when we have not failed. Our guys seem to care, tend to care. They will begin to make an effort and try and get all of their mistakes corrected.”

We’ll have to wait a week to find out how much they correct. Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 37, Kent State 0

Overall Assessment: Kansas State looked like an all-around better football team than it did two weeks ago, but it still has room to grow. Up next is a very difficult road test against Miami, which beat Ohio State last night. The competition will be much harder in South Beach than it has been at home in front of sellout crowds, and we will probably learn more about the Wildcats in that game than we have so far.

Still, we know a few things about them today.

For starters, K-State’s defense continues to look like a legitimately strong unit. It has allowed a total of seven points in two games, and the one touchdown it allowed came only after Eastern Kentucky started a drive one yard away from the end zone. So it has essentially come up with two shutouts. Regardless of the competition, that is impressive.

Less is known on the offensive side of the ball, where Collin Klein made a nice pass late to beat Eastern Kentucky and led K-State to a solid first half against Kent State, but then sputtered in the second. Here’s a look at all that and more in this week’s Sunday Rewind:

Player Evaluations

Five that were good:

1. Arthur Brown. The junior linebacker is making a huge difference on K-State’s defense. On Saturday he made 12 tackles, two for losses, and closed on the ball faster than anyone else on the field. When Snyder hints that he is the best defensive player he has coached since coming out of retirement, he isn’t kidding. Here’s the scary thing: Both Brown and Snyder think he hasn’t reached his top form.

2. David Garrett. The interception he returned for a touchdown early in the first quarter set the tone for the game. K-State’s defense was ready to overwhelm Kent State in all phases, and the Wildcats used Garrett’s big play as a springboard to an excellent night. Garrett is one of the most underrated players in the conference, often getting overlooked because of size even though he led the Wildcats in tackles a year ago. But he had a highlight moment last night.
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Postgame: Baylor 47, K-State 42

Kansas State’s offense was good. Its defense was bad. That’s all you really need to know about the Wildcats’ 47-42 loss at Baylor yesterday.

But here is a deeper look at everything that transpired in Waco, anyway.

THE GOOD
1. Aubrey Quarles is turning into a real weapon at wide receiver. The senior caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown Saturday, and was consistently wide open. His route running improves every game, and he has the best hands on the team.

2. William Powell is no Brandon Banks, but he is awful close. The backup running back terrorized Baylor with huge kick return after huge kick return, and regularly gave K-State stellar field position. He took four returns up field for 172 yards, and broke free for a 100-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
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