Bill Snyder has been one of the best coaches in college football, and he seems to be the only guy who can win in Manhattan. Before I get to what happened, check out SBN's preseason 10 Things to Know about the Wildcats. For other 2013 previews: The Kansas City Star, ESPN, and Barking Carnival. In short--the team lost a lot of talent, still had quite a bit, the season could still be successful, but it wouldn't be the 2012 squad. The K-State blog is Bring on the Cats.
Okay, so let's break down how their season went...
8/30 North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21: there's nothing like getting punched in the gut to start the season, right? The Wildcats got nothing done on the ground (41 total yards), while the Bison were able to rack up 215 yards. It was the last drive of the game that sealed it for NDSU: 18 plays, 80 yards, and a TOP of 8:30. The Bison line was handling the Wildcat line quite well, I'd say, and a hell of a way to start the season. BOTC post-game reaction: There Must Be Some Kind of Way Out of Here.
9/7 Kansas State 48, LA-Lafayette 27: K-State followed up the 41 yard rushing performance the week before with a total of 149 against the Cajuns, 63 of those yards coming by way of QB Daniel Sams. WR Tyler Lockett had eight receptions for 111 yards, and the rout was on. Consider, too, that Tramaine Thompson ran a punt return 94 yards for TD, and DB Ty Zimmerman had a 32 yard pick-six. The K-State defense allowed a very balanced 370 yards of offense (193 passing, 177 rushing). BOTC post-game reaction: It's Gonna Get Better.
9/14 Kansas State 37, UMass 7: it did get better. The Minutemen were in the lead for about that, at 7-6, until the Wildcats scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter. John Hubert got the run game going with 118 yards, and QB Jake Waters threw in 115 yards passing. UMass finished the season 1-11, missing a bowl game by "that much". BOTC post-game reaction: That Annoying Rattle.
9/21 Texas 31, Kansas State 21: after allowing BYU to run the circumference of the globe, the Texas Longhorns came back a couple weeks later and held K-State to 115 rushing yards. As they did against ULL, the Wildcats allowed a very balanced Texas attack (225 passing, 227 rushing), and gave the ball to the Longhorns three times. BOTC post-game reaction: Burning Down the House.
10/5 #21 Oklahoma State 33, Kansas State 29: Daniel Sams tallied 299 yards of total offense for the Wildcats, by running for 118 (leading the team) and 181 passing (three INTs), but he also lost a fumble. The Cowboys then drove 75 yards in 1:56 in the fourth quarter to go up 30-29. BOTC post-game report.
10/12 #15 Baylor 35, Kansas State 25: prior to this game, Baylor hadn't scored less than 69 points in their first four games of the season. The K-State D had been much-maligned, but to be able to hold the nation's most powerful offense in check says a lot about the group in purple. Baylor had 446 yards of total offense to K-State's 445, but failing twice on 2-point conversions, and an interception late are what did-in the Wildcats. BOTC post-game reaction: Supermassive Black Hole.
10/26 Kansas State 35, West Virginia 12: I completely forgot that West Virginia is now in the Big 12. Anyway, the Mountaineers were giving the Wildcats fits until the second half, when KSU scored four unanswered touchdowns. Neither of the K-State QBs threw an interception. See what happens when you don't commit any turnovers? BOTC post-game reaction: Long Stick Goes Boom.
11/2 Kansas State 41, Iowa State 7: 447 yards of offense and only one turnover for the Wildcats, and a very good day by their defense, as KSU evened the season's record at 4-4. Iowa State's only score came in the fourth quarter off of a Robert Rose fumble at the K-State 10 yard line. That was the only time the Cyclones made it into the red zone. BOTC post-game reaction: Cat Scratch Fever.
11/9 Kansas State 49, #25 Texas Tech 26: the Kansas State passing game tallied only 76 yards, but they didn't need them; John Hubert rushed for 157 yards at a 6.8 ypc clip. The defense showed up again and forced three turnovers, including a pick-six by Ty Zimmerman (the second Wildcat score in the first minute of the fourth quarter). BOTC post-game reaction: The Number of the Beast.
11/16 Kansas State 33, TCU 31: kicking was the name of this game. Although there had been plenty of touchdowns in the match-up, it came down to a battle of kickers' legs to decide the game, allowing K-State to pull out the two point win on the final kick by Jack Cantele with three seconds to go. BOTC post-game reaction: Legs.
11/23 #20 Oklahoma 41, Kansas State 31: after a pretty good stretch of wins, K-State fell for the third time out of four games against ranked opponents...and Bob Stoops became the winningest coach at Oklahoma. The Wildcats rushed for only 24 yards, which was the lowest total of the season. 24 yards on 22 attempts comes out to a 1.09 ypc average. Woof! BOTC post-game reaction: There's a Hole in My Bucket.
11/30 Kansas State 31, Kansas 10: John Hubert finished the regular season with a career-high 220 yards, and a total of 963 on the season. It's a pretty safe bet that Hubert will finish the season over 1,000 yards, and a per game average of over 80 ypg; not too shabby. BOTC post-game reaction: Down With the Sickness.
Kansas State is a good team that has its ups and downs. There could be some good match-ups, and there are certainly some Creepy Coincidences. The bottom line on this one is that this could actually be a very good game between teams who are still trying to figure out some things about themselves.