Grades and Reaction: Kansas State 30, Iowa State 23
“Ten! Ten wins! Ten! Ten wins!” the team chanted collectively. For the first time since 2003, the statement was true. With yet another nail-biting ending, K-State put itself in position to go to a BCS bowl if the stars align correctly.
To put it best, I make this statement: Kansas State is one win away from this season making the switch from “special” to “legendary”.
It didn’t come easily, and at times it was hard to watch. Can we expect anything differently anymore? Regardless, the Cardiac Cats found a way to get it done again.
More reaction will come throughout the weekend. Here are the grades.
KSU Offense: B
John Hubert had his best showing of the season, rushing for 124 yards on 15 carries. His 26-yard touchdown run with 2:43 left was incredible. Having a running back that can compliment Collin Klein is extremely valuable to the Wildcats. On the other hand, K-State failed to put the game away when it had opportunities to, settling for three second-half field goals that kept the Iowa State breathing. Klein was only average throwing the ball.
KSU Defense: B-
Sure, the Wildcats had some pretty big stops when absolutely necessary. But the Cyclones ran their offense exactly how they wanted to, with too many long rushes for my liking. K-State was pretty poor defending runs up the middle and passes on crossing routes. The Cyclone offensive line dominated KSU for much of the game. In the end, the stats said it all: 368 Cyclone yards, with 215 on the ground. Too many.
KSU Special Teams: B+
Kickoff coverage was a major issue. Besides that, not a lot to complain about. The Wildcats recorded several good returns on their own, and Anthony Cantele was 3/3 on field goals. Oh yeah, and that blocked extra point. That Snyder Staple had a big impact on the game.
Reasons to Hope: 10-2. Need I say more?
Reasons to Mope: The Wildcats came out pretty flat. A rain delay impacts this, but I expected KSU to handle it better. Sure, K-State is 8-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less, but would the Cats really have needed to ‘survive’ at the end if they hadn’t played such a lackluster first quarter?