E-mail Pete Fiutak
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I’m supposed to be more of an observer and an analyst than an unabashed fan, but I love watching Kansas State football when the thing works.
I know there’s a hard ceiling on what the program can do without top-shelf talent, but Bill Snyder continues to prove that there really is a place in this world for a strong, sound team that doesn’t make mistakes and does all of the little things right.
How do you beat a team like Oklahoma on the road? Don’t commit any penalties, and Kansas State was only tagged twice for 20 yards. Don’t turn the ball over, and Kansas State didn’t, while the defense forced two picks. Run the ball well, don’t get beaten deep – at least not too often – and bend, bend, bend, but don’t break.
And here’s the crazy part about the win over Oklahoma; Oklahoma did everything right, too.
Trevor Knight might have thrown a bad pick six, but he hit 26-of-32 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. The Sooners only committed three penalties, controlled the time of possession, and ran the ball well enough to dominate the statistics, but Kansas State always seemed to have an answer, and it didn’t make the really big error that would’ve allowed OU to take control over the momentum.
And now it’s time to recalibrate the thoughts on the Big 12 season.
Oklahoma is all but out, and Kansas State has everything there for the taking. Can it run the table with Oklahoma State, at TCU, at West Virginia, and at Baylor still do deal with – along with Texas and Kansas?
There’s still a long way to go, but the Wildcats are a good kicker day away from being 6-0 with wins over Auburn and Oklahoma. Coming up with a win like this in Norman, though, is good enough now to keep on cementing Snyder’s legacy.
He’s still doing everything right.
By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN
Teams have to loathe playing a Bill Snyder coached team. His teams are tough, fundamentally sound, and simply don’t beat themselves. And while the roster isn’t loaded with NFL talent, Kansas State seems to always field a crew that is greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Rinse, and repeat.
There’s no doubt that the Sooners are the more explosive and talented team, but K-State made them make plays, and instead of coming up big, Bob Stoops’ gang hit their funny-bone way too many times. What’s left in Norman is the realization that the Sooners are likely out of the national title race now. With two losses, it’ll take the equivalent of College Football Armageddon for them to get back in the conversation.
On the flip side, welcome Kansas State to the fringe of conversation. There’s still plenty of teams to leap-frog, but a loss to Auburn won’t look too bad to a human committee making all of the decisions at the end of the year.
Now if only the rest of the teams on the Wildcats schedule can oblige to the no-nonsense, no-mistake approach of Bill Snyder.
E-mail Pete Fiutak