Bill Snyder is still waiting for his team to put together a “complete” football game. His wait to make history, however, is over.
Big plays from Kansas State’s defense led the way in the Wildcats’ 34-19 victory over rival Kansas Saturday, giving Snyder his 200th win as a coach.
“I probably don’t sound like I’m in a good mood, and that’s responsive to how we played,” Snyder said. “We played rather ugly, and I don’t feel good about that, I assure you.”
K-State (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) wasn’t sharp offensively for much of the afternoon, and had to rotate Joe Hubener and Alex Delton at quarterback in the second half due to an injury to Jesse Ertz.
But the KU offense stood little chance of making it relevant. Aside from a couple of big plays, a 95-yard touchdown among them, the Jayhawks sputtered.
On Senior Day, it was the Wildcat veterans who made the biggest plays.
Donnie Starks returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was his third interception in two games after going nearly his entire college career without one.
“Donnie has played as our nickel back all year, so he was in a new position, and he played extremely well with very little experience,” Snyder said.
Defensive end Jordan Willis, and the entire K-State defensive line, made life difficult for Jayhawk quarterback Carter Stanley, who threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.
After driving for a field goal to open the game, KU was held to just 345 yards of offense.
Meanwhile, Alex Barnes logged his second straight 100-yard game on the ground for the Wildcats. He had 103 yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
Barnes showed off his athleticism on his 31-yard touchdown run to put K-State ahead 13-3, lunging Superman-like for the right pylon.
“He runs explosively and stays on his feet,” Snyder said. “They just have a hard time getting him down. He has good balance. I was pleased with his effort.”
The victory was K-State’s eighth straight in the Sunflower Showdown rivalry.
The Jayhawks (2-10, 1-8) tried to mount a comeback as K-State struggled to move the ball in the second half, but were ultimately unable to overcome the Wildcats’ relentless pass rush.
Stanley finished the game 24 of 44 passing for 302 yards.
Ertz rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries before departing. Snyder said he expects him to be fine.
After an on-field celebration, during which Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and K-State president Richard Myers presented him with a game ball, Snyder wasn’t in the mood to revel in his achievement.
“What am I thinking about? I’m thinking about getting out of here to go do some other things,” he quipped.
“But that being said, the number 200 stands for all the young people who have come through this program, the coaches we’ve had through the years and our wonderful support staff.”
The Wildcats led by as many as 25 points, but couldn’t stretch out the lead any further. Snyder lamented the missed opportunity for other seniors to get on the field as a result.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m disappointed,” he said. “I wanted all of them to have that opportunity. It pains me a great deal.”
K-State will conclude its regular season next week at TCU before embarking on its eighth straight bowl trip.
Filed in: Postgame Wrap up