In a conference like the Big 12, teams cannot afford to take a week off; if you get caught looking ahead, someone will beat you. With a high-stakes showdown with West Virginia coming next weekend, K-State could made the mistake of looking too far ahead. However, this was not the case, as the then-No. 6 Wildcats were able to keep their perfect record intact with a 27-21 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday in Ames, which moved them up to No. 4. This is the second consecutive year that the Wildcats have started off the season 6-0.
“I’d like for us to have been able to play better than we did across the board; there were times that we played extremely well” said head coach Bill Snyder. “I think that Iowa State played extremely well.”
The Wildcats entered the game as the least-penalized team in the country, but, in a bizarre turn of events, K-State was penalized nine times for a total of 62 yards on the day.
“We are not known certainly for making penalties, and that killed us today.” said junior linebacker Tre Walker. “That can allow a team to stay in the game and today it allowed Iowa State to stay in the game.”
From the very start, K-State set the pace of the game, proving that they would be able to respond to the Cyclones.
K-State made it to the scoreboard first to take a 3-0 lead, but it the Cyclones found the end zone first. Iowa State sophomore quarterback Jared Barnett threw to junior running back Shontrelle Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown. However, behind senior quarterback Collin Klein, the Wildcats marched down the field on their very next possession and took a 10-3 lead. Both teams scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter so that the Wildcats entered half-time with a 17-14 lead.
The only score of the third quarter came with 1:33 left on the clock when Klein ran in his third touchdown of the day to give K-State a 24-14 lead.
Iowa State managed to pull the score to 24-21 after junior running back Jeff Woody carried the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out. Senior kicker Anthony Cantele then added another three points for the Wildcats to give them a 27-21 lead late in the fourth quarter.
The Cyclones had two opportunities after the Wildcats took the lead, but the K-State defense would not budge, forcing two Iowa State possessions to end in four-and-outs.
Klein, who has been receiving a lot of national attention as a potential candidate for the Heisman trophy this season, proved why with another stellar performance. With a combined 292 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, Klein once again demonstrated that he is one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.
“We were able to hang together in a very tough environment and just get it done when we had to get it done,” Klein said. “It’s a learning process … we ended up being able to be 1-0 on the day, but we weren’t 1-0 on every play.”
Next up for the Wildcats is a cross-country trip to Morgantown, W.Va. to take on the Mountaineers led by senior quarterback Geno Smith, who is already considered the front-runner for the Heisman trophy.
“We’ve got to go to school and figure some things out,” Snyder said. “They are a dynamic offensive football team. I think what gets overlooked sometimes is they also have the ability to be a pretty good defensive football team.”