Two wins and zero losses or one win and one loss.
Toward the mid-point of Saturday’s 32-28 win over Iowa State, the latter seemed more likely. However, the former sits more comfortably in the mind of senior quarterback Jake Waters.
And with the arrival of No. 5 Auburn (2-0) in just eight days, the road test only gets the senior signal-caller more excited for what’s ahead on Sept. 18.
“It’s huge,” Waters said. “Especially with the confidence we have and knowing we can do this. We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot on some things here and there; that would have been a totally different ball game. When push comes to shove and we need to make a play, we have guys that will make plays and do whatever it takes for this team to win. To be 2-0, that’s awesome and going into this game, not coming off a loss, but coming in with a great win.”
With new starters all across the field for the Wildcats, a two-touchdown lead in the first half looked like it might be difficult to overcome last Saturday. However, senior defensive tackle Valentino Coleman said the team took the opportunity to heart as it prepared to take the field in the second half.
“Iowa State came out really hard and aggressive,” Coleman said. “They beat us in the first half, but the second half we made a promise to each other and came together as a team. We did not want to let each other down. We just wanted to come out there and show that and try to get the win. That is what we did.”
Head coach Bill Snyder was blunt toward K-State’s struggles at times in Saturday’s postgame press conference and his feelings haven’t changed since.
However, he reaffirmed the character of his team, which only allowed 135 yards of total offense to the Cyclones in the second half.
“I saw what I saw and it didn’t change a great deal,” Snyder said of the game film. “There were some certain things that I didn’t see through the course of the game that I did see on video tape. Still, I don’t know how pleasantly surprised I was, but it does on the positive side of it, and it does have a meaningful impact on the quality of the character of the young people in our program.”
Waters said the game film was eye-opening for he and his teammates, and reassured them of their ability to compete in and handle a road environment.
“We had meetings yesterday and talked about it,” Waters said. “Just watching that film, we learned so much. (Not just) X’s and O’s wise, but about ourselves and as a team. Going through what we go through on the road in a hostile environment, being down and showing how resilient we are to come back and win. Luckily, we have those teaching moments in a win. That makes it better and we’re going to grow from it too.”