That's what we've been waiting to see for a while. We jumped out early to a lead, took control, and outlasted Kansas State just long enough to hold on - our first win not decided on the final possession in two years.
Before I say anything, I want to say something about the Kansas State fans. They had a heck of a turnout at the game and the southwest corner of the stadium was turned purple. They cheered loud, and I felt that they were really respectful.
Now, back to the game. Some quick hits.
- We saw the beginning of a two-quarterback system with Austen Arnaud spelling Bret Meyer every few series, and it seemed to be rather effective. Both were decent in the passing game, though I did think we ran the ball with Arnaud a little too much.
- This game was certainly not the prettiest on the stat sheet. K-State owned ISU in the total yardage department, but turnovers really cost Kansas.
- I thought KSU quarterback Josh Freeman did a really nice job of hiding the ball, keeping our defense guessing between run and pass.
- Jordy Nelson is good.
- Though the running game was largely ineffective, it was nice to see a continued commitment to it. You can't run and gun every play.
- Alexander Robinson was mighty effective early in the game catching the ball out of the backfield. When our receivers decide to block, he can spring free.
- Let's throw it to Derrick Catlett more. He's continued our tight end (H-Back) tradition of catching the ball damn near all the time.
- Mike Brandtner continues to be wildly inconsistent, but it seemed that a lot of his shanks were preceded by snaps at his feet, throwing off his motion.
- Chris Singleton, have yourself a game. We're starting to force turnovers now, and Singleton is starting to realize he doesn't suck. Best of all, his tackling has improved by a lot, with an improvement in the open field.
- James Smith still seems to be feast or famine. Got the big fumble at the beginning of the game, but had trouble with Nelson (though, who didn't?)
- It appeared that Tom Schmeling didn't play in the second half.
It was really nice to see us put everything together for once this year - a win that was much more satisfying to watch than the Iowa win, if for no other reason that it didn't come down to the last second. Even better, Colorado is getting steamrolled by a Missouri team that had issues with Iowa State. The Buffs are struggling badly with the North. Even crazier, we could not finish in last, and Nebraska might.
This winning thing against a Big 12 team felt good. Let's do it again.