CFN Analysis: Kansas State picks off Ok State

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 4, 2012


The CFN Instant Analysis on Kansas State's big win over Oklahoma State

Richard Cirminiello

Quintessential Kansas State.

The Wildcats knocked down one more big hurdle to a perfect season and a possible spot in the BCS National Championship Game by beating Oklahoma State on Saturday night. In Manhattan, it was a vintage Bill Snyder production that led to win No. 9.

Sure, K-State gave up a bunch of yards to the Cowboys, but the only numbers that really mattered were the four turnovers that led to three touchdowns. The game was essentially over at that point. From there, it was a little bit of QB Collin Klein, a couple of short scoring runs from RB John Hubert, a back-breaking return from Tyler Lockett and a game that was never competitive beyond halftime.

The Cats are building quite a resume in this improbable run to what they hope will be a Big 12 Championship and some yet-to-be-determined BCS bowl game. They’re not just eking by either, taking four of their last five games by no fewer than two touchdowns.

The little engine that could keeps building a head of steam with each passing game, gaining confidence on both sides of the ball. All that’s separating Kansas State from a 12-0 regular season is TCU, Baylor and Texas. Snyder owns the blueprint for success, and his Wildcats just keep employing it to perfection.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN

Despite the dream season Kansas State is having, it’s going to need help if wants to make it to Miami. With Oregon getting past USC, and with Bama toughing it out against LSU, time is beginning to run out on the Wildcats.

Fact is, if both Oregon and Alabama win out they will both be heading to Miami. They are both going to get a boost in the BCS rankings by playing an league championship game that K-State will not get the benefit of playing while stomping around the Big-Twelve 2.0. And while that has stung some teams in the past (and still could for both ‘Bama and Oregon), it still means that someone has to beat the two teams everyone will be looking up at when all the games conclude.

And that’s before we even begin to start jabbering about Notre Dame. The Irish will likely get the sentimental nod and media attention in the human polls over a Kansas State team that doesn’t have nearly the following. That means, for all of the goodwill that Bill Snyder and Collin Klein have done this year, it might not be enough unless two of the other three teams vying for a spot in the BCS Championship game run out of gas on the road to Southern Florida.

Still, Kansas State is doing what Kansas State can do, and that’s continue to beat every team on its schedule as impressively as possible. So far so good this season, as unlike some other teams at the top, there is a void of unimpressive wins and letdowns against inferior competition. K-State just keeps walking confidently, one foot after another in hopes that things will all work out.

Of course it’s all for naught if the biggest news out of this game ends up being the health of Collin Klein. Will he be able to go at 100 percent the remainder of the year, or will this be an injury at the worst time that could derail everything that has built to this point? Stay tuned....

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek

Collin Klein got injured, but Kansas State didn't get slowed down.

The Wildcats continued to feast on an opponent's turnovers while not beating themselves. Kansas State continued to maintain its identity as an airtight team, playing in accordance with head coach Bill Snyder's foremost points of emphasis.

Notre Dame maxed out against Oklahoma but has played spotty football for most of this season, doing enough to win games but hardly dominating opponents with regularity. Kansas State has been far more consistent than the Fighting Irish, and this authoritative win over Oklahoma State served as proof. While Notre Dame muddled through a noticeably subpar performance against Pittsburgh – a team that was 4-4 entering Saturday's action – Kansas State stormed to a 38-17 lead over an Oklahoma State club that, while hardly equal to the 2011 version of the Pokes, still throttled TCU a week earlier and has shown a certain amount of staying power in the Big 12.

It's worth noting Kansas State's consistency – not just in terms of its comfortable margins of victory, but also its fidelity to an enduring identity – because greatness is found within the ability to impose one's will on the opposition every Saturday. Kansas State did get lucky against Iowa State – every team requires a pinch of luck every now and then (ask Alabama and Notre Dame) – but when a team uses the same blueprint to win and win authoritatively, it's hard to question its credentials. Kansas State and Notre Dame are both terrific teams with more than a little pluck and resilience, but if one were to compare the Wildcats and Irish, it's clear after today that Purple Kansas has executed with more precision and performed with more polish in all three phases of football. That's certainly something to keep in mind as November unfolds.

By Bart Doan
Follow me @Bart_cfn

We just get better today, and we try to get better today. That is what the classiest coach in college football said after his Kansas State Wildcats tripped up Oklahoma State 44-30 when he lost his Heisman QB in the third quarter. It ended up not mattering to the final result, but it will be the stinging narrative that comes immediately from this game.

Klein appeared to suffer a wrist injury, and appeared to have his head slammed to the ground on a touchdown that could have been concussion worthy if you look at it the right way. To break it down into middle school verbiage, that’s “huge stuff” when it comes to the subjective sport of college football.

But to get to the game, KSU exerted their will on the offensive line, and the score was very much not not representative of how dominant the Wildcats happened to be. The stat was glaring when it was announced in the second quarter. Kansas State had outscored opponents 104-0 on turnovers. That’s staggering. This is a football team that knows that the opportunities they get are directly correlated to the wins they will end up having.

That’s Kansas State. Enough to win. But beware the Klein injury. It shapes a lot of things, and more than just the Heisman.

By Terry Johnson
Follow me @TPJCollFootball

Kansas State clearly stated its case that it deserves to remain in the coveted second slot in the BCS standings.

Don't let Oklahoma State's two losses heading into tonight's action fool you: the Cowboys have a very good team. Despite losing QB JW Walsh for the season due to injury, the OSU offense entered the game ranked first in total offense, sixth in passing offense, sixth in scoring, and 12th in rushing.

Just like every other test Bill Snyder's team has faced this year, the Wildcats passed it with an A+. Sure, the Cowboys moved the ball through the air, but the KSU secondary was up to the task, picking off Oklahoma State QBs four times. The front seven was equally impressive, holding the Big 12's leading rusher Joseph Randle to his worst performance of the season.

Even though tonight's win won't receive as much recognition because of Oregon and Alabama's wins against elite competition, it was still a very important victory in terms of the BCS standings. Since Notre Dame nearly lost to Pittsburgh today, the Wildcats have an excellent chance to take over sole possession of first place in the computer polls. While it might seem like Oregon has second place locked up in both of the human polls, it's important to note that Ducks still have two games against Top 15 opponents, including archrival Oregon State.

Simply put: the victory over Oklahoma State solidified Kansas State's position as the number two team in the BCS for this week. As long as they remain undefeated, it will tough to keep the Wildcats out of the national championship game this week.