This wasn't the season James White had in mind. A year removed from a 505-yard campaign, and two years from a 743-yard, eight-touchdown effort as a sophomore, the running back wasn't starting, wasn't getting carries, wasn't playing.
It had been since Oct. 26 against Oklahoma State that White carried the football. Had he wanted to check out, nobody would have blamed him — and the casual fan wouldn't have noticed.
But, as a captain, he wouldn't let that happen, keeping his head high and his focus narrowed. White was rewarded in the 34-0 Senior Day win over the Jayhawks with seven carries, which he turned into 33 yards and a touchdown, his first via ground this season.
"It felt so good, so many memories rushed through my head, it's been a long time coming," White said. "I know I [haven't] been out there really contributing a lot. I take coaches' decisions. In life, good things happen to those who are patient.
"When I scored that touchdown, I was just thanking God for all he did, keeping me focused. I could have easily folded."
"A heartwarming feeling," Johnson said. "To end it on a high note and get a win like I talked about. This win was definitely a big win for us."
Iowa State hadn't shut out a Big 12 opponent since 2001.
"You shut out anybody, you're playing phenomenal defense," Paul Rhoads said.
Said senior linebacker Jeremiah George: "He had a very good gameplan because of what might happen to us tonight. It worked. A lot of things went our way. ... I was very happy for him. He's had some very good defenses around here and this season has been very up-and-down. ... He's one of the better defensive coordinators I've been around."
"For our season to be the way it is, and come out here in this kind of weather and these kind of conditions and leave it all out there on the field is the best feeling in the world," George said.