Pick any game that you might like in the month of September in Kansas State history and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a better showing than the Wildcats had in Saturday's 39-point victory over Miami.
While expecting to win, even that margin of victory surprised some of the Wildcats: "We just played sound football with everyone doing their job," said linebacker Justin Tuggle. "Did I see this coming? No, but we just did what we needed to do."
K-State scored on its first two offensive possessions with Collin Klein doing the honors from six and one yard out. They would be the first two or six rushing TDs the Wildcats would have.
It was a 288-yard rushing day, 210-yard passing day that led receiver Chris Harper to say, "Very balanced and very efficient. We were rolling today. We came out more focused than we did last week."
Rolling on offense, and stopping every threat that Miami had with the football.
Three times in the first three quarters K-State held the Hurricanes to field goals once they entered the Red Zone.
"Those were very big," said linebacker Tre Walker of the stands. "The little things matter so much in this game and when you make something positive happen early, it affects the rest of the day. When you make teams make a decision to kick a field goal, that's very crucial."
For the game, K-State allowed just 40 net rushing yards on 29 Miami carries, or just 1.4 yards per carry.
"When you're playing a team with a lot of speed like Miami, the first thing you have to do is stop the run," said Walker. "We did that, and put them in some positions they didn't want to be in."
"We just stiffened up when they got it down there," said Snyder. "We did give up a little yardage in the passing game, but I was pleased with the progress we made."
Miami's lone touchdown came at the 3:51 mark of the fourth quarter, which meant that K-State played the first 116-plus minutes of the season without giving up a touchdown. That score was set up by a 77-yard kickoff return by Miami.
Prior to that return in the final minutes of the game, Snyder had been tickled to death with the play of the kickoff unit, which had allowed just 83 yards on five returns.
Going into the last KSU kickoff, Snyder said, "I stuck my ugly head in the huddle and told them, ‘You are one kickoff away from having the best performance by a kickoff unit in Kansas State history.' BAD choice of words."
K-State dominated every phase of the game, which included total offense (498-262), time of possession (37:16-22:44); and plays of at least 10 yards (19-5).
"It was a step in the right direction, but only a step," said Klein, who rushed for 71 yards, passed for 210 and accounted for four touchdowns.
With his 281 yards of total offense, Klein moved up to No. 10 on the all-time KSU charts at 4,152. Kansas State will next put its 2-0 record on the line against North Texas in a 6:10 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
WHAT WAS THAT?
During an otherwise picturesque half of football, K-State coach Bill Snyder called a timeout late in the first half to set up a 3rd-and-goal play from the 1-yard line.
Klein faked a jump pass, but instead sent soft a behind-the-back no-look pitch back to Chris Harper. The play resulted in a loss of 19 yards.
"Too fancy," Snyder said of the play. But it was an attempt that excited the players … at least to try.
Quarterback Klein gave an "Ahhhh shoot," when asked about the trickery. "Our timing got a little disrupted and I had to rush it a little bit. It's one of those plays where if it works it's amazing … but it didn't work."
"It's the first time we ever called it, but we've worked on it and I thought we had it down," said Harper. "People said had it worked I could have walked into the end zone."