Fan in The Stands

It's been awhile since I've been worried about this one, but this game gets my blood pumpin'. I was up early ready….I had to burn off some steam with a little jog around town….and that got me in the right mood.

Kansas State 42 vs. Kansas 6

KSU Stadium – Manhattan, KS

October 25, 2003

"State Champs!"

Well folks, it's time for my annual article. Isn't it great to keep winnin' against your cross-state rival? I've been readin' and hearin' how it would be great if this rivalry heated up a little………well, I think that's baloney……I'd just as soon beat ‘em for a long-long time. Personally, I never tire of it.

It's been awhile since I've been worried about this one, but this game gets my blood pumpin'. I was up early ready….I had to burn off some steam with a little jog around town….and that got me in the right mood.

So everybody was wondering what it was gonna be this year. There were a bunch of questions. Are the mythical birds better, have they closed the gap? Is K-State overrated, will they be able to stop KU's offense? I've been tellin' people all week I didn't think it was gonna be close. I figgered that KU had played the easiest part of their schedule and we'd played the hardest part of ours. I'd say the questions were answered on Saturday. I think what we saw are two teams goin' in opposite directions.

So we get this thing about kicked off and the KU'ers decided to do a little jaywalkin' at midfield….and I tell ya I don't think that set too well with the boys in purple. They win the toss and defer.

We take the ball and go three and out. Now folks the last couple of games we started the whole thing by poppin' KU in their first series and settin' the tone. I don't thinks changed much. That Newton boy Ted Sims popped Whittemore and the ball came out, and that Wichita boy Rashad Washington jumped on it and we're in business.

Well, two plays later we give ‘em the gift right back on a Sproles fumble. They can't do nuthin' and they punt it nice down to the nine. So now we need a first down or two to get some field position. Roberson runs for 11 and the first down, comes back to Polite on a quick pass for another 11 and another first down. Now Ell goes for nine and it's second and short. ‘Ol JP and I are both scratchin' our heads cause we know Roberson is gonna go deep, why can't we just get the yard and keep movin'. Sure enough we send the receivers deep and Roberson gets sacked for nine. On third down the pass bounces off a receiver into Jeromy Clary's hands….only problem with that is he's a lineman. So, they bring it back and we're incomplete on third down. We established some field position goin' into the wind and Brite hits a sweet kick to the KU 20.

So now we're comin' after the Hawks. Green makes 5 on first down, then Whittemore is incomplete. On third down Randy Jordan makes a sweet jumping interception of Whittemore and returns it to the KU side of the field. A facemask tacks on 15 and we're in business. Now we go to Sproles for a loss and Roberson for a loss…………they're stackin' the line……we've gotta throw. We do on third down and convert a sweet 23 yarder to Polite at the 12. Now Sproles goes for 5, Ell for 3 and Sproles for 1 and it's fourth and one. The ‘Cats bring in the jumbo boys and everybody just KNOWS we're goin' heavy right behind the guard. Well, that's been set up all year, we fake a power play off left guard and Ell takes the naked bootleg in for the TD. It's 7-0 after the kick at the 4:33 mark of the first quarter and we make ‘em pay for the INT.

So our kick coverage leaves somethin' to be desire and KU's startin' from their own 38. Whittemore gets ‘em movin' a little with some big plays. They get 3 on first down and 22 on the next pass. Now Whitt gets another completion for 6 and then Randle breaks a big one for 26 yards down to our five and we're wonderin' where that D is. This is a big stand…the Mob has been playin' good defense inside the scorin' zone this year and this is big to keep the lead. Green gets stuffed on first down. Whittemore keeps on a draw on second down and comes draggin' his shoulder. On third down they try Whitt again and Houchin stuffs him. This time he gets up real slow and you could tell he was hurt bad enough to get their backup QB throwin'. Beck hits the field goal and that's a good goal line stand by the defense.

Beck kicks it outta the endzone and here comes the O again. We get things movin' a little but stall out after movin' across midfield. During the drive Sproles becomes the all-time rusher for K-State on the ugliest two-handed option pitch you've seen since Pop Warner league. We go 38 yards in 8 plays and have to kick. Brite hits it outta the end zone.

Here comes KU with the backup QB. I gotta tell y'all K-State's been real tough on KU QB's lately, ‘specially since the Wegner sandwich in '98. Well, ‘ol Brian Luke was starin' a tall order in the face and he didn't get the ball in Green's gut on the handoff….IT"S A FUMBLE….that thing rolled around on the ground for an eternity until Berry jumped on it. I told ‘ol JP lets go after six right here….and we did Roberson hits Dennis on a sweet pass play to the back corner of the endzone and now it's 14-3 ‘Cats and ya can sense we're takin' control of this thing.

So KU comes out with another QB, Neilson. Clark runs a couple times for a first down and then they get 3 more plays and can't convert so they're puntin' again. Ansel hits one down to the 29 and we're in business again.

Right here the offense takes control. Sproles goes for 16 and then Roberson hits Terry for five and we're at midfield. Ell goes incomplete twice and we're puntin', but they've got too many men on the field and we keep goin'. Sproles goes for 4 and then Polite gets three on a catch, Sproles comes back for 6 and the first down. Sproles goes for five then Ell for four and Ell for eight. Sproles finishes it with a seven yard TD run and it's 21-3 with 2:48 left in the half.

Now KU's got it again startin' at their 20. Randle goes for a 3 yard run and I'm screamin' for a timeout. Now KU goes incomplete and on third down Nielson gets pressure and is tackled for a short gain by Buhl. We don't call any timeouts and the clock is runnin'. But ya know our guys know we don't wanna give ‘em too much time…because we got lightnin' in a bottle and ya just gotta uncork it. Sproles takes the punt at the 37 makes the first guy miss and then the second guy miss and then gets a block and he's got a sprint for the pylon….well, nobody on KU's squad is gonna get him. He's got the TD with the clock at 1:02. It's 28-3 and the boys are rollin'.

The half ends and it sure looks like the worries are over for this one.

Well, I s'pose there weren't any more worries ‘cept for that dadgum kick coverage. We give ‘em a short field to start the 3rd quarter. They take the ball in 7 plays and only move it 26, but that puts ‘em in field goal range. Beck hits a 51 yarder and that's all the scorin' for KU in this one.

K-State comes back startin' at the 20. The O takes it 80 yards in 9 plays and makes it 35-6. the Mob comes ready the next series and three and outs KU for minus 8, the O comes right back with an 8 play 56 yard TD drive and that ends the scorin'.

The D got real stingy in the second half. KU possessed the ball six times. Three of ‘em resulted in minus yards. They only made 20 postive yards in the second half on 24 plays. Late in the game the D made some substitutions and those boys came ready too. Mo Mack was layin' down the smack late in the game. That D was all about provin' somethin' to KU late….and they did.

Well, folks I don't know about y'all but I sure do like beatin' KU. I know that expectations have been raised around here and there's other "big games," on the Purple Horde's minds. But, I like the thought of keepin' this streak goin'. It's great to be able to say…that we control the state of the gridiron in Kansas…..make sure y'all have a great week talkin' to your Jayhawk friends…and when they say, "Just wait ‘til basketball." You can say, "I can't wait either….." ‘cause we're gonna get ‘em there pretty soon too.

I think the boys are hittin' their stride. We got a couple of quick tests comin' up to get us ready. Next week at home against Baylor is the only thing that's better be on our minds…..let's get ‘em one at a time.

See y'all next week

Wildcat Jack

Wildcat Victory is more than a song!

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