It's All In The Timing

So the boss decided has an opportunity to rent one of them fancy luxury suites once a year. Every year we're tryin' to pick the right game for this little outin'. And it just has to be right.

It's All In The Timing

by Jack Messer

Kansas State 38 vs. Baylor 10

KSU Stadium – Manhattan, KS

November 1, 2003

"It's All In The Timing"

So the boss decided has an opportunity to rent one of them fancy luxury suites once a year. Every year we're tryin' to pick the right game for this little outin'. And it just has to be right. Well, this year I told him that if he picks one in November we got a good chance of getting' some crappy weather….so that'd be a plus to be inside. Plus that Baylor game is one we oughta win so the folks outside won't need our voices as much. So it turns out the timin' was right for this one.

So we're in there early socializin' a little and I'm tellin' everybody we ought to move all kickoffs to 2 p.m. for this bunch, ‘cause they just don't seem to wake up ‘til then. I s'pose that's just when the time is right for them…..I guess it's all in the timin'.

We get this one goin' and it's lookin' pretty sparse out there. Baylor wins the toss and picks the ball and I don't blame ‘em the way we've been startin' on kick coverage and defense. Sure enough it's a short kick and they bring it back 20 to start on the 35 and I'm startin' to think kickin' it outta bounds is a better option. Well folks, we had that Welcomin' Committee defense show up for this first drive. Baylor looks like Marshall… and maybe it's just teams in green…but, they drove it 61 yards in 10 plays before we stiffened and held ‘em to a field goal…and it's 3-zip at the 10:25 mark.

So now it's time for our kick return to do somethin'. Sproles takes it at the 3 and gets a crease up the west sideline. One man's got the angle and gets him outta bounds after a 51 yard return. Maybe that'll put a spark in the O. We come out with a run by Ell for one and then a run by Sproles for 4 and they're loadin' up to stop those two…we're gonna have to throw. We do on a sweet tightend throwback screen to Casey, but we bonehead it up with a holding. So it's third and long now. We run a screen to Sproles for 7 and we're three and out. Brite doesn't get a very good one off and Baylor's in business at the 22.

Now they're back out and it's the same old same old. Baylor's movin' the ball and I'm getting' nervous. We better wake up before this thing gets outta hand. They move it down to the 37 where Buhl and Tetuan come up for a big loss of three on third and short. So Baylor punts it from there out at the sixteen. But they've had the ball for 19 plays and almost tend minutes already.

We come back movin' a little. Sproles goes for 8, Ell for 1 and Ell for nine and the first down. But, as soon as we see a little light the door slams shut. Ell fumbles the ball, but Sprole is there to jump on it. It's second and long….but that coulda been disaster. Ell goes incomplete twice on catchable balls and we're puntin' again. This time Brite hits a dandy…high and 51 yards…their guy can only get four on the return and they're startin' on their own 18.

So maybe the D is wakin' up….it's getting' a little closer to two o'clock. They rush for short, then go incomplete and Shull sacks him on third down at the sixteen. The punt is a short one off the side of his foot and now the O's on their side of the field and goin' downhill.

We go to Sproles for 3 and they're stackin' it up against him. Ell comes back for one and it's 3rd and six. We get twelve on a sweet completion to Casey and we're movin'. Ell goes for nine and it's second and short……..I'm yellin' get the first down……..but I know they're thinkin' about a shot at the end zone. Well this time it's a highlight reel catch by Terry as he's stretchin' out in the last piece of the southwest part of the end zone to make a TD catch and now I'm feelin' better. It's 7-3 at the 12:27 mark of the second quarter.

So I didn't worry too much about the kick coverage until after Brite kicked the ball. I gotta tell y'all opposin' kick return teams have gotta be lickin' their chops to play us. This didn't look like anything special…the guy took it at the two and ran straight up field…a lane opened up at about the twenty and he turned on the jets. He outran Morris and scored the 98 kick return…..and that put a damper on it all.

So Sproles takes their kick for 17 up to about the 30. On first down he takes it again for 8, and Ell hits Terry on a quick pass for six and the first down. Sproles comes back for nine, a loss of 1, a gain of one and it's fourth down on our own side of the field and I figure Snyder decided we needed to make it. Roberson sneaks over the left side for the first down. Ell goes incomplete twice and then gets loose for a gain of 20 and I'm feelin' good. I told somebody it's getting' close to two o'clock we're about to turn it on. Well, I spoke to soon we go incomplete, rush for a loss and incomplete then miss badly on a field goal….so the O's not quite awake yet.

But, that defense has woke up a little bit. They're startin' to get after ‘ol Baylor and McGill picks off the next pass and gives it right back to the Offense.

Well, that must've been too quick for the O, because we lose one, the lose five, then get sacked for seven and it's a 3 play loss of thirteen piece of ugly. Brite comes in to top it off with a decent punt down to the Baylor 11…and gives the Lynch Mob a little room at their back.

Well, they get a nice fade pass for 26 to start then the defense stiffens on three straight plays. Their punter hits a nice one down to the two yard line and they way we've been goin' backwards I'm slightly worried….but, I decided not to show it.

I was yellin' okay we've got 4 minutes to 98 yards let's get it goin'. Get that positive energy flowin' and let's move this thing the distance before half. Ell takes if for four and then six and the first down. Sproles goes for seven, Ell goes for incomplete and then runs for five and the first down. Ell comes back to the pass and is incomplete then hits Terry for 13 and the first down….and we're movin'. Now we got some room and we're sendin' ‘em deeper….Ell hits Polite for 18 and then hits Terry for 26 and we're on their 19. Sproles comes back for 2 and we call timeout. Out of the timeout we hit John Doty on a tackle eligible throwback screen for three. On third and five Roberson throws a rocket to Terry at the goal line for the TD and it's 14-10….we had the lead….and we weren't givin' it up again. We go the 98 yards in 12 plays and 3:43 and I'm screamin' KICK IT OUTTA BOUNDS.

Well to start the second half this was still a ballgame. But, that Darren Sproles is somethin' else. He does what it takes to lift this team up. He takes the openin' kick 58 yards to set us up. The offense can't do much we move 13 yards in 8 plays and Rheem hits a field goal.

Now the Lynch Mob came to play defense in the second half. On Baylor's first possession they lost 11 yards in a three and out and the D set up the O on our side of the field. The O took it 49 yards in 4 plays and a sweet 39 yard TD throw and catch by Roberson to Terry….and that gave us some breathin' room.

Like I was sayin' about that Lynch Mob defense in the second half….they woke up and came to play. Baylor had seven possessions in the half…..six of them with the first string in. On those six they had 27 plays for minus 11 yards. Folks if we could bottle up that second half magic and put it out there for the whole game this bunch would be stout. They're pretty stout as it is….27 plays and minus 11 yards is just sick. Well, their was some pride by that D late….they didn't want to give up a TD in that 4th quarter…even with the seconds in. It looked like Baylor might do it. They took the ball at their own 40 and drove it to the K-State one. On 4th and one they tried to power it in…'ol Mo Mack was layin' down the smack and that was the end of that. So that defense hasn't given up a touchdown in 8 quarters….not bad.

Now for the O….it was just playin' herk and jerk and in fits and starts all afternoon. We had seven drives in the second half and scored on four of ‘em. However, most of ‘em were big play hitters that got us there….course Baylor was kinda darin' us that way. Speakin of Darren….he hit a couple of big ones in the fourth quarter on counter plays off the left side…the first one went for 73 yards with about ten minute left and Saba scored 3 plays later. The very next drive he hit it for 52 yards down to the one settin' up Roberson's sneak. Schwinn came in after that TD and fumbled. Roberson fumbled on an option pitch when we were in the red zone. Overall it was enough…we were fortunate in the timing afforded us to be off because we were playin' Baylor.

Next week we need to pick it up on the road at Ames. Come out and keep those guys from believin'. Right now we got their number a little bit and we need to settle it early. Every one of ‘em's important and we gotta corral us a Cyclone next week. It's lookin' like I'm gonna make the trip…so comin' to y'all next week from ‘ol Jack Trice stadium…it oughta be good.

Until next time,

Wildcat Jack

Wildcat Victory is more than a song!

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