K-State still has reason to play

Though the loss at Colorado ended K-State's run of bowl games since 1992, there are still many reasons to play hard next Saturday against Iowa State. K-State head coach Bill Snyder said the final game against the Cyclones will define this season's Wildcats.

Perhaps Antoine Polite said it best after Kansas State's 38-31 loss at Colorado Saturday.

"This is how the season has gone, just a roller coaster of ups and downs," he said. "This game follows suit with us coming back multiple times only to see it slip between our fingers. It had been like this all season with beating Nebraska being a high and the loss to KU being a low. This game just seems to be a culmination of these events."

But with that in mind, one game does still remain, this Saturday back in Manhattan against Iowa State.

And though it will be K-State's last game of the season, it's a game that K-State head coach Bill Snyder said will live to define this football team, depending on how they respond to the loss against the Buffaloes.

"I told them we had two directions to go," he said. "I have said on more than one occasion this year that after ballgames it would truly be a great test of character and I told them this one was probably the greatest test of the character of our football team. This football team will be remembered more than anything else by how they respond to this loss a week from now.

"We have a lot of seniors who are going to line up and play their last game. Our seniors have not brought the kind of leadership that we need and it is time for them to step up for their last one and truly take command of the leadership of this team. We can represent Kansas State University with a great deal of class and a great deal of determination to prepare ourselves well, or we can pout and point fingers and probably be less classy than they are capable of being."

Polite said this Saturday's game against the upstart Cyclones is a chance for everyone on the team to come together and get next season started on the right foot.

"Coach said it was important for the seniors to stick together, for us to be with each other for this final game," he said. "He said for us to play this last one for the senior class and to make sure the underclassmen know how important it is to go out on a high note. As disappointing as this was, we can still come out and play with the same pride and character, and get our team started out next year on the right foot."

But while the obvious streak ended was K-State's 11 year run in bowl games, Snyder said there are many more streaks that he's seen ended this year and that he'll have some time to reflect on them after next Saturday.

"I think at some point in time you might reflect back and say we broke another string that was really significant," he said. "But we have had good practice with that. We have broken a lot of strings this year and none of them have been ones that we wanted to break. I am not sure I can remember what it is all about...not to have to prepare for a bowl game."

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