Game Observations from KSU Stadium

This was a big win for the Cats and clear title to in-state bragging rights. Past the win however, here are a couple things that stood out to me that will not make it into the box score.

Game Observations

Watts a captain

Marcus Watts took the field as a captain for the first time in his K-State career. Watts said he was honored by the opportunity, and he seemed to show it on the field. He seemed to be running around the field with a higher level of enthusiasm than normal. After a big fourth down stop early in the first quarter he hopped up immediately and flashed the Lynch Mob hand signal.
Traffic troubles

I usually make it to the stadium at least an hour-and-a-half early, but found myself on McCall Road with just one hour until game-time on Saturday. Around 50 minutes later I finally pulled into the KSU Stadium parking lot. It's a depressing sight when you're in a car and you're being passed by crowds of people walking.
Harley Day

Thanks to the traffic, most were not entrenched in their media seats in time to witness the annual hog-fest. I can attest to the amount of noise the bikes made, but can not comment on any sights of the motorcycles. Always a fun deal and something that makes Kansas State different then so many other stadiums around the country.
Full house

I cannot accurately say whether or not the game was officially sold out, but the view from the press box didn't show many empty seats. Even the high reaches of the upper deck were occupied and at times the stadium was very loud. The crowd played a factor here for some of the snaps and the team seemed to feed off it. Granted, there may have been a little more crimson and blue than many in purple had wished, but the game's outcome seemed to clear some of that out.
Return of the Mob

What was that hand signal being tossed around? The one with arms crossed at the wrists and right angles formed with the thumbs and index fingers? That's right, the Lynch Mob signal made a return, along with a number of big plays by the defense. Players said coach Bob Elliott, said the defense has earned the right to be granted the Lynch Mob moniker once again.
Big, big plays

Defensive and special teams plays exhibiting a "Mob" mentality included: Marcus Watts stopping a receiver in his tracks to keep KU from converting on fourth down in their opening drive; the Wildcats recovering a KU muffed punt reception; Derek Marso blocking a field goal; Ted Sims and Alphonso Moran stuffing Brian Luke on another attempted fourth down conversion in the third quarter; Bret Alstatt saving a punt from entering the end zone, leaving the ball to be downed on the KU one-yard-line; Tearrius George bringing Luke down for a safety three plays later; and Brandon Archer and Ian Campbell denying Brandon McAnderson any yards, stopping yet another attempted fourth-down conversion, and wrapping up the victory for the Cats.
Ugly 1st half

The first half of football, which saw the two teams combine for187 total yards, was unlike any half of football I'd seen before. It would have been one thing if the two defenses had been that dominating, but the number of mistakes coming from both squads made it the ugliest half of football I've ever witnessed. The second half seemed to showcase both defenses in a better light (i.e. they, instead of penalties, were the reasons for lack of offensive production).
Home field advantage

Being able to stand on the field during the Jayhawks final drive, I can attest to the problems that could be caused by the crowd noise. It was difficult to talk to another media member standing next to me - I can't imagine what trying to bark out a check at the line would be like. Great job by the fans in making their mark. The "back to normal" chant at the end of the game was a nice touch, as well.

This team takes up for one another. Mid-way through the third quarter there was a tussel and Quinton Echols was Johnnie on the spot. He immediately went in- grabbed a Jayhawk by his jersey and shoved him aside and for good measure gave another a chest bump along the way. This is a tight knit group that plays with fire and takes up for one another. Echols is not afraid to stick his helmet facemask to facemask and lay down the law. There is good chemistry here.

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