At a loss

You know how they say if you don't like the weather in Kansas, just wait five minutes and it will change? The same can be said for the 2005 Kansas State Wildcats. Once again, the team seemed on the edge of being out of a game, crawled back into it, and let it slip away in the final minutes.

Think of every K-State game summary you have read this season. It's a safe bet that every last one of them contained some form of the word "inconsistency," and the word "mistakes." Continuing on that theme, inconsistency on both sides of the ball and mistakes in every area cost the Wildcats in Lincoln.

"It's hard to say how close we were to winning," quarterback Allan Evridge said. "It seems like it's the same story every week. We have to go out, work hard and keep battling, and when we're in their red zone, we have to get points."

"We have experienced this before, quite obviously," coach Bill Snyder said. "I don't know if it is exactly the same way or not. We have had some extremely disappointing losses and this is probably as disappointing to our players and coaches as any."

The Wildcats fought back from 12 down to take the lead, 25-24, with just under five minutes remaining.

The Huskers came back to get a field goal with just over a minute left, which would prove to be the game-winning score.

The Huskers drove 55 yards on their final drive, aided by a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on the Wildcats. The Wildcats accumulated 108 penalty yards.

K-State also struggled in almost every phase of their special teams. Kicker Jeff Snodgrass had an extra point and a field goal blocked. Another extra point was lost by a mishandled snap, and the Wildcats two-point conversion attempt on their second scored was also unsuccessful.

Even the kickoffs were unkind to the Wildcats, as their two primary kick returners, Carlos Alsup and Yamon Figurs, averaged less than 11 yards per return.

On offense, the Wildcats showed a strong rushing attack, something that has evaded them throughout Big 12 play, but failed to capitalize in the passing game. K-State rushed for a total of 248 yards, led by Evridge with 138.

Evridge, returning to his home state to play the Huskers, was not quite as consistent in passing, completing just five passes in 27 attempts.

Defensively, the Wildcats alternated between being brick walls and turnstiles. They allowed two 80-yard scoring drives, but also forced two safeties.

Despite the continued struggles of the 2005 Wildcats, the players said they would bounce back next Saturday.

"I was thinking about our mistakes and missed opportunities," defensive tackle Derek Marso said. "This team has character. We will bounce back and prove we're not like last year's team. We won't quit."

Last season, the Wildcats closed out the year with a loss to Iowa State in which they gave up the lead by allowing a Cyclone 28-point fourth quarter. The Wildcats are focused on not allowing a repeat of the disappointing end to last season.

"People are down, but I think we'll be ready," Evridge said. "We'll be fired up next week. We know that we have to come out here and play another game and show that we aren't the same team as last year."

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