So many different factors seemed to mesh perfectly,
that all involved were left with something they will
The fans did their part-
Although the crowd of 46,039 fell short of the desired sellout, those in attendance were phenomenal. Whether it was the signs thanking Snyder for all he has done, the chanting of his name, or the decision to remain in their seats when the clock reached 0:00, the Bill Snyder Family Stadium crowd did exactly what they were expected to do - support their team, and honor their coach.
The athletic department did their part-
Upon entering the stadium before the game, fans were treated to highlight packages of the Snyder era throughout the years. At halftime, a special video tribute to Snyder was shown, with messages from president Jon Wefald, Kansas Governor Kathleeen Sebelius, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, former "Voice of the Wildcats" Mitch Holthus, athletic director Tim Weiser, former Wildcat Players, opposing coaches, including Bob Stoops, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, and various Wildcat coaches.
Following the game, when Snyder was coming back out to
address the crowd, "Stand up for the Champions" played
along with video highlights. All fans were informed of
the post-game address multiple times, so they all knew
to stick around.
The players did their part-
Despite falling behind by 14, and suffering some of the same mistakes that you have read about every week, the Wildcats played inspired to the end, and pulled out a victory for their coach.
When the Wildcats failed to score from their own
1-yard line three straight times, it seemed the
momentum had fallen in the Tigers' favor. On the
ensuing play, the Wildcats had their third safety in
the last two games, and a new lease on life. K-State
drove down the field following the safety, but again
looked like they were going to be stuck without points
when they hit a fourth-and-four situation from the
Missouri 10-yard line. Allen Webb, subbing for Allan Evridge, stepped up the next play and found Jordy
Nelson streaking across the field for a ten-yard
touchdown, giving the Wildcats the 29-28 lead.
A 29-28 victory might have been fitting, considering that was the final score of on the biggest wins in the Snyder era (KSU 29 -NU 28, 2000), but Brandon Archer decided it was better to be safe than sorry, picking off a pass and returning it for the final score of the game with just under one minute left.
The players took their customary lap around the field,
shaking hands with fans, as they always do after the
final game, but then also stuck around for Snyder's
post-game speech. Listening to their leader, many with
tears welling in their eyes, the players then gave
Snyder a hero's exit. Nelson and senior Jeromey Clary
carried Snyder to the locker room atop their
Coach did his part-
As he does with most everything, Snyder approached the
day with humble graciousness. He paused to allow
students to chant his name before beginning his
post-game address, all the while knowing he would
prefer to not be remembered. He waved and blew kisses
to the fans, knowing the true importance of this team
to all of them. He explained the reasoning behind Bill
Snyder Family Stadium, letting the fans know that they
are included in his family, and that it was their
stadium as much as his.
Perhaps most importantly of all, Snyder allowed
himself to be recognized. All familiar with K-State
football know Snyder would prefer to remain nameless
when it comes to taking credit or receiving accolades.
With all he's done for the program, and the reactions
of some fans towards the news of his retirement,
Snyder connected with the fans. When he exited the
field, he left just as so many fans have pictured him
throughout the years: head and shoulders above
It is just one man's opinion, but Snyder's send off
seemed perfect. So, from one family member to others,
thank you! Thank you, fans! Thank you, athletic
department! Thank you, players! But, most importantly,
thank you Coach Snyder!
Huddle? Who needs a huddle? Showing a bit of slyness in the finale, K-State opened the game running a no-huddle offense. The Cats ran a two-receiver set, with Jordy Nelson and Davin Dennis. Victor Mann alternated between fullback and tight end, Thomas Clayton manned the halfback spot, and Rashaad Norwood played tight end. The Cats ran the offense with reasonable success, getting in range for a field goal on the first drive, and setting up the Wildcats first score on the second.
Temple finally in Manhattan
Tony Temple, a former prep star in Kansas City and back whom the Wildcats were in a tight recruiting battle for, made his Manhattan debut, returning kicks and seeing time as a second string running back for the Tigers. He totaled X yards.
Marcus Watts was escorted off the field in an ambulance in the first quarter with a hip injury.
Schwerdt still the man
After kicking the potentially big field goal for the Wildcats against Nebraska last week, sophomore Tim Schwerdt remained K-State's kicker for field goals and extra points. He missed his only field goal attempt, but was successful on all four of his extra points. Junior Jeff Snodgrass was still booting the ball on kickoffs.