The Top 10 things from Iowa State
Wide receiver Yamon Figurs donned the American flag and Ian Campbell, the native of Cimarron, Kan., carried out the Kansas flag prior to the start of the game. Figurs led the team in receptions (4) and tied for the lead in yards (49), while Campbell only had two tackles, but had one of the six sacks on Cyclone quarterback Bret Meyer.
QB sneak – Finally
The Wildcats were faced with a third-and-one at Iowa State's 36-yard line on their opening drive of the game, when quarterback Josh Freeman finally ran a quarterback sneak. The three-yard gain up the middle was met with a loud roar from the crowd, which was obviously excited that coach Ron Prince had finally called a sneak after weeks of wondering when he would call the play to his 240-pound quarterback.
Freeman also ran another sneak late in the third quarter on another third-and-one play. He got one yard and picked up the first down.
Key Cyclones MIA
Junior wide receiver Todd Blythe has been a thorn in the sides of Big 12 Conference opponents all season. He came down with the flu before the game and was unable to play. This was the first game of his career, after 32 consecutive starts, that Blythe did not start and did not play in a game.
Senior running back Stevie Hicks is the leading rusher for the team, averaging 65.4 yards per game, and he missed his first game of the season even though he was seen on the sidelines in pads.
Senior receiver Jon Davis played the first half, but after making a 15-yard catch at the Wildcat three-yard line with a little more than a minute to go in first half, he was drilled by linebacker Antwon Moore. Davis fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Wildcat linebacker Brandon Archer, and Davis missed the rest of the game after being shaken up on the play.
Return of Jordy
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson has played sparingly the last couple of weeks, but had not really been a factor since the Baylor game due to an injury. He made his return to the starting lineup Saturday and contributed with two catches for a team-high 49 yards. Both of his receptions came in the first quarter.
Prince talking highly of team after win
The coach seemed a little more chipper in his post-game press conference, and rightfully so considering how his team finally won a game in convincing fashion. The defense shut out Iowa State in the final three quarters, and the offense scored 31 unanswered points.
In the press conference, he talked about how his team was starting to come together, and how his players had their best week of practice all season. He also said the offensive line is getting better and it is starting to take steps in the right direction.
The coach would know best, and he obviously sees something to let him feel confident with only three games remaining in the season, and with his team just one win shy of becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2003.
Patton not in starting lineup
Running back Leon Patton had combined for 575 all-purpose yards in two of the last three games, but he was unable to practice much this week due to an injury. This opened the door for running back James Johnson to get the start one week after he rushed for 127 yards against Missouri.
Prince said he liked the way Johnson practiced, and felt like he had earned a chance to get his first career start and prove that he was worthy of being a highly recruited player.
Johnson responded by rushing for 115 yards and one touchdown, while Patton got his first carry in the second quarter, and fumbled the ball. He redeemed himself later, however, with a 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
BG not playing
The defensive secondary looked a lot different than what K-State fans had been used to seeing. Safety Marcus Watts and cornerback Bryan Baldwin have already been lost to season-ending injuries and now cornerback Byron Garvin did not play against the Cyclones. He suited up, but every time the defense took the field, he would stand up and watch his teammates. He would not take his helmet with him, which meant he knew he wasn't going into the game. Prince would not say after the game why Garvin did not play.
Defensive back Devin Anderson, free safety Courtney Herndon and cornerback Josh Moore all started the game for the Wildcats. They all had so-so afternoons until Anderson intercepted Meyer with 3:06 remaining in the game. He returned the ball 30 yards to the house, to give the Wildcats their final score of the afternoon.
Nelson made his return to the starting lineup, which came just in time because wide receiver Jermaine Moreira was not able to suit up. He is the leading receiver this year in yards (419) and touchdowns (2), and no one would say why he didn't play. Daniel Gonzalez was the player who started in Moreira's place, and he had one catch for seven yards.
There were a couple of times when K-State tried hard to let Iowa State take over the game.
K-State was forced to punt midway through the first quarter, and Cyclone return man Ryan Baum was waiting to fair catch the ball. Cornerback Justin McKinney speared him before the ball made it to the ground, and he was flagged for a 15-yard kick catch interference penalty.
The Wildcats was kicking off after they scored a field goal to pull within 10-3 early in the second quarter. Linebacker Antwon Moore was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul on the kickoff and the Cyclones responded by putting up three points on the board after the costly error by Moore.
Big 12 North Iitle?
Ok, so this is extremely far-fetched, but with Nebraska (3-2 Big 12 Conference record) and Missouri (3-2) losing and K-State (2-3) winning Saturday, the Wildcats now sit only a game out of first place in the North. Those two teams each hold the tiebreaker over K-State because they both beat the Wildcats earlier in the season, but, with the Cornhuskers and Tigers still having to play each other, it's still fun to think of what might happen if the Wildcats could magically run the table for the rest of the season.
That quest begins in Boulder, Colo., this coming Saturday, when the Wildcats take on the Colorado Buffaloes (1-8 overall, 1-4 Big 12). K-State will be looking to win its first Big 12 road game since defeating Missouri way back in 2004.