Kansas coach Charlie Weis talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 56-16 loss to Kansas State on Oct. 6, 2012.
Manhattan Even a 40-point victory over his team’s biggest rival wasn’t enough to make Kansas State receiver Chris Harper happy.
Following KSU’s 56-16 rout of Kansas University on Saturday, Harper said he regretted that the Wildcats hadn’t put on an even better showing against their cross-state foes.
“We just don’t want to beat them. We want to beat them bad,” the Wichita native said. “I still wasn’t happy with how much we beat them by. I wish we’d have beat them by more.”
Perfect or not, KSU still was able to clearly illustrate it was the best team in the Sunflower State.
The seventh-ranked Wildcats forced a season-high five turnovers, outscoring the Jayhawks, 35-2, in the second half to take control.
“I don’t want it to be close. I want to show that we’re a better team,” Harper said. “We played OK, but we made a lot of mistakes. We could have played a lot better.”
KSU coach Bill Snyder admitted to having mixed feelings afterward, saying he was just as happy with his team’s second half as he was frustrated with his squad’s first half. KSU led just 21-14 at the break.
Still, the coach scoffed when asked if he was pleased to dominate KU for another year.
“I don’t think we dominated anybody,” Snyder said. “I think we had a lot more points, but we certainly didn’t dominate the ballgame. The first half was evidence of that.
“They’ve got — I don’t know what it says on here — 400-some-odd yards of total offense. That’s not domination.”
KU actually finished with 388 total yards, which was the second-most allowed by the Wildcats this season.
The Jayhawks were especially efficient in the first half, gaining 263 yards on 49 plays with a pair of touchdown drives.
“Kansas always throws a little wrinkle in things,” KSU linebacker Justin Tuggle said. “You look back at the last couple games, how they start the game ... they put Kale Pick at quarterback to start this game off, so that was a little bit different. But you never know what you’re going to expect. You’ve just got to be ready and play your assignments well.”
KSU’s defense looked much more comfortable against KU in the second half, especially with running back Tony Pierson sitting out because of an undisclosed injury.
“Kansas came out ... they had a great scheme,” KSU linebacker Arthur Brown said. “They’ve got some great players as well. Really, what we did to adjust to their approach, it really helped us be successful in the second half.”
KSU safety Ty Zimmerman — a Junction City native — said the win was significant because of the high percentage of Kansans on the Wildcats’ roster.
“(The Jayhawks) have the new coach and a lot of different things this year. I know they’ll win some games,” ZImmerman said. “But (the win) is big for us, and we’re going to enjoy it.”
The victory also improved the Wildcats to 5-0 and helped keep their Big 12 and national-title hopes alive.
“You know everybody’s trying to end your season. That’s KU,” Harper said. “If they’d have won this game, that would have made their season. Who cares about a bowl game or anything for them? If they’d have won this game, they would have partied like they won the national championship or something.
“Every game we’ve got to come out ready, because the other teams are circling our game now on the calendar.”