Sunday, October 9, 2005

Snyder: Defenses dandy


— The reporter's question was just about as evasive as Kansas State coach Bill Snyder's response Saturday afternoon at KSU Stadium.

"Coach, what was that we just watched?" a media member questioned of the KSU coach shortly after the Wildcats' 12-3 victory over the Jayhawks in front of nearly 50,000 fans at KSU Stadium.

"You saw two very fine defensive football teams," Snyder shot back, trying to hold off a sly smile.

"Seriously?" the TV guy continued.

No oral response needed. Snyder just shook his head in agreement.

Indeed, the 103rd installment of the Sunflower Series was different than most - mostly because of the two rivals' stellar defenses.

"We were less than very good at all on offense," quipped Snyder, whose team was outgained 236-182 in total offensive yards.

The Wildcats didn't have to be very good at all.

In fact, all K-State needed to make it eight victories in a row in the Little Apple was a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with red-shirt freshman quarterback Allan Evridge hooking up with sophomore Jordy Nelson for an eight-yard scoring strike at the start of the fourth quarter.

Equally impressive was the fact that the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Nebraska native was in the game at all after taking a knockout blow from KU's Nick Reid earlier.

"I think Allan did a great job. I feel sorry for him because he's going to be extremely sore tomorrow," KSU offensive lineman Jeromey Clary said.

KU might also smart, knowing the Jayhawks' defense did just about everything it could except completely shut down Kansas State's offense.

"Much credit to the KU defense. They played an awesome game," said K-State running back Thomas Clayton, who made critical remarks of the KU unit earlier in the week. "We came out victorious, and I'm really excited about that, but they did a good job defensively."

After last year's Kansas victory, which stopped KSU's 11-year winning streak, most Wildcat fans would have taken a win any way they could get it this year.

"This was a huge game," K-State senior linebacker Ted Sims said. "If there was any game we wanted to win this year, it would be the KU game.

"We just wanted a 'W.' It didn't matter if it was one point or 50 points - we just wanted to win."

Sophomore defensive back Marcus Watts shared his teammate's sentiments.

"It's very satisfying. It's a big win," the Hays native said. "It's been 365 days and finally you don't have to worry about the loss to KU - you can forget about it now."

Indeed, Kansas State can now focus on its next Big 12 Conference challenge.

"I would say that these kids here at K-State don't have the kind of star power that maybe perhaps they did a few years ago," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "But we knew, watching on tape, that they were going to be tough."


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