Kansas State, supposedly facing a rebuilding year, is 4-0
When the football cognoscenti told coach Bill Snyder he could never win at Kansas State, he ignored them. When they told him that a team must control all three phases of the game to win, he debunked that, too. Judging by the Wildcats' 35-17 romp at Texas, all a team needs to win big is defense (as in the six turnovers K-State caused) and special teams (as in Wildcats junior running back-punt returner David Allen). Offense? "I think we did a pretty rotten job," Snyder said after the game.
Yes, Kansas State's first 18 snaps yielded minus-two total yards. Yes, quarterback Jonathan Beasley called an audible on fourth-and-one at the Longhorns' 20 that resulted in a 13-yard loss. "That's the one we want to strangle him for," Snyder said.
No matter. Allen tied the NCAA career record for punts returned for touchdowns with his seventh, a 74-yard score in the third quarter, and added a 35-yard run from scrimmage for a touchdown in the fourth period. His first gallop changed the game. Texas coach Mack Brown said that punter Ryan Long had been told to kick the ball out-of-bounds to the right. The Longhorns sent their punt coverage to that side. Not only did Long boot it straight, but he also outkicked his coverage with a towering 48-yarder. Allen sped to his right, away from the defenders, and scored easily to put Kansas State ahead to stay, 15-14.
The Wildcats finished with only four sacks, but Texas quarterback Major Applewhite ate more grass than Longhorns mascot Bevo. In the fourth quarter Kansas State linebacker Mark Simoneau returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown, stretching the Wildcats' lead to 25-17. K-State defensive coordinator Phil Bennett had drawn up the coverage on the sideline before the series. "I can't say that I remember the last time I did that," Bennett said. Strong safety Jarrod Cooper and Darren Howard, who shifted from end to tackle for that play, crashed through to pressure Applewhite into throwing early. In all, the Wildcats converted the Longhorns' half-dozen turnovers into 26 points.
In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, Kansas State is 4-0 and is likely to win its next five games before going to Nebraska on Nov. 13. That's right: Just when it looked as if the Wildcats would return to Midwestern oblivion, they're back, and they're a little insecure about it. Last week Kansas State president Jon Wefald stirred up the nascent Big 12 rivalry between the Wildcats and the Longhorns by saying that Texas represents "incredible wealth and arrogance." On Saturday the only hint of arrogance came from Allen. When asked if he thought teams would continue to punt to him, Allen said, "I hope so. I wouldn't But I hope so."
Arizona State's Surprise
UCLA Wilts as Flowers Blooms
Four of the most maligned coaches in college football—Bob Davie of Notre Dame, Mike DuBose of Alabama, Spike Dykes of Texas Tech and Bruce Snyder of Arizona State—beat back their critics with an upset and/or comeback victory last Saturday. Snyder's Sun Devils rallied from 14 points down to defeat UCLA 28-27 when Delvon Flowers made a 49-yard reception for the winning touchdown with 23 seconds left.
Snyder's daughter Paige is a recruiting hostess at UCLA Last week, before the Bruins left for Tempe, UCLA coach Bob Toledo said he felt sure that there would be no breach of security. "She doesn't know our plays," Toledo said. "We don't know our plays ourselves." The Bruins second-half fade seemed to prove that.
Florida's Errant Extra Point
Gators Could Kick Themselves