It’s amazing what one victory will do for a football team. But then again, it was quite a victory.
Heading into last Saturday’s game at No. 3 Oklahoma, the Kansas State Wildcats were reeling. They were 0-1 after suffering a last-minute loss at home to Arkansas State.
A week later, the Wildcats (1-1, 1-0 Big 12) are on top of the world heading into Saturday’s conference showdown with Texas Tech (1-1, 0-1) in Manhattan, Kan.
The Wildcats went to Norman as four-touchdown underdogs to the Sooners. Kansas State was behind by 21 points in the second half on two different occasions. No unranked team in the last 15 years had trailed a top-5 team by 21 points on the road and come back to win. Until the Wildcats did it.
But head coach Chris Klieman knows his team has to move on quickly from that game.
“We better put it behind us in a hurry or we’re going to not be ready on Saturday,” he said. “What you did today is great, but it pales in comparison to what you can do the next day. Right now, we have to move on.
“That’s been kind of our mantra for a year-plus. Stack great days and don’t worry about yesterday, worry about today. Let’s win this dang day.”
Texas Tech, meanwhile, is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Texas in overtime.
That game also featured a huge comeback, but the Red Raiders were on the wrong end of it. Texas Tech led 56-41 with 3:31 left, only to see Texas score two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to tie the score with 40 seconds left.
In overtime, the Longhorns scored a touchdown on their first possession. Tech couldn’t respond and Texas won 63-56.
Just like Kansas State, the Red Raiders have to put the last game in the rear-view mirror but for an entirely different reason.
“I wish we were playing today,” head coach Matt Wells said at his weekly press conference. “I think our guys have handled (the Texas loss) very well and are ready to get back on the practice field.
“A loss is a loss is a loss. We had things we did very well. We were good enough to have the 15-point lead. Now how do we close (those games) out?”
Alan Bowman has passed for 761 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions for Texas Tech. Three players — KeSean Carter, Erik Ezukanma and T.J. Vasher — have at least 150 receiving yards, while SaRodorick Thompson leads the way on the ground with 222 yards and four touchdowns.
For the Wildcats, Skylar Thompson has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 593 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He has also rushed for three scores. Deuce Vaughn has rushed for 92 yards and added 153 yards on five completions.
–Field Level Media