Though the Wildcats missed out on a share of the Big 12 title they still managed to have an impressive season.
The Cats were faced with an early season test on the road against the Iowa State Cyclones. It was this game in which quarterback Jake Waters proved he was a team leader as he helped the Cats pull off the road win in the final minutes.
The atmosphere at Bill Snyder Family Stadium was electric when the Cats welcomed the Auburn Tigers to town. K-State proved that they could compete with the mighty teams of the SEC and helped improve the opinion of the Big 12 Conference as a whole. Overall, it was a difficult game to watch for Wildcat fans as they missed out on several scoring opportunities and eventually lost the game. This was a big missed opportunity early in the season.
It appeared that luck was on the Wildcats’ side as they traveled to Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners missed a short field goal late in the game which allowed the Cats to escape with a victory. This was the most impressive win of the season for K-State. Historically, the Wildcats have struggled against Bob Stoops and company, and the win helped them stay in contention for the Big 12 title.
Later in the year the Wildcats traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to battle against TCU. The Horned Frogs proved to be the surprise team of the year in the Big 12 behind the coaching of Gary Patterson. The Frogs smashed through the Wildcat defense, exposing a weak secondary. This proved to be a bit of foreshadowing for the final game of the regular season against the Baylor Bears.
With a share of the conference title at stake, the Wildcat defense continued to struggle. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty embarrassed the Cats as they ended the season with a loss.
I was disappointed that the Cats weren’t able to get that “statement win” this season. A win against Auburn and TCU or Baylor would have been enough gain some more respect with the playoff committee. The win at Oklahoma was the high point of the fall, but the Sooners struggled throughout the season which made the Wildcats’ win less impressive.
I can’t say enough about the progress that Jake Waters made from 2013. As the season progressed he developed great chemistry with his teammates; most notably with wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton.
For years the Wildcat offense has relied heavily on running the football, but this year that changed. At times, the run game was a weak point (i.e. 1 rushing yard vs. West Virginia), which forced the Cats to rely on Jake Waters’ arm. The Wildcats’ passing game was the best I have seen since the days of Josh Freeman. It will be interesting to see how Bill Snyder will approach next season. With Waters, Lockett and Sexton all moving on it will be tough to replace this talented senior class.
It was another great season for K-State under Snyder. His team finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and a No. 11 ranking. Snyder continues run a consistent program that has kept the team very relevant in the ever-changing college football world.