Key play: John Hubert broke free for a 54-yard run, making it clear he was headed for a big day.
Key stat: K-State rushed for 95 yards.
Key play: Daniel Sams scrambled all across the field and then found Tramaine Thompson for a circus catch, proving that everything was going K-State’s way.
Key stat: K-State held Iowa State to 33 rushing yards.
Key play: Iowa State was unable to secure a fumble from Hubert, allowing K-State to punt the ball away. Had Iowa State come up with the ball, it would have been in scoring range.
Key stat: Mark Krause’s lone punt went for 67 yards.
Key play: Oklahoma State scored on a 10-yard run immediately after grabbing a fumble. The play ended K-State’s hopes of a shutout.
Key stat: K-State allowed its only seven points in the fourth quarter.
Offense A: Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett made some NFL-level catches, John Hubert rushed for more than 100 yards and Jake Waters and Daniel Sams both looked sharp.
Defense A+: Another impressive outing from K-State’s defense. It came oh so close to a shutout. Ryan Mueller continued to make big plays and the secondary played tight defense with Ty Zimmerman grabbing an interception.
Special teams B+: Mark Krause had a spectacular 67-yard punt, and Jack Cantele made two field goals. But a lack of big returns and a missed 51-yard field goal keep the grade below an A.
Coaching A: This series has been close over the past five seasons, but Bill Snyder prepared a strong game plan and K-State won in a blowout.
Player of the game: Ryan Mueller. The defensive end made a team-high seven tackles, including two for loss and a sack. He continues to be a highlight-reel player on defense.
Reason to hope: K-State is back at .500. With two home games and a trip to struggling Kansas remaining, the Wildcats are within reach of a bowl game and a winning season.
Reason to mope: K-State’s next three games, though winnable, are no cupcakes. A trip to Texas Tech may be the toughest matchup on the schedule, TCU is capable of pulling an upset and Oklahoma is in the mix for a conference championship. The Wildcats may be underdogs in two of those games.
Looking ahead: A difficult test looms for K-State next week at Texas Tech. Lubbock, Texas is always a tough place to play, especially when the Red Raiders are ranked.
Helmet change — In honor of Fort Riley Day, the Wildcats wore camouflage Powercat logos on their helmets. The one-time change was noteworthy. It was the first modification of the K-State helmet since Bill Snyder created the current design during his first year in 1989.
In the stands — Special guests in attendance Saturday included Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and scouts from the New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings.
Ring time — The Kansas State baseball team was honored after the first quarter. Bowlsby presented the Wildcats with their Big 12 championship rings, which they earned during a record season earlier this year. Former quarterback Collin Klein was also honored in the second quarter after being named Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Crazy play — Daniel Sams and Tramaine Thompson might get some TV time this weekend for a wild play they made in the second quarter. On a third-and-seven Sams scrambled all over the field and threw a desperation pass across his body that was intended for Tyler Lockett. The pass sailed over Lockett’s head and ended up in the hands of Thompson. The catch resulted in a first down and K-State went on to score on the drive.
Recruiting tool — Derby tight end DeAndre Goolsby attended Saturday’s game, and K-State went out of its way to make him feel welcome. The Wildcats showed highlights of his father, Brian, who used to play fullback at K-State, throughout the game. He was also the answer to a trivia question on the video board. Goolsby is a four-star recruit who is considering K-State, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Arkansas.