It’s not always easy, but Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State Wildcats find ways to win. The 20th ranked Wildcats earned a 32-28 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium.
A loss would have almost certainly taken the Wildcats out of contention for the Big 12 Conference title. The Wildcats will now have two weeks to prepare for the Auburn Tigers to prove they should also be a part of the national conversation.
The Wildcats had to overcome plenty of adversity against the Cyclones to get to this point.
With 11:35 remaining, the Wildcats were down eight points and driving. They drove the ball from their 3-yard line to the Cyclones’ 31-yard line. On 4th-and-1, the Cyclones stuffed the Wildcats. A series later Kansas State was able to score a touchdown, yet it needed a two-point conversion to tie the game. Quarterback Jake Waters attempted a designed quarterback run. Iowa State safety Kamari Cotton-Moya scraped across the formation and met Waters inches short of the goal line for the stop.
But Waters took over when the game was on the line. The Wildcats were down 28-26 when they started their final drive with 3:01 remaining and 80 yards to go. Waters’ mobility kept the drive alive multiple times as he ran for 51 yards including an 8-yard touchdown scamper.
Waters was the game’s leading rusher with 138 yards. He was also 16-of-29 passing for 239 yards. It was enough for Kansas State to squeak by Iowa State and leave Ames with the victory.
Meanwhile, an 0-2 start to the season is devastating for Iowa State and head coach Paul Rhoads.
Rhoads is now firmly implanted on the hot seat. After Iowa State finished 3-9 last season, it needed to bounce back this season. Instead, it’s easy to envision the Cyclones starting 0-5 with the Iowa Hawkeyes, Baylor Bears and Oklahoma State next on the schedule.
Kansas State can continue with their expectations intact, while this may be the beginning of the end for Rhoads at Iowa State.