Iowa State's 31-30 overtime loss to Nebraska last season eats at Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads. ISU lost when a fake extra point failed; holder Daniel Kuehl short-armed a pass to wide open Collin Franklin and it fell incomplete.
“It's a call that I relive and a play I relive every week,” Rhoads said. “There's not a week that goes by that I don't think about the play and what it could have created for our football team and our football program.
“There was a lot of thought that went into our week's preparation. And as the game went along, it was a play I studied and certainly was there. The intended receiver was wide open, from me to you wide open, and we failed to execute. That's the name of the game, when it's a play like that, the final game of a game or the first play of the game, you have to execute to be successful.
“The fallout was positive, if anything, from players to fans to most people I talked to they thought it was a right call, gutsy call, but the right call, and would have given us an opportunity to really springboard our program.”
NEW DEFENSE AT TECH
Tommy Tuberville said he learned a lesson in 2010, his first year coaching Texas Tech.
“There's two things you need in this league,” Tuberville said. “You have to have a very good pass rusher coming from the outside, and you have to have two good corner(back)s.
“And if you have those, you've got a chance in this league to keep somebody under 21 points. If you don't, you've got no chance. You better outscore them.”
Tech used a nickel defense (five defensive backs) much of the time in the Big 12, so Tuberville has switched to a 4-2-5 base defense under new coordinator Chad Glasgow, who spent the previous 10 years at TCU.
Nebraska had trouble beating Texas. Kansas State has not had such trouble. The Wildcats are 5-2 vs. Texas during the Big 12 era.
So is K-State coach Bill Snyder pleased that he now gets the Longhorns every season?
“No,” Snyder said with a laugh. “We've been very, very fortunate. I don't think there's anybody that doubts the quality and capabilities of the University of Texas and their program. Nobody does it better than (UT coach) Mack Brown and the quality of young athletes that they have.
“We've just been fortunate that our players play extremely hard. Fortunate that things just kind of fell into place in several of those ballgames. But I assure you that we don't have anybody's number, Texas or anybody else for that matter.”
Kansas will be young in 2011.
The Jayhawks took some beatings a year ago, finishing 3-9 overall and 1-7 in Big 12 play under first-year coach Turner Gill. But Gill swallowed hard and resisted playing his kids, choosing instead to redshirt the bulk of a freshman class.