Much maligned after his 1-yard performance a week ago, the Cowboy tailback looked like the Smith of old. He ran hard. He hit the holes quick. He finished with 11 carries for 56 yards and one touchdown.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C
Improved over a week ago. The running lanes were bigger, and the pass protection was better. But Walsh still got flushed out of the pocket a fair amount as K-State tallied three quarterback hurries.
Also improved over a week ago. Yes, Ben Grogan had a field goal blocked that was returned for a K-State touchdown, but that wasn't really his fault. His blockers let a Wildcat come free, and it was likely that no kicker was going to be able to get the ball past him. But even with that block, Grogan gathered himself and finished the day 4 of 5 on field goals, including a 28-yard lead-extending one with 2:24 left in the game.
CLEAN PLAY: A
The Cowboys did a great job of taking care of the ball and avoiding penalties. They had just one turnover a week after turning it over a season-high three times. And they were whistled for just one penalty, though it was a costly one. Kevin Peterson's pass interference in the end zone kept a K-State drive going in the fourth quarter; the Wildcats scored a touchdown that gave them a 29-23 lead.
KURLAND TRIBUTE: A
Cowboy basketball legend Bob Kurland died earlier this week, and he was honored with a video tribute during the first quarter. It included some great old-time black-and-white video of the Cowboy big man.
GILBERT SUSPENSION: A
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy decided before the team got home last week from West Virginia that Justin Gilbert would sit out the first half against K-State. Gilbert threw punches late in the game last week and was ejected for a flagrant personal foul. The Big 12 chose not to take action and suspend the Cowboy cornerback, but Gundy decided that he would sit for violating team rules. A great decision. It sends a message — that type of knuckleheadedness won't be accepted.