- David Ubben, College Football
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Most coaches would love a 35-point fourth quarter.
Do that, and you're not losing many games. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder got a 35-point fourth quarter out of his team on Saturday, breaking open a win against Missouri State that was far too close.
Snyder's first thought? Why couldn't we score 35 points in every quarter?
"What is it I’ve been saying to them at the beginning of the game and halftime that caused them to lay eggs in the first and third quarter? That's what comes to mind," Snyder said. "It just highlights the ineffectiveness that we brought to the field from perhaps all standpoints and all phases of the game (in the first three quarters)."
Snyder's not going to place any limits on what his team is capable of, and if they score 35 points in one quarter, he knows it's possible to do it in any quarter, even if he knows what happened in the fourth quarter on Saturday.
"You go back and look at them, and it was the result of big plays," Snyder said. "(Nigel Malone's fourth-quarter) interception sort of changed the momentum of ballgame and there was an onslaught thereafter."
Kansas State wasn't known for making big plays a year ago, but might need them this week when a tougher Miami squad comes to Manhattan. The Wildcats, playing in Miami as double-digit underdogs a year ago, knocked off the Hurricanes with a goal-line stand in the final seconds that keyed off an incredible run to 10 wins.
"We’d like to have more big plays and be a more explosive team, but I don’t think there’s a team in the country that wouldn’t tell you that," quarterback Collin Klein said. "We’re going to need to make some big plays and have some explosive plays, but also going to need the same disciplined, no-turnover style that we’ve had in the past."
Klein finished Saturday's game with 169 yards through the air, 54 on the ground and a pair of passing touchdowns. A year ago, the Wildcats turned the ball over just 15 times a year ago, three fewer than any team in the Big 12.
The Wildcats, though, had just 165 plays from scrimmage longer than 10 yards, fewer than any team in the Big 12 but Kansas. Only Texas A&M and Kansas had fewer than K-State's 10 plays longer than 40 yards.
Saturday, the Wildcats rolled up touchdown runs of 46 and 95 yards, as well as a punt returned 89 yards for a score in a single quarter.
"We need to be better," Snyder said. "It would be beneficial for us to be a better starter. It's great to finish, but you’ve got to be able to start games, too."
Miami's big-play run game might make them pay if not. Freshman Duke Johnson broke touchdown runs of 54 and 56 yards in Miami's season-opening win over BC.
"We would have liked to start like that in the first quarter, but again, we hung in there. We finally started to execute a little better down the stretch," Klein said. "We were a couple plays away early on in the game that could have gotten us going a little sooner. We missed a couple third downs, which are drive killers. We stalled three times. Had 2-3 shots for touchdowns whether it’s a block here or there or finishing a throw, whatever it is. Just little things here and there that we did in the third or fourth quarter that got us going."
1dMax Olson and Jake Trotter