The old adage that football is a game of inches certainly rang true in Miami Saturday afternoon as the Kansas State defense came up big with their backs against the wall to obtain a 28-24 victory over the Miami Hurricanes.
With 1:52 left on the clock, Miami found themselves with a first-and-goal at the Kansas State two yard line. After a Jacory Harris pass went incomplete on first down, two straight Mikes James rushing attempts garnered no ground made against the Wildcat defensive line. Facing a fourth-and-goal Harris took a shotgun snap and rolled out to his left, only to be turned away once again by the defense.
After Miami opened the game with a 39-yard field goal by Jake Wieclaw, the Wildcats took the ball and marched down the field on an 11-play 63-yard scoring drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run from quarterback Collin Klein.
Miami then drove the ball to near mid-field before punting, which resulted in Klein again leading an 80-yard scoring drive down field where Klein found Anthony Lockett from 20-yards out and a touchdown to extend the Wildcats lead to 14-3 at the 13:28 mark of the second quarter.
Klein would finish the day 12-for-18 and 133 yards through the air.
In a game that would be a back-and-forth affair throughout, Miami would retake the lead early in the fourth quarter at 24-21 on a 34-yard Harris to Travis Benjamin touchdown pass. Miami gained much of their offense through the air as Harris passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Lamar Miller would again eclipse the century mark rushing with 106 yards, but the Hurricanes mustered just 139 yards on the ground compared to 265 for K-State.
After the Benjamin touchdown reception, the Wildcats again responded as they went 80 yards in eight plays when sophomore running back John Hubert ran it in from two yards out with 10 minutes left in the ballgame for a 28-24 lead and what would be the eventual game winning score. Hubert would end the day with his first 100-yard effort, rushing 18 times for 166 yards, easily his best game since his arrival in Manhattan. Klein added 93 yards rushing form the quarterback position as well.
Head Coach Bill Snyder praised the defense after the game-
"Well, it showed a lot of courage for a football team, our defense. It shows that we really do have excellent coaches as well to get us in the right position. Our defensive staff did a nice job today. I think our youngsters played hard, played well, right spot at the right time, doing what they're supposed to be doing.
Snyder also went on to speak about the breakout performance of the young Hubert-
"He played reasonably well, he made some plays on his own, he broke a few tackles. He wasn't without his mistakes. He had the ball on the ground a few times, fortunately we got it back. But I thought he overall improved his play."
The Wildcats return home 3-0 and will be gearing up for a home game next Saturday against a ranked Baylor squad lead by quarterback Robert Griffoin III.
Full stats from the victory can be viewed on the K-State homepage.