Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 9/8/12
MANHATTAN, Kan. You half expected Kansas State athletic director John Currie to run over to Al Golden and give him the Savannah State Farewell Package: A handshake, a pat on the back, a large check for his troubles and directions back to the Kansas Turnpike. "We didn't expect to click this fast, to be honest with you," Wildcats linebacker Tre Walker said after Kansas State 52, Miami 13, a game more one-sided than a political convention. "We did not." Holy Schnellenberger. The only difference between Saturday's Miami Hurricanes and a Football Championship Subdivision charity case? The charity case has a pulse. "One play was not the difference in the game," said Golden, the Canes coach, "They out-coached us and they outplayed us." From the whistle, this was one giant purple coming-out party, a three-hour Powercat fiesta. Collin Klein played the stick. Miami played the pinata. "And I love, in a way, (how) Coach (Bill Snyder) is rubbing off on me, that (all) I'm thinking about right now is the two field goals we kicked inside the 10," the Wildcats quarterback said after throwing for 210 yards, rushing for 71 more and accounting for four touchdowns overall. "That's what I'm thinking about right now. "Again, we did a lot of good things, we made some progress, but there are some things we need to shore up." Yeah, but aside from some leaks in the secondary and a missed field-goal try late in the second quarter, there wasn't much. K-State ran for 304 yards and six touchdowns (five from the quarterback spot), sacked the Canes' Stephen Morris five times, forced three Miami fumbles, got backup quarterback Daniel Sams some valuable snaps and were laughably dominant on both sides of the line of scrimmage. In fact, the unhappiest Wildcat during the postgame news conference seemed to be Snyder, because there were so few nits on which to pick. "We're a work in progress," Snyder said, "but we're vastly improved." On a afternoon of massive statements, that one might've somehow been the most understated of all. "We don't hold grudges, we don't look at things from the past, we don't get too high, we don't get too low," said wideout Curry Sexton, whose 27-yard touchdown catch late in the second quarter helped break the contest wide open. "This team is just so level-headed. And a lot of that comes from Collin. "Because anytime your team leader, your team captain, is like that, that helps so much with your team's personality. And I think with him being like that, that kind of gives us all that vibe a little bit. Collin, Walker added, makes everything possible. By land, by air or by force of will. Nearly every time Miami dared the 6-foot-5 QB to beat them with this arm he's polished up his mechanics over the summer, but the Tebow-like hitch in his release is still there Klein found an open man. Whenever the Canes loaded up the box to try to keep K-State's read-option offense in check, the Wildcats were content to just play-action them to death. "Yeah, I think he smiled," tailback John Hubert said of Klein, who completed 9 of 11 throws. "He's been trying to play tough guy, but he kind of smiled a little bit (at that)." It was that kind of game. It was that kind of day. Heck, even K-State's miscues came with silver linings attached. With about two minutes and change left in the half and the Cats leading 24-3, K-State had a third-and-goal at the Miami 1-yard line. Instead of having Klein fall forward for the score the Colorado native falling forward is an almost automatic 2-yard gain, at worst the big quarterback stood straight up and froze for a second, as if to initiate a Statue of Liberty play. One problem: Miami's defenders beat the pitch man if there was a pitch man to the backfield, causing a fumble and a mad, comic scramble that ended with K-State receiver Chris Harper cradling the ball for dear life back at the Hurricanes' 20. The hosts would try and miss a 38-yard field goal, while Miami answered with a 27-yard kick of its own, effectively a 10-point swing that ... well, in the big picture, wound up meaning absolutely nothing. Again, it was that kind of day. "Shooooot," Klein would say of the botched play, as though he meant a word much stronger than that. K-State got cute rather than go for the throat. And afterward, all Klein could think about was the one that got away. "I'd say Coach has definitely rubbed off on me," Klein said. "I know that for a fact." And the other way around? "That's not for me (to say)," he replied. "I just know what I've received." A leg up on the Heisman short list. Top billing for a matchup with Oklahoma in two weeks that's going to have everybody salivating at the prospect. Like the man said: Suddenly, everything is possible. You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at seanmkeeler@gmail.com
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