|Kansas State's performance in last Saturday's win over Oklahoma was emblematic of coach Bill Snyder's old-school style. (US Presswire)|
The excellent college football blog Every Day Should Be Saturday summed up Kansas State's gray-haired wonder of a coach thusly: "Bill Snyder is going to kill you. He did it to Charlemagne. He did it to Bob Stoops. He'll get all of us eventually."
The latest example of Snyder's magic came last Saturday, when the Kansas State Wildcats knocked off then-No. 6 Oklahoma 24-19 in Norman. It was only the fourth home loss for the Sooners in 82 games at Owen Field in the tenure of the aforementioned Stoops.
The win was plenty impressive, bringing 4-0 K-State into the top 10 of both major polls. But this was a signature Snyder game -- making no mistakes of note and capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the opposition's errors.
Two of Kansas State 's three scoring drives came on the possession immediately following an Oklahoma turnover. The last K-State scoring march -- a back-breaking 8-play, 77-yard drive that gave the Wildcats a 24-13 lead -- immediately followed a three-and-out, the closest thing a defense can get to forcing a turnover without actually forcing a turnover.
In typical Snyder style, nothing was flashy or easy. Collin Klein only threw for 149 yards, and the team pounded out its 213 rushing yards on 44 carries. In a league that often sees its uptempo offenses take 80 or more snaps in a game, Kansas State stands out as a throwback, running a relatively pedestrian 65 plays.
The Wildcats just refuse to beat themselves. They held the ball for almost 10 more minutes of possession than OU had. K-State committed a mere three penalties for only 24 yards. The defense forced three turnovers, while the offense gave none away.
It's hard to believe, in retrospect, that the Wildcats were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 in the league's preseason media poll. With a veteran quarterback in Klein, a rock-solid defense and a rushing attack that can grind out wins against just about anyone, K-State has a winning foundation, as evidenced by a 10-3 record and a Cotton Bowl berth in 2011.
Snyder is closing in on his 73rd birthday, but his second tenure at Kansas State is looking an awful lot like the first one, with the veteran coach bringing the Wildcats into the national consciousness -- and into the thick of the Big 12 championship race.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).