MANHATTAN, Kan. — Bill Snyder was doused in ice water as the final seconds ticked off the clock on his 200th career win, then carried off the field by his celebrating Kansas State players after their final home game.
Then, Snyder promptly brought everyone back to reality.
“You know, I probably don't sound in a pretty good mood,” he said, “but I'm responsive to how we played and we played rather ugly today. I don't feel good about that, I assure you.”
Alex Barnes ran for 103 yards and a touchdown, Winston Dimel had two scores on the ground and the Wildcats managed to overcome penalties, turnovers and miscues for a 34-19 victory over Kansas on Saturday that allowed their 77-year-old coach to join some rarified company.
Snyder became the 26th coach to achieve 200 wins and the sixth to do so spending his entire career at one school, joining Joe Paterno, LaVelle Edwards, Tom Osborne, Chris Ault and Vince Dooley.
Snyder has 161 more wins than the second-winningest coach in Kansas State history.
“It's something you appreciate being part of,” said Kansas State linebacker Elijah Lee, who had eight tackles and an interception, “doing something special for Coach Snyder.”
The Wildcats (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) went through three quarterbacks because of injuries, though Joe Hubener managed to return to the game. Jesse Ertz went down early in the second half, though Snyder said he doesn't believe the undisclosed injury is serious.
“I haven't talked to the trainers and doctors yet,” he said, “but it was my understanding he's fine.”
Carter Stanley threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns for the Jayhawks (2-10, 1-8), but the freshman quarterback spent the entire game taking wicked blows behind a beat-up offensive line.
Stanley also made a crucial mistake when he threw an interception that Donnie Starks returned for a touchdown to set the tone early in the game. The pick-six followed a touchdown run by Barnes early in the second quarter and gave Kansas State a 20-3, and it eventually grew to 27-3 early in the second half.
“They certainly did a good job today of doing what they needed to do,” Kansas coach David Beaty said. “There were way too many mistakes for us to overcome.”
The Jayhawks' biggest highlight came when Stanley, who assumed the starting job a few weeks ago, connected with LaQuvionte Gonzalez for a 95-yard touchdown pass — the third-longest in school history. Stanley also found Michael Zunica with a short TD pass early in the fourth quarter.
Stanley also fumbled with about two minutes left to prevent any sort of comeback.
“I take my hat off to Carter Stanley. He's a tough dude, man. He kept getting up off the floor and he got hit in a bunch of different ways today,” Beaty said. “He's never rattled and that's something you want in your quarterback.”
Kansas was coming off an overtime win over Texas, its first Big 12 win in two years, and aiming for back-to-back victories for the first time in five years. But the Jayhawks still have a long way to go to catch up to their biggest rival, which has won 21 of the past 25 meetings.
Kansas State was far from perfect. There was a muffed onside kick, an extra point that was blocked, a fumble by Hubener in the closing minutes and five penalties that left Snyder miffed on the sideline.
Kansas running back Ke'aun Kinner thinks the Jayhawks are moving in the right direction, even if the senior won't be around to see it. “We came closer. The class of young guys on this team is spectacular. They got a lot of talent,” he said, “and as long as they keep jelling together and getting better every day … they're going to be a force next year.”
The Wildcats piled up 342 yards and four TDs rushing, the fifth straight game they've gone over 200 yards. But their three quarterbacks combined to go 6 of 11 for 99 yards, and Snyder lamented the lack of balance in the offense. “I'm not overly enthused,” he said. “We have to get better.”
Kansas begins preparing for next season. The Jayhawks made significant gains after going winless a year ago, and now it's up to coach David Beaty to keep building the program.
Kansas State visits TCU next week as it tries to improve its bowl fate. The Texas Bowl appears the most likely destination, but other possibilities include the Russell Athletic, Cactus and Alamo bowls.